African coffee farmers gather in Kenya
Senior Business Journalist
A TOTAL of 25 African coffee producing countries will meet this week in Nairobi, Kenya for the inaugural Coffee Summit to deliberate on increasing domestic production and adding value to the product.
The summit was discussed at the 61st Annual General Assembly of the African Union in Kigali, Rwanda, in November last year, where the Inter-African Coffee Organization (IACO) decided to hold its first conference on the coffee.
Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world after oil and the most popular beverage, resulting in an estimated annual consumption of 400 billion cups worth $466 billion in 2021.
Zimbabwe is one of the 25 coffee producers in Africa.
In a statement, the IACO said the summit aimed to reassess the overall performance of the 25 coffee producing countries on the continent.
“At its 61st Annual General Assembly held in Kigali, Rwanda on 18 November 2021, the IACO decided to hold the first African Coffee Summit of the 25 African coffee producing countries, to reassess the overall performance of the coffee sector. coffee in Africa.
“The summit will be held from May 25-27, 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya,” he said.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will open the summit at the Safari Park Hotel.
Heads of State representing the 25 African coffee-producing countries, the President of the AU, the main officials of ministries and institutions of regional governments are expected at this historic event.
Conference delegates will also include officials from ministries of foreign affairs and international trade, industry and trade, lands and agriculture, coffee authorities and ambassadors.
“The main objectives of the summit include building consensus on a declaration to include coffee as an anchor commodity in the African Union in alignment with the AU Agenda 2063 for Africa; adding value and stimulating domestic consumption, thereby opening up opportunities for young people and empowering women; and expanding coffee trade regionally under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” he said.
To defend this, the OPCW said it was important to align with the seven aspirations and goals set by the AU for its Agenda 2063.
Notably the “desire for shared prosperity and well-being, for unity and integration, for a continent of free citizens and broadened horizons, where the full potential of women and young people is realized, and free from fear, disease and want”.
He said this call is further amplified by the AfCFTA which provides for the free movement of people, capital, goods and services to deepen economic integration and promote agricultural development, food security, industrialization and structural economic transformation. Africa, the second largest continent in the world, is the birthplace of Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee, a crop that supports at least 60 million people in many African countries.
“Furthermore, the medicinal attributes of coffee as well as its alternative uses have not been fully explored.
“These attributes give coffee a high multiplier effect relative to other commodities and a credible anchor of inclusive economic growth,” the OPCW said.