Yesterday, Rwanda joined 24 other African countries for the inaugural African Coffee Summit which aims to re-evaluate the overall performance of the coffee sector on the continent and integrate coffee as an anchor commodity in the African Union in harmony with the Africa Agenda 2063.
It is at its 61st Annual General Assembly held in Kigali on 18th November 2021 that the Inter African Coffee Organisation (IACO) resolved to hold the first African Coffee Summit.
This three-day summit in Nairobi, Kenya, brings together twenty-five coffee-producing countries, which account for 12% of global coffee production. Rwanda is represented by Claude Bizimana, the Chief Executive Officer of National Agricultural Export Development Board.
Delegates will use the summit to explore ways to increase value addition and domestic consumption of coffee to help open up opportunities for youth and women’s empowerment as well as expand coffee trading regionally through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) framework.
Representatives from coffee research institutions, coffee companies, national bodies, development organizations, legislators, diplomats, financial institutions, and African Union officials will be in attendance with the goal of increasing coffee productivity while improving quality in Africa.
Coffee, the second most traded commodity in the world after oil and the most popular beverage, translates into approximately 400 billion cups annual consumption at a value of approximately US$ half a trillion in 2021. According to market projections, global coffee revenue will increase by 6.99 percent this year.
Africa, the second largest continent in the world, is the birthplace of both arabica and robusta coffee, a crop that provides a living for at least 60 million people in many African countries.
It is expected that the summit will come up with measures to strengthen the continent’s coffee sector and promote its sustainable expansion in a market-based environment for the betterment of all participants in the coffee sector.