The theme for the summit of the G-25 African Coffee Producing countries was “Transforming the African Coffee Sector through Value Addition” which is in line with the theme of the 2023 African Union agenda that focuses on accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Africa, the second largest continent in the world, is the birthplace of Arabica and Robusta coffee and has the largest number of countries growing coffee. It has an enormous endowment of vast uncultivated land, immense untapped water, and labour resources yet the African coffee sector is underperforming in all statistical indicators.
The 2nd G-25 Africa Coffee Summit sighted how African-producing countries can harness the opportunities in value addition and increase Africa’s contribution to the global coffee trade, whose estimated value is US $466 billion. to promote the declaration of coffee as a strategic commodity in line with the African Union Agenda 2063, which aims to build a united and integrated Africa. The summit explored the impact of climate change and COVID19 on the coffee industry and share knowledge and strategies to address these challenges.
This summit followed the success of the 1st G-25 African Coffee Summit, which took place in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 25, 2022. The Nairobi Summit adopted a declaration on coffee as a strategic agricultural commodity in the AU Agenda 2063 and called for the development of an evaluation framework to track down the socio-economic impact on coffee farmers and the enactment of the AfCFTA to facilitate cooperation between African countries and encourage inter-African trade.
Hosting the 2nd African Coffee Summit gives Uganda a unique opportunity to showcase its rich coffee heritage and potential to a diverse range of African countries and promote economic integration. Uganda is one of the leading coffee producers in Africa and has a vision to increase its annual coffee exports from 4.6 million bags in 2018/19 to 20 million bags by 2025.
The goal of the summit was to address the challenges faced by the African coffee -producing countries as well as promote coffee value addition, trade and domestic consumption besides educating people on its health benefits.
The President noted that there is need for African coffee producing countries to work collectively and stop exporting raw coffee beans and other commodities, if they are to change the trajectory that has kept the continent, impoverished. He urged fellow African leaders to sensitise development partners on the value of having raw materials processed on the continent instead of them exporting and adding value from their countries.
“Therefore, we the raw-materials producers, we need to conduct internal struggles in our respective countries to add value to these raw materials, including coffee ─ so that we earn more from our sweat and create more jobs for our youth instead of dying in the Mediterranean going to Europe. We also need to sensitize our partners in the countries that have been buying our raw materials at semi-slave prices, that their economics is defective,” said President Museveni who opened the Second G25 African Coffee Summit at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Tuesday, August 8, 2023.
The summit was embraced with a number invited guests who were presidents and government officials from different countries and organisations.