Serrari Group

In a dynamic display of unity and ambition, delegates from 25 coffee-producing countries across Africa have convened in the bustling Ugandan capital, Kampala. Their mission: to galvanize the African Union’s attention and elevate coffee to the forefront of the continent’s agricultural and economic agenda, potentially lifting millions out of poverty.

Guided by a shared vision, industry experts assert that awakening the transformative potential of coffee could drive internal trade, not only of the beans themselves but of a unified African stance on the global coffee market.

The Africa Coffee Summit, held from Aug. 7 to Aug. 10, resonates with the theme “Transforming the African Coffee Sector through Value Addition.” This theme harmonizes seamlessly with the African Union’s 2023 agenda, which places high emphasis on fast-tracking the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Ezra Suruma, an esteemed economist and former finance minister of Uganda, underscores the significance of this collective endeavor. Drawing parallels with the influence wielded by petroleum-producing nations, Suruma emphasizes the potential for a resonating global impact when voices unite.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, a vocal advocate at the summit, passionately calls for a paradigm shift from exporting raw coffee to embracing value addition. He illuminates startling statistics: Out of the staggering $460 billion global coffee market value, the collective earnings of coffee-producing countries amount to a modest $25 billion, with Africa’s share standing at a mere $2.4 billion.

Museveni boldly contrasts this with non-coffee producer Germany, which earns a remarkable $6.85 billion. This imbalance, he contends, underscores an urgent need for reform in global trade dynamics.

Museveni’s rallying cry echoes throughout the summit, urging African nations to cease exporting raw materials and instead channel efforts into value addition. The aim is to harness greater foreign exchange earnings and accelerate development.

Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde aligns with Museveni’s stance, appealing to international coffee trading giants to lend their support to African coffee producers. This assistance, in the form of technical expertise and financial backing, can significantly amplify the value addition process.

Solomon Rutega, the secretary-general of the Inter-African Coffee Organization, unveils a strategic push to establish direct trade relationships with non-coffee producing countries. The aim is to shift South Africa’s reliance on Brazilian coffee and engage emerging markets such as China, presenting the opportunity to sell finished coffee products.

Amidst the visionary zeal, pragmatic considerations emerge. Ugandan coffee magnate Gerald Katabazi highlights logistical challenges and non-tariff barriers that necessitate concerted attention. Addressing these issues, he emphasizes, will be pivotal in creating a seamless trade environment.

With the anticipated implementation of the AfCFTA agreement, Rutega exudes optimism. He envisions dismantling non-tariff barriers and propelling African trade into a new era. This sentiment is shared by the World Bank, which forecasts a $450 billion income boost for Africa by 2035 and an impressive 81 percent surge in intra-African exports.

The UN Economic Commission for Africa envisions an even grander transformation, predicting the AfCFTA’s potential to catapult the African economy to a staggering $29 trillion by 2050. As the summit’s participants strategize and collaborate, a scent of change and progress fills the air—a promise of a revitalized African economy infused with the rich aroma of freshly brewed opportunity.

By: Montel Kamau
Serrari Financial Analyst
10th August, 2023

photo source Google

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