The 25 African countries agreed that there is a need to make it as easy as possible to trade in coffee within the African continent, to avoid setbacks in the international market. The Nairobi Declaration will also see coffee anchored as a strategic commodity under the African Union.
African coffee-producing countries have gathered in Nairobi to chart ways of improving
the continent’s coffee sector and cushion it from global shocks.
include the effects of pandemics, trade barriers, and market dynamics like unfair
taxes and trade restrictions among others. The first G25 Coffee Summit
also has the study of Uganda’s production success story top of the agenda,
under the theme: “Sustainable Development and Economic Growth in the African Coffee
at a time when Uganda is in the spotlight for various reasons including
achieving a sharp increase in coffee production over the last five years, the
decision to withdraw the participation in the International Coffee Organization’s current
agreement, as well as the controversial agreement with a foreign company to
process and export Uganda’s coffee.
On its withdrawal from the ICO Agreement, Uganda cited several reasons
including unfair tariffs, restrictions on exporting processed coffee, and an
“unjust and outdated” coffee classification system that does not recognize
In a 2020
report, ICO found that processed coffee imported from Uganda is subject to a 60 percent tariff while other countries, including European Union, Norway, and Japan,
pay low or zero rates.
African countries agreed that there is a need to make it as easy as possible to
trade in coffee within the African continent, to avoid setbacks in the
“We are at
an opportune moment to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area,
(AFCFTA) which provides for free movement of persons, capital, goods, and
service to deepen economic integration and promotion of agricultural
development,” said Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal
Industry and Fisheries.
countries have agreed to collectively push for the inclusion of Coffee among
the priority agriculture commodities in the AU 2063 agenda under the Nairobi
declaration just signed. The next G25 Summit is due in Uganda next year.
Uganda Coffee Development Authority-UCDA started implementing a 10-year
strategy involving a replanting campaign to boost output, and in 2017, the
National Coffee Roadmap was drawn with the aim of producing 20 million bags per
year by 2025. Production has since more than doubled to more than 8
Tumwebaze however told the conference that a lot more needs to be done by all
the countries, to eliminate challenges both local and international, hoping
that the African Continental Free Trade Area will boost trade among the
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Coffee Roadmap was initiated by President Museveni and, one of its aspects was
to rally as many community leaders as possible to mobilize the masses and help
the sensitization of coffee farmers on what each stakeholder needed to
Executive Director, Emmanuel Iyamuremye said the political will is therefore
very important in realizing the objectives of any policy. He told them that
Uganda’s successful experience can be adopted by the continent as a strategy for
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Uganda is currently Africa’s largest exporter and 7th globally and is second
in production to Ethiopia, which is hailed for consuming most of its
production. It is said that Africa’s coffee exports are equal to Africa’s
countries, under their umbrella, the Inter-Africa Coffee Organization (IACO)
think if African countries can buy their own coffee, the industry will
experience rapid growth.
the opening of the summit, Kenya’s agriculture minister Peter Munya warned the
members that there is a need to continue measuring themselves against the major
producing countries, especially in terms of quality, as well as keep in mind the
changing market environment.
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The African Continent produced 18.7 million 60kg bags in the coffee year 2020-2021,
representing 11 of the production of 169.6 million bags.
Africa’s coffee exports are valued at about 2 billion dollars, with Uganda
accounting for more than a third, followed by Ethiopia and Cote d’Ivoire.
Adugna Debela, Deputy CEO and President of Ethiopian
Horticulture Science Society stressed that if African countries could
develop interconnectivity between themselves, increase coffee consumption, and
support research into production and marketing, there would be a coffee
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Josephine Ndikwe, the Chairperson of the Association of Women in Coffee, Kenya
called for information dissemination platforms that will help Africa detect
early any impending calamities like harsh weather and how to guard against
She also says the same is needed to enable the other African countries to learn
what Uganda has done, but also research into new production technologies.
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Solomon Rutega, the Secretary-General of the Inter-African Coffee Organization
says the agreement with the African Union which will integrate the coffee
industry in the long-term plans will go a long way in developing the
This will include the removal of the various trade barriers which are currently a
concern across the continent.