H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni hosts the G-25 African Heads of State Coffee Summit at the Common Wealth Resort Munyonyo where he called upon scientists to champion research on value addition.
The 3-days event brought together 25 Heads of State and Governments of African Coffee Producing Countries, who convened for the 2nd Edition of the G-25 Africa Coffee Summit in Kampala, Uganda under the theme “Transforming the African Coffee Sector through Value Addition” to marshal support for integrating coffee as a strategic agricultural commodity in the African Union (AU) in harmony with African Union Agenda 2063. The summit witnessed the signing of the Kampala Declaration 2023 by Hon Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries, Uganda and H.E. Dr. Girma Amente, Chairman of the Inter-African Coffee Organization (IACO) who also doubles as the Minister of Agriculture of Ethiopia and witnessed by other participant countries.
The main concerns in the declaration are that whilst Africa is the birthplace of both Arabica and Robusta coffee, it only produces 12% of the overall worldwide production and that coffee production and productivity in Africa remain consistently low, resulting in inequality in the coffee value chain. The global annual value of revenue from coffee in 2023 amounts to US$495.50 billion whilst total revenue in Africa amounts to only 0.6% (US$2.8 billion). The heads of state also recognized that 99% of African coffee is exported in raw form resulting in the loss of economic benefits associated with value addition, thus depriving the continent of jobs and colossal amounts of revenue earnings.
- They, therefore, pledge to support research in coffee value addition to enable innovation and development of new products, generate new knowledge on best practices, improve technologies and studies on varieties resilient to harsher climatic conditions, pests and diseases.
- Support investment in value addition of coffee and its products and promote domestic coffee consumption,
- Vocational training in coffee for the youth and women for job creation,
- Enhance access to finance for coffee value-addition projects through financial Institutions like the African Development Bank, African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank) and African Coffee Facility Fund.
While making his remarks to delegates at the summit, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni called upon Africa to embrace exporting value-added products other than raw, materials to earn more from it.
Ambassador Jan Sadek, head of the European Union Delegation in Uganda appreciated coffee for being an important link between Africa and Europe because 60% of Ugandan Coffee is exported to the European markets. He also noted that coffee consumption in Uganda is one of the lowest which creates a great potential to increase it. He pledges continued support to coffee value addition. However, he states the EU’s argument that roasting coffee goes together with deep knowledge of specific consumer markets. EU’s specific coffee blend demands that coffee once roasted must be off-the-shelf within three months. This would therefore make it difficult for African-roasted coffee to be integrated into the EU market. It was upon this statement that HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni tasked NARO scientists to quickly respond to the European Union with facts to defend value-addition initiatives.
This summit comes at a time of threat by climate change on coffee production and the urgent need for investment in research and development of varieties that are resilient to harsher climatic conditions and resistant to coffee pests and diseases. Additionally, there is a consistent call for a systematic Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to assist in the integrated trade of coffee among African coffee-producing and consuming countries.