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African Union Adopts Coffee As A Strategic Crop For The Continent

African Heads of state in a group photo after the AU after the AU Summit in Ethiopia

The African Union (AU) heads of state Assembly has endorsed the G25 Kampala Declaration on coffee, making coffee a strategic crop for the continent.

The heads of state made coffee a strategic commodity for the continent on February 19, 2024 during the 37th AU Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Kampala declaration on coffee that was endorsed by heads of state came out of the G-25 Coffee Summit held in August last year in Kampala that asked the AU to make coffee a strategic commodity under the AU agenda 2063.

The Ugandan delegation in Ethiopia was led by Vice President Jessica Alupo, Minister for Agriculture, Frank Tumwebaze and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeje Odongo.

The Ugandan delegation

Tumwebaze says the AU  Assembly also resolved that  the next  extra ordinary AU Summit to consider the post-Malabo CAADP framework will be held in Kampala, Uganda in January 2025. Uganda currently chairs the special technical committee on Agriculture, rural development and water ( blue economy).

It should be noted that during the second meeting of the G-25 African Coffee Summit held in Kampala in August last year, leaders from coffee-producing countries in Africa agreed to push the value addition agenda and halt the export of raw coffee beans. This initiative is aimed at elevating the income of farmers and curtailing the exploitation perpetuated by Western nations.

All participants at the summit, unanimously emphasized that for Africa to capitalize on the lucrative coffee industry, the continent’s producing nations must assume control and dominance within the market.

While opening the summit, President Yoweri Museveni presented statistics demonstrating that even though Africa contributes a significant portion of coffee to the global market, the producing countries reaped the least benefits from the coffee economy.

Museveni added that all is not lost as the situation can be reversed by emphasizing the imperative for coffee-producing nations to enhance the value of their crop. He contended that this approach will not solely amplify revenue derived from the coffee industry but will also engender increased local employment opportunities, thereby mitigating the escalating unemployment rates.

The President underscored the viability of prohibiting the export of raw coffee and rectifying the inequitable international market dynamics. He told to the delegates that Uganda has already taken steps in this direction by imposing export bans on various raw materials, including valuable minerals such as uranium, copper, wolfram, and iron ore, along with currently sought-after resources like lithium.

Taddewo William Senyonyi
https://www.facebook.com/senyonyi.taddewo
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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