Kenya is set to host the first G25 African Coffee Summit (ACS) in Nairobi starting tomorrow.
The conference dubbed Sustainable Development and Economic Growth in the African Coffee Sector will bring together Heads of State from 25 coffee-producing countries who will re-evaluate the overall performance of the sub-sector.
Agriculture PS Francis Owino said the summit will provide a platform for the coffee-growing countries to address the challenges they face.
“Coffee has contributed immensely to national GDPs and the socio-economic development in rural infrastructure, education, health, employment, and poverty eradication,” Dr Owino said.
He added: “It is a major source of raw materials to the agro-processing industries and contributes to narrowing trade imbalances between Africa and her trading partners.”
According to the PS, the summit will mark a significant milestone in the history and development of coffee in Africa.
“By hosting the first ACS, President Uhuru Kenyatta shall have the opportunity to enumerate the gains of his legacy of restructuring coffee reforms to empower farmers,” he said.
Coffee is the second-most traded commodity after oil. Its turnover is estimated at $0.5 trillion, with only 10 per cent of this turnover being transmitted to coffee growers.
The summit, which will be inaugurated by President Kenyatta, will also see delegates explore ways to boost value addition and domestic consumption to help open up opportunities for youth and women’s empowerment.
It will also expand coffee trading regionally under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) framework.
In addition, Kenya shall also restore its influence in the African region and provide regional strategic leadership.
The CS said the summit will help Kenya reclaim its rightful position as the centre for coffee research and technological hub of trading in Africa.
Secretary-General Inter African Coffee Organisation (IACO), Amb Solomon Rutega, said the summit will be a benchmarking forum on the imminent danger of climate change on coffee and the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, which has had a tremendous effect on the coffee sector from seed to cup.
“We expect that the outcome of the summit shall marshal consensus on a declaration of including coffee as an anchor commodity in the Africa Union in harmony with Africa Agenda 2063,” Mr Rutega said. [Mike Kihaki]