AU endorses 2023 G-25 Kampala Coffee Summit Declaration

Agriculture
AU endorses 2023 G-25 Kampala Coffee Summit Declaration
H.E. Jessica Alupo. Courtesy Photo

Despite Africa being the birthplace of coffee and having the largest number of coffee-growing countries, the industry faces various obstacles along the value chain.

ADDIS ABABA-ETHIOPIA | The African Union (AU) has designated coffee as a strategic commodity in its second 10-year implementation plan of agenda 2063 during the 37th ordinary session of the Assembly.

The decision was made following a request from the Ugandan Delegation, led by Vice President Jessica Alupo, who serves as the Chairperson of the Specialised Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Blue Economy.

The AU Assembly acknowledged the recommendations put forth in the Kampala Declaration, signed during the second G25 African Coffee Summit held in Kampala on August 8 2023.

The summit, held under the theme, "Transforming the African Coffee Sector through Value Addition," presented key insights and strategies to address the challenges faced by the coffee sub-sector in Africa.

Despite Africa being the birthplace of coffee and having the largest number of coffee-growing countries, the industry faces various obstacles along the value chain.

These challenges include low farm-level production and productivity, inadequate value addition infrastructure, limited access to affordable finance, and the adverse impact of climate change, pandemics, and regional conflicts.

Recognising the potential of coffee to transform livelihoods in Africa, the AU decision positions coffee as a strategic crop within the agricultural transformation agenda.

With an estimated value of USD 465 billion, coffee is the second most traded commodity globally, and it engages over 53% of the rural population in the 25 African coffee-producing countries.

Approximately 10 million households derive their livelihoods from the coffee value chain.

To ensure effective transformation of the coffee value chain in Africa, the Assembly appointed the Inter African Coffee Organization as the designated agency responsible for coffee.

This agency will collaborate with the African Union Commission and member states, working towards the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) strategy to boost intra-African agricultural trade.

In line with these developments, the Assembly also decided to convene a Special Summit in January 2025 in Kampala, Uganda, to discuss the post-Malabo Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) implementation plan.

While acknowledging the proactive steps taken by the Commission in preparing the post-Malabo CAADP implementation plan, concerns were expressed regarding the slow progress made by member states.

The Assembly called for accelerated implementation of the CAADP agenda in the remaining two years.

The AU Commission, AUDA-NEPAD (African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa's Development), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and development partners have been tasked with developing the 10-year post-Malabo CAADP implementation plan and organizing the Special Summit.

These decisions reflect the call made by President Museveni for African leaders to establish socio-economic programs focused on empowering people, particularly women and youth, and integrating them into the formal economy.

Coffee, considered a low hanging fruit, holds significant potential in achieving these objectives.

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