From Feb. 13 to 15, the 17th African Fine Coffees Conference and Exhibition was held in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. The conference brought together more than 600 delegates, including 65 exhibitors from all over Africa and other regions to discuss how to improve the quality and competitiveness of African coffee.
Its members include Cameroon, Burundi, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Rwanda.
China’s growing demand for African coffee has brought huge market potential to African coffee-producing countries, said Ishak Lukenge, Chairman of African Fine Coffees Association.
In an interview with the Lukenge on the sidelines of the Conference and Exhibition, he said China’s interest in African coffee provided a huge opportunity for African countries to increase their trade volumes in coffee to China.
He said that China’s huge “coffee consumer market” will help African countries diversify their coffee sales, stimulate production and generate more income. China has a large population and provides a demand base and business opportunities for African exports.
Lukenge also said that China not only provides investment, infrastructure and financial support to African countries, but also provides markets now.
He encouraged African coffee-producing countries to establish joint ventures with Chinese partners to penetrate the Chinese market and expand their coffee exports to China.
Rwanda President Paul Kagame said in Davos last month that farmers in the country are trying to sell coffee directly through some e-commerce platforms. JumoreGlobal is such a digital platform, which has established a global digital trade network covering 157 countries and regions, connecting Chinese and African coffee-producing enterprises while bringing increased efficiency and competitiveness to global trade. China-Easy service package has also opened up channels for foreign businessmen to enter the Chinese market.
The coffee trade between Rwanda and China is growing steadily. Coffee has been sold to new markets through such platforms, such as China, where farmers earn $12 per kilogram, $4 more than before. According to Dr. Celestin Gatarayiha the Head of Coffee Production and Processing Division at National Agricultural Export Development Board, Rwanda exported 23,000 tonnes of coffee in the 2017/2018 fiscal year, generating $67 million in revenue. Its goal is to generate $75 million in revenue through the export of 24,500 tonnes of coffee during the current fiscal year.