Over 1,000 regional and international coffee roasters, traders, producers, professionals and connoisseurs are meeting in Kigali for the 17th African Fine Coffees Conference and Exhibition (AFCC&E), the largest coffee conference in Africa.
Held under the theme "Specialty Coffees at the Heart of Africa" the three-day conference serves a platform for delegates and exhibitors from all over the world to discuss actions that will raise the quality and competitiveness of coffee from member countries, helping grow existing coffee markets and securing new opportunities.
"Coffee continues to play a leading role in the economy of Rwanda, and in the lives of many small producers and agribusinesses. It has contributed 19% of the country's agricultural export value in the past 5 years, adding significantly to foreign exchange earnings, and to the monetisation of the rural economy. Today, our journey continues with Rwanda Coffee: "A Second Sunrise" brand which represents our speciality coffee and mark of origin." Noted Amb. George William Kayonga, the Chief Executive Officer at National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB).
The conference and exhibition is expected to be an opportunity for member countries to adopt policies that encourage transparency in coffee marketing and to establish long-term partnerships between private and public sectors, leading to the establishment of more efficient production and trade in African coffees. Dialogue will include leveraging regional integration to improve intra-regional trade within AFCA countries, and strengthening farmer organizations and exporters.
The annual conference, also Africa's largest coffee trade platform, is hosted in rotation among its 11 AFCA member countries including Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Delegates from 21 countries and well renowned coffee companies will also have an opportunity to taste Rwanda Coffee, undertake field visits and a tour of cutie of Kigali.
Rwanda counts more than 355,000 coffee producers growing coffee trees on more than 35,000 ha across the country . Twenty eight Rwandan coffee lots won last year's Cup of Excellence Award, 2018 organised by the Government of Rwanda in partnership with Alliance for Coffee Excellence as an opportunity to recognise and compensate individual farmers who make efforts to produce a unique flavour of Rwandan Coffee. The top winning coffee from Twumba Sector, Karongi District, was sold at a record price of USD $18.70 per pound (41.22USD/Kg) during a live internet auction.
African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) is a regional coffee association with its Headquarters in Kampala, Uganda. Membership represents countries from Burundi, Cameroon, DR. Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Membership consists of private and public sectors specialty coffee stakeholders including producers, exporters, importers, roasters, policymakers, transporters, trade representative, and others.