Rwanda's Coffee Exports to UAE Set to Grow

15 January 2023

Rwanda's coffee exports to the United Arab Emirates are expected to grow as the country partners with Dubuy, a B2B e-commerce platform by DP World, to bring high-quality Rwandan coffee closer to consumers in the UAE and the Gulf region.

The prospects of coffee exports were echoed this week at the Coffee Cupping and Testing event in Dubai, organised to celebrate and promote Rwanda coffee, in the margins of the World of Coffee Exhibition that took place in Dubai from January 11 to 13, this year.

Rwanda's Ambassador to the UAE, Emmanuel Hategeka, joined leaders from Dubuy and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre as well Rwandan coffee exporters, UAE-based importers and coffee lovers at the event.

The ambassador said that Rwanda coffee was the highlight of Expo2020 where the pavilion served all guests a free cup of coffee every day and hosted over 1.2 million visitors in six months. He recapped the UAE market potential as well as the impact of the cash crop on people's livelihood.

"First, coffee is one of Rwanda's leading traditional agricultural exports with annual revenues of over $75 million supporting more than 355,000 smallholder families for their daily livelihoods.

"Second, UAE is a major trade hub and Rwanda's leading trade partner. As a major coffee consumer society, coffee buyers from UAE and GCC cannot miss the opportunity to source single-origin high-quality Rwandan coffee. This unique event brings the exporters and buyers together to sample the best of Rwanda's coffee and conclude supply deals," he said, adding that trade logistics have been put in place.

Dubuy, working with DP World in Kigali as well as RwandAir which has already started direct cargo flights to Dubai are facilitators of two-way trade flows between Rwanda and UAE, he said.

Mahmood Al Bastaki, Chief Operating Officer of Digital Trade Solutions, DP World and Saeed Al Suwaidi, Director of Agri Commodities at Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), commended the Rwandan coffee while reiterating their commitment to promoting Rwandan coffee on the global market.

On December 16, 2020, Rwanda Development Board signed an MoU with DP World to launch to link B2B and end-to-end destinations from Kigali to UAE. The platform was first launched in Rwanda in early March 2021.

As of January 2023, in around 100 registered Rwandan sellers on Dubuy, there are about 20 top Rwandan Coffee sellers.

Coffee is grown in most provinces of Rwanda at an altitude of less than 1900 m. It is uniquely known for its rich, aromatic, and natural flavourful profiles.

It is sweet, strong-bodied, and rich in acidity, giving Rwandan coffee a special taste and aroma.

Rwandan coffee is exported under the national brand of A Second Sunrise and has won global awards and different accolades.

In the fiscal year 2021-2022 alone, Rwanda's coffee export volumes amounted to over 15 million kilogrammes, and generated over $75.5 million.

That is an increase of about 23 per cent in coffee revenues compared to the previous year.

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