By Prossy Nandudu & Stella Nannozi
Four heads of state have confirmed participation in the G-25 Coffee Summit slated for Monday, August 7, 2023 in Kampala.
Presidents of Ethiopia, Tanzania, Togo and Equatorial Guinea have confirmed attendance, while those of Angola, Malawi and Algeria are expected to send delegations, according to agriculture minister Frank Tumwebaze.
Tumwebaze made the revelations while briefing the media about the summit, on Thursday at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala.
Other members of the 25 coffee-growing countries, include Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
Organised by the agriculture ministry, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and the International Coffee Organisation (IACO), the summit will run under the theme: Transforming African Coffee Sector Through Value Addition.
In relation to the theme, Tumwebaze appealed to farmers to heed the President’s call to add value to coffee. He explained that as Uganda exported more bags of coffee last year and earned the country some good money, all that was exported were green beans.
“I wish to challenge farmers, processors and exporters to heed the president’s call so that whatever is exported is a finished product so we can create more jobs for our people,” he said.
In line with employment creation, Solomon Rutega, the secretary general of the International Coffee Organisation, said the session will also provide avenues on how youth unemployment can be addressed through the coffee value chain, adding that there is a ready market with the coming on board of the Continental Free Trade Area.
Some of the issues to be discussed during the summit, include challenges in coffee production, how to increase domestic consumption and support needed to add value for coffee among others.