ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia
(Xinhua) -- Attracting regional and
international coffee roasters, traders, producers, professionals
and connoisseurs, the 15th edition of African Fine Coffee
Conference and Exhibition kicked off in Ethiopia’s capital Addis
Ababa on Wednesday.
With the objective of reshaping
African coffee industry, the three-day event from Feb. 15 to 17
is expected to have intensive discussions on policy and trade
development across the African coffee value chain.
The African Fine Coffee Association (AFCA) and the Ethiopian
Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority, have
co-hosted the event under the theme, "Reshaping African Coffee
Industry for Productivity and Investment."
The participants are also expected to discuss ways of
boosting coffee production on the African continent, and the
exhibitors from across the world showcase their coffee products,
machinery and packaging facilities, among others.
The conference is a buyer-oriented event which brings
together buyers from all over the world to build key trading
relationships and discuss issues impacting on production,
trading environment and policy interventions necessary to grow
the coffee industry worldwide, according to the organizers.
The event is also expected to provide an opportunity for
business-to-business engagements and for buyers to taste best
coffee from Ethiopia and the rest of Africa.
Officially opening the event, Ethiopian President Mulatu
Teshome reiterated that his government attaches great importance
to the coffee industry as it is backbone of the country’s
"Around 20 million people are directly or indirectly deriving
their livelihoods from coffee.
"Hence, as major agricultural export product, it generates
about 26 percent of Ethiopia’s total export earnings.
"Ethiopia is the largest producer of coffee in Africa and the
fifth largest coffee producer in the world, next to Brazil,
Vietnam, Colombia, and Indonesia, contributing from 7 to 10
percent of total world coffee production," noted the president.
It has been recognized that new markets have been identified
in order to benefit coffee farmers and also to encourage all
stakeholders in coffee industry, according to the president.
"In this regard, China, Russia, Middle East, and the Far East
economies, Australia, and consuming African countries of
Algeria, Tunisia, and Sudan among others offer a lucrative
option and price incentives to the Ethiopian coffee," he said.
Bagersh Abdullah, Board Chairman of African Fine Coffee
Association (AFCA), stated that African Fine Coffee Conference
and Exhibition has become one of the top events in the world.
"This conference has a lot of value because we are at the
beginning of the coffee season and I am hoping that by being
here the delegates the buyers, many, many buyers are here will
have the chance to see, believe and taste the coffees and we are
going to ship first class coffee out of Ethiopia this year," he
Eyasu Abraha, Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture and Natural
Resources, said on his part that the government has been taking
various measures to tap Ethiopia’s huge potential in the sector
and boost coffee productivity in the country.
"Ethiopia has a huge potential to increase coffee due to
processing, suitable climate, soil, indigenous planting
material, and sufficient rainfalls in coffee growing belts of
"To this end, government is committed to more than ever
before to tap the huge potential that exists to increase coffee
productivity through undertaking research and development
African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) is an association
with coffee sectors in 11 member countries, namely Burundi, DR
Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania,
Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Over 100 exhibitors participate in the exhibition showcasing
their coffee products, machinery, and packaging among others,
according to the organizers.