Ethiopia’s Coffee Is Highly Competitive, Says Inter-Africa Coffee Organization Secretary Genera

Ethiopia’s coffee is highly competitive because of the competition in the domestic and international markets, Inter-Africa Coffee Organization (IACO) Secretary General said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, IACO Secretary General Solomon Rutega said Ethiopia’s coffee has very high premium and very good reviews globally.

Highlighting the 50 percent local consumption as an advantage for Ethiopian coffee, he stated that it is highly competitive because it competes both with the domestic and international markets.

The secretary general added that it is therefore a privilege to have one of the highest per capita consumption in Africa because 50 percent of the coffee has been consumed by the local population.

Commenting on the significance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for the coffee of Africa in general, he said it is an opportunity to promote the inter-regional trade between coffee producing countries and coffee consuming countries.

This will create opportunity for coffee producing
countries, for example Ethiopia, to export coffee directly to North Africa without going out and coming back across the Mediterranean.

So, AfCFTA, one of the largest international free trade areas covering at least 55 member countries in Africa, is a huge opportunity for the Inter-Africa Africa Coffee Organization (IACO) to provide members with new markets on the continent.

According to Rutega, the per capita consumption of coffee in North Africa is one of the highest. Countries like Tunisia and Egypt consume quite a lot, but most of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa and southern Africa are still very low coffee consumers.

Regarding the need for massive transformation of African coffee sector, the secretary general said the transformation of African coffee needs a unified approach where all the stakeholders are united under one platform.

The purpose of the African Coffee Week here in Addis Ababa is to bring everybody together so that we can explore the challenges in the African coffee sector and opportu
nities to address these challenges and also to strategize on the transformation of the Africa coffee sector.

For Rutega, the coffee week is a historic event that the government and regional authorities are sitting under one umbrella with the private sector from all of Africa.

Opening the African Fine Coffees Conference (AFCA) and Exhibition and the First African Coffee Week yesterday in Addis Ababa, IACO Chairperson and Agriculture Minister Girma Amente noted that the First African Coffee Week is a momentous event to elevate African coffee to new heights.

In Ethiopia, About 20 million people deal directly or indirectly in transporting, trading, processing, roasting, and exporting coffee as well as in various activities along the value chain.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency