African Coffee Organisation: Côte d’Ivoire To Host Head Office

Curtains dropped on the fourth African Coffee Symposium and the 56th Annual General Assembly of the Inter-state African Coffee Organisation in Yaounde on December 2, 2016.

 

Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire, is set to host the head office of the Inter-state African Coffee Organisation, IACO. The information is contained in the recommendation of the fourth African Coffee Symposium and the 56th Annual General Assembly of the IACO that ended in Yaounde on December 2, 2016, with Cameroon’s Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana as chair of the day. The head office is expected to reduce the financial weight on IAOC with the Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire in Cameroon, His Excellence Narcisse Ahounou Maalan, stating that it was a common decision and his country was ready to cede a piece of land of over 600, 000 metres square for setting up the structure.

Delegates to the confab all agreed that it was time to revive the coffee sector in Africa. Currently, Africa’s share of global coffee production has plummeted to mere 12 per cent, with its share of exports declining to 9.8 per cent. Coffee farmers and experts say the indicator was telling of the urgency to resuscitate the sector by tripling productivity and production. A five-year strategic plan was approved, with each country expected to come up with national strategies.

Countries were tasked to design national coffee policies and strategies that meet growing challenges like ageing farms and farmers, involving youth and women in coffee farming as well as encouraging domestic consumption. National coffee bodies were urged to create an enabling environment for investors as well as open up for public-private partnerships. The diagnosis is now known and African coffee farmers need to diversify produce so as to meet international standards, stressed Minister Mbarga Atangana. The chair of IACO for 2016/2017 was handed over to Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Trade who is supposed to be the host for next year.

The Yaounde declaration insisted on the need for countries to partner, share and exchange experiences and technologies. It also stressed the need for the 25-member countries to meet financial commitments especially at a time the organisation wants to be autonomously strong and at same time, set up its head office.

 

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