The AfCFTA was represented at the Annual General Meeting of the Inter -African Coffee Organisation happening in Lome, Togo from the 14th November. The theme of this year’s 62th AGM is “Women and Youth in the Coffee Industry”, a timely reminder of the importance of women and youth engagement in shaping the future of the coffee sector. Improving gender equality in coffee communities has the potential to enhance crop production, household welfare, and community development. We believe that youth engagement can shape the future of the coffee and cocoa sectors, hence we stressed the importance to invest in understanding the situations that youth face and the necessary changes that need to occur for this systemic transformation.
The operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) opens up greater opportunities for intra-Africa trade, where the African coffee value chain is expected to have significant transformation and so we need a concerted effort to move coffee from a subsistence sector.
This will require investment in infrastructure and human capital, as well as better linkages between farmers and markets. With the right policies and incentives in place, Africa can become a major player in the global coffee market.