ITC and AFCA sign MoU to support Africa coffee industry
International Trade Centre (ITC) Executive Director Arancha González and the Africa Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) Executive Director Samuel Kamau today (9 October) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to step up support to vulnerable coffee communities in Africa. The two organizations will also collaborate on buyer-to-buyer (B2B) linkages, and develop content for e-learning in coffee.
This agreement formalizes the relationship between ITC and AFCA, a regional non-profit association representing coffee sectors in 11 member countries, which have been collaborating since 2012, and will see the relationship expand in other areas, too.
ITC will support the AFCA Development Fund to be launched next year. The fund, which will be launched at the 2015 AFCA Conference, proposes a framework for providing matching program grants to AFCA members for projects in the upstream areas of the value chain such as production, harvest, post-harvest handling and primary processing. ITC meanwhile, will focus on building institutional and market linkages.
ITC will also support B2B meeting and corporate partnerships within AFCA networks, linking vendors with buyers, with a particular focus on women.
Through its expanding distance-learning programme, ITC will work with AFCA to develop content for e-learning with the Africa Coffee Academy. ITC will help AFCA in co-branding and delivery of content through the ITC SME Trade Academy and AFCA web platform.
Past collaborations between ITC and AFCA, have resulted in the introduction of a gender and youth initiative. This initiative established five strategic objectives to contribute to the growth of the African coffee industry. by increasing the participation among women and youth, promote market linkages, expand opportunities for women coffee producers, strengthen branding, boost women representation and membership in each AFCA country, and sensitize all AFCA staff to gender equality dimensions in all aspects of internal work relationships.
Founded in July 2000, AFCA is a member-driven association representing coffee sectors in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. AFCA runs the annual African Taste of Harvest cupping competition to determinate the highest quality coffees in the region and provides capacity building in quality and marketing.