ETHIOPIA ALL SET TO HOST 15TH AFRICAN COFFEE CONFERENCE IN FEBRUARY

Ethiopia has completed preparations to host the 15th Conference of African Fine Coffee from Feb 15 to 17, says the Ministry of Trade.

The conference, to be held under the theme Reshaping African Coffee Industry for Productivity and Investment, will provide ample opportunity for Ethiopia to scale up its market linkages and boost foreign exchange earnings from coffee, says State Minister for Trade Ayana Zewde.

Coffee accounts for 26 per cent of foreign exchange earnings of the country but although Ethiopia is the place of origin of coffee, the country's foreign exchange earnings from the product has not yet reached the desired level.

The country plans to export 302,560 tons of coffee and earn 2.0 billion US dollars a year from coffee during the 2nd Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP2) which runs from 2016 to 2020, Ayana told a media conference here Tuesday.

The conference will be a good opportunity for the country to boost its exports of coffee, he said, adding that Ethiopia planned to export 244,000 tons of coffee during the current fiscal year.

He said the conference would be attended by major international coffee importers and would be an opportunity for the country to promote Ethiopian coffee and an occasion for the exchange of experiences.

As part of facilitating the conference, a national steering committee organized for the occasion has been working towards creating opportunities for exchange of information and experiences, he added.

Ethiopia is hosting the conference for the third time and this indicates that the country is endowed with full capacity and experience to host such conferences, Ayana said. Ethiopian experts are expected to present a paper on "Coffee and Economy".

Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi are among African countries participating in the conference.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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