By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gen. Jeje Odongo, has said that the Ugandan government will work to increase coffee exports to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Minister made these remarks while presiding over the official opening ceremony of the 1st Uganda-Saudi Arabia Expo themed “The Uganda Coffee industry perspective: farming, processing and exports.” It aims at increasing the volume of exported coffee and coffee products from Uganda to Saudi-Arabia.
Delivering his remarks, Odongo highlighted that Uganda’s export of coffee and coffee to Saudi Arabia stands at US$419,000 further noting that this figure needs to improve because Saudi Arabia is the fastest growing coffee market in the Middle East.
The minister said that President Yoweri Museveni, directed the Uganda Coffee Development Authority to accelerate the coffee production from 3.5 million to 20 million by 2025.
He also noted that the Saudi Arabia market is projected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.2% during 2021-2027 which will present an opportunity for business men and women from both countries.
Uganda’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Isaac Ssebulime Biruma noted that this was the first time business people from Saudi Arabia and Uganda have met to discuss how to increase trade between the two countries.
The CEO, Inspire Africa Coffee, Nelson Tugume, representing the private sector appreciated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for opening up Uganda’s missions to the private sector in a way of promoting Commercial Diplomacy.
The one-day virtual event was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ugandan Mission in Saudi-Arabia in conjunction with, the Council of Saudi Chambers, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA).
The event attended by over 500 participants concluded with a coffee tasting and cupping ceremony conducted by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) for participants to enjoy freshly brewed Ugandan coffee.