In a press conference held yesterday in Uganda, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni expressed that Africa is tired of being last in everything, despite possessing a wealth of resources. President Museveni emphasised that Africa should no longer export raw materials but instead should add value to its products and sell them as manufactured goods. This approach aims to generate more jobs within Africa, increase revenue, and alleviate poverty.
President Museveni also highlighted that adopting this strategy would assist many African youths who often flee their continent to seek better lives in Europe, often tragically losing their lives in the Mediterranean Sea during their attempts to cross.
Furthermore, President Museveni appealed to global corporations engaged in the coffee trade to establish factories within Africa and export processed coffee as value-added products rather than mere raw materials.
These concerns raised by President Museveni are not new; approximately two weeks ago, during a meeting between African and Russian leaders, he emphasised the need for fair international trade relations, especially in the agricultural sector. President Museveni used the example of coffee, where Uganda and Ethiopia are among the leading producers within Africa.
While speaking alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, Museveni pointed out that the global coffee market is worth $460 billion, but all coffee-producing countries combined receive only $26 billion of this revenue, with Africa’s share being a mere $2.6 billion.
He expressed astonishment at how Germany profits significantly from coffee without growing a fraction of the crop. Germany alone accumulates over $6.5 billion annually from the coffee trade, surpassing the entire continent of Africa.
During the press conference in Uganda yesterday, one of the attendees was Ethiopian President Sahle Work-Zawde, who holds a pivotal position due to Ethiopia’s status as a major coffee producer globally and in Africa.
When approached for comments, President Sahle Work-Zawde emphasised that European nations should contribute to the value of every product they source from Africa, not limited to coffee but spanning all types of goods.