CÔTE D’IVOIRE — Over the past decade, authorities in Côte d’Ivoire have increasingly focused on the coffee business, actively working to enhance local production conditions and foster regional collaboration.

On November 23, Côte d’Ivoire’s Council of Ministers approved a law that paved the way for the ratification of the agreement related to the establishment of the Inter-African Coffee Organization (ICAO).

This significant development replaces the previous agreement from 1960, with the new agreement specifically designed to address emerging challenges in the coffee sector.

The agreement focuses on issues such as coffee quality and the sustainability of the coffee economy in the countries party to the agreement, as emphasized in the press release.

Upon its adoption, Côte d’Ivoire stands to benefit from fresh opportunities for collaboration and sub-regional integration within the coffee industry.

This includes the establishment of new entities like the African Coffee Development Fund and the Private Sector Advisory Council.

These additions could potentially empower the Ivorian coffee sector with greater influence in the African market.

As the continent’s third-largest coffee producer, following Ethiopia and Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire delivered 1.2 million bags of 60 kg each in the 2022/2023 season, according to USDA data.

Furthermore, it holds the position of the second-largest producer of the robusta variety on the continent.

In the ongoing 2023/2024 campaign that commenced on October 1, the price of a kilogram of coffee has been fixed at 900 CFA francs, marking an increase from the previous year’s 750 CFA francs.

The Inter-African Coffee Organisation (IACO) stands as a federation comprising 25 African coffee-producing countries.

Established in 1960 in Antananarivo, Madagascar, it originated from the proposals put forth during the Inter-African Conference of Coffee Producers in September 1959 in Brussels, Belgium.

 The formation of IACO was prompted by the challenges faced by its coffee-producing members, encompassing issues related to production, processing, consumption, and marketing.

The overarching goal was to ensure the seamless disposal of production and maintain optimal selling prices.

In a significant development for IACO, the year 2023 witnessed the organization hosting the 2nd G25 African Coffee Summit in Uganda.

This event built upon the foundations laid by the Nairobi Declaration of the inaugural G25 African Coffee Summit whose primary objective was to position coffee as a strategic agricultural commodity within the AU Agenda 2063.

During the Summit, various agreements were reached to bolster the coffee sector.

These included a commitment to support coffee production and research, enhance transparency and traceability of origins, encourage youth employment, empower women, allocate more land for coffee production, motivate farmers, and fund coffee research.

The Summit also underscored the need to address value addition and domestic consumption by opening up domestic markets, disseminating knowledge about the health advantages of coffee, and investing in value-added infrastructure.

Furthermore, there was a collective resolve to offer technical assistance to farmers, reducing the impact of costly coffee diseases and pests.

The journey of IACO from its inception in 1960 to the impactful decisions made at the G25 African Coffee Summit in 2023 highlights a continuous commitment to overcoming challenges, fostering sustainable practices, and promoting the growth of the coffee industry in Africa.