The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gen Abubakhar Jeje Odongo, has reiterated Uganda’s commitment to increase coffee exports to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The minister made the remarks while presiding over the official opening ceremony of the first Uganda-Saudi Arabia expo themed “The Uganda Coffee industry perspective: farming, processing and exports” which aims at increasing the volume of exported coffee and coffee products from Uganda to Saudi-Arabia.
The one day Hybrid 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).
Gen Odongo further highlighted that Uganda’s coffee export to Saudi Arabia is US$419,000 and noted that this figure needs to improve because Saudi Arabia is the fastest growing Coffee market in the Middle East.
According to the minister, President Museveni directed the UCDA to accelerate the coffee production from 3.5M 60kg to 20M by 2025. The Minister noted that the Saudi Arabia market is projected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.2 percent during 2021-2027 which will present an opportunity for business men and women from both countries.
Uganda’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mr Isaac Ssebulime Biruma noted that this was the first time businessmen from Saudi Arabia and Uganda had convened to chat ways of increasing trade between the two Countries.
The ambassador further noted that it is because of the capable leadership of both countries that discussions to promote business and other matters of socio-economic transformation are being held.
Inspire Africa Coffee chief executive officer, Mr Nelson Tugume, who represented the private sector lauded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for opening up Uganda’s missions to the private sector in a way of promoting Commercial Diplomacy.
The event which attracted over 500 participants was concluded with a coffee tasting and cupping of freshly brewed Ugandan coffee organised by UCDA.