From 15 – 17 February, Shared Interest will be join in Africa’s largest coffee trade event. The African Fine Coffees Conference & Exhibition takes place over three days at Kigali Convention Centre, Rwanda. Organised by AFCA (African Fine Coffees Association), the event is held on rotation each year in one of its 11 member countries.
Shared Interest Lending Officer for East Africa Kennedy Mwasi and Customer Representative for East Africa Josephine Mwasaru are looking forward to attending alongside over 2,000 regional and international coffee roasters, traders and producers.
Josephine said: "I am excited to attend the AFCA conference this year, which is the first physical event since the pandemic. The real value of the conference for us is the opportunity to engage directly with producers, exporters, and individuals throughout the supply chain, who we do not often get to meet face-to-face. We are also looking forward to joining in broader discussions, which help us understand the coffee industry in general regionally and internationally. This is critical in understanding the challenges and successes experienced by producers in the sector."
It is the third time that Rwanda has hosted the conference. The coffee-export sector plays a key role in country’s economy and employs 400,000 smallholder farm families, with the average size of a coffee farm being less than a hectare (around 2.5 acres) containing 200 trees.
Coffee in Rwanda
About 97% of Rwanda's coffee plants are the Arabica varietal, Bourbon, as the country has the ideal conditions due to the rich volcanic soil, rainfall patterns, and moderate temperature. The local growing season typically begins in either September or October and continues until harvesting takes place between March and July. Within those months, the harvesting tends to peak from May onwards.