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Friday, February 10, 2012

The Eastern African Fine Coffees Association (EAFCA) will hold the 9th edition of the African Fine Coffee Conference and Exhibition in Ethiopia next week.
The  event will be held in Addis Ababa from February 16 to 18.
Organisers said it will provide delegates an opportunity to experience Ethiopia's vast coffee varieties and those from other coffee producing countries.
The event is expected to play a significant role in building a positive image for Ethiopia, as well as promoting knowledge transfer and creating market connections, according to Abdullah Bagersh, EAFCA's general manager for the Ethiopian chapter.
The conference aims to raise issues of sustainable production systems, climate change, market outlook, growing potential of Robusta and to learn from the Ethiopian experience amongst others. "The exhibition will also serve as a significant platform for highlighting the best coffees in Ethiopia," Bagersh said.
"It is also expected that the event will create opportunities for buyers and sellers to create trade relations"
An estimated 1 000 participants comprising of coffee suppliers and traders among others from all over the world are expected to take part. The conference and exhibition will be held under the theme: "Ethiopia: The Legendary Land of Coffee. Where it all begun."
Ethiopia, which claims to be the birth place of coffee, is one of the largest exporters on the world market. And around 15 million people depend on coffee production in the Horn of Africa country with a population of more than 80 million people.
But although Ethiopia's estimated 9.8 million bags per year puts it among the leading coffee producers in the world, the third largest coffee producer after Brazil and Vietnam, most of the product is consumed locally.
The Horn of Africa country has a long coffee drinking tradition. Some believe the art of coffee making began there.
Ethiopians drink coffee twice or three times in a day and it plays a vital role in social gatherings.
EAFCA was founded in July 2000.
It is a regional non-profit and non-political association representing coffee stakeholders from 11 member countries namely Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda.