Report and Decisions of 55th AGA

Document No. 266/15/E
Date: 16 December 2015

LUANDA, 26 November 2015
The 2015 Annual Meetings of the Inter-African Coffee Organization, including the 11th General Assembly and the Coffee Scientific Workshop of the African Coffee Research Network, the 3rd African Coffee Symposium and the 55th Annual General Assembly, were held from 23rd to 27th November 2015, in the Auditorium and meeting rooms of the Talatona Convention Hotel in Luanda, Republic of Angola, under the Chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Afonso Pedro Canga, Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Angola.
The following Member States were present: Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, DR Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda.
Several personalities of the Republic of Angola and representatives of the following International Institutions also participated as observers: ACRAM, African Fine Coffee Association (AFCA), AFRICAN UNION (AU), Café Africa, and the International Coffee Organization (ICO).
In his welcome address to the Symposium, the Governor of Luanda, Mr. Graciano Domingos thanked IACO for choosing Angola for its 2015 General Assembly which coincided with the country’s 40th Independence Anniversary.
The opening session was chaired by H.E. Mr. Afonso Pedro Canga, Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Angola, Chairman of IACO.
After the IACO Chairman’s Welcome Remarks during this session, speeches were delivered by: Mr. Enselme Gouthon, Chairman of ACRAM; Mr. Kambale Kisumba Kamungele (DRC); a private sector representative (board member of both AFCA and ACRAM); H.E. Mr. Roberio Silva, Executive Director of ICO; H.E. Mr. Frederick Kawuma, Secretary General of IACO, and H.E. Mrs Rhoda Tumusiime, the AU Commissioner for Agriculture. The Keynote address was given by Mr. Septime Martin, Resident Representative of the African Development Bank in Angola, representing the President of the Bank.
I/ The ACRN General Assembly
The 11th Biennial General Assembly of the African Coffee Research Network (ACRN) conducted three major events: (a) the ACRN Coordinating Committee Meeting, (b) the 11th General Assembly, and (c) the Workshop.
The Committee adopted the Agenda and the report of the 10th General Assembly. Three presentations were made as follows:
1. Analysis of ACRN Activity Report for the period November 2013 to September 2015;
2. Analysis of the ACRN Draft Work Program and Budget for 2015/2017;
3. Financial Report.
After discussing the different items presented, the following recommendations and suggestions were made:
1 Review of the Coordinator’s Work Plan taking into account the issues raised by the Delegates:
 Dissemination of Project Results should be undertaken for the benefit of Member States;
 Achieved Project Results must be implemented for the development of Member States;
 The Network should operate effectively by addressing the research concerns in Member States;
 Facilitation of access to credit for producers.
2 The Network needs to be strengthened, in terms of enhancing its capacity, in order to carry out its mandate and provide value to Member States.
II/ The Workshop
In order to address the issues raised during the previous ACRN meetings, a workshop was held on Dissemination of Regional Projects Results for the 3rd time. To that end, a booklet was published by the ACRN Coordinator and circulated to Member States so that the information could be shared within the Organization.
The Workshop created a good opportunity for integrating knowledge and experience, exchanging scientific and technical information, and building relationships among African Coffee professionals. It was also designed to serve as a means to disseminate to the end users, the results of recently completed regional coffee development projects and the latest research findings available in various National Coffee Institutions in Africa. This was specifically useful to effectively exploit the gained experience and technologies generated from development projects and scientific research activities.
The 3rd Session of the African Coffee Symposium was organized this year under the theme: Focusing on Gender and Youth in Africa’s Coffee Industry.
The presenters and panelists included high level personalities from Africa and elsewhere.
The following topics were dealt with:
1: Low Productivity in Africa’s Coffee Industry;
2: Necessity of Women and Youth’s involvement in Africa’s Coffee Industry;
3: Perspective of Global Trade;
4: How to bring back Youth to Coffee Farming;
5: The Coffee Roasters and dynamics of relationship with Africa: Challenges & Opportunities;
6: Roles of the Public and Private Sectors in Climate Change adaptation;
7: Vision 2020 and the Role of Coffee Platforms in Africa
8: Africa’s Sustainable Coffee Partnership;
9: Review of Best Practices
Following the presentations and the discussions of the above subjects, tentative solutions and observations were made as follows:
 Given the low productivity in African coffee and growing food needs in the next 20 years, the challenge of this productivity needs to be addressed by all means;
 There is a need to involve Women and Youth in coffee industry as a way of addressing productivity challenge;
 Given the projected Impact & Implications of the Global Market Outlook on Coffee Industry in Africa, concrete actions focusing on Women and Youth should be taken by involving them in coffee farming;
 Bringing young people back to Coffee Farming would need great support from all the actors operating in coffee business including the policy makers, governments, and private sector among others;
 Coffee roasters and the dynamics of relationship with Africa could be an opportunity to sort out some of the problems encountered by the industry;
 The roles of both private and public sectors are crucial in climate change adaptation;
 A sustainable African coffee industry will widely depend on the proposed African Coffee Facility to be hosted in the African Development Bank (ADB);
 Coffee Best Practices should be reinforced by supporting the farmers in providing them the appropriate trainings, inputs and access to credit.
I- First Session
The first session of the 55th Annual General Assembly of IACO was chaired by H.E. Mr. Afonso Pedro Canga, Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Angola and Chairman of IACO. During the Session, the agenda of the General Assembly was adopted.
The Report and Decisions of the 54th Annual General Assembly was presented by the Secretary General. This Report was adopted after discussing certain matters arising from it.
The Chairperson closed the first session of the Annual General Assembly to allow the Technical Committees to meet.
II- Second Session
a) Finance Committee
In the absence of Mr. Aly Touré, Chairman of the Committee, the meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Désiré Bosson Assamoi, the Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire in Angola.
The Committee adopted the Agenda as presented, after asking for clarifications about Item 8 dealing with the retirement of the DRD.
The Committee Members discussed in detail all the items featured on the Agenda.
Below is the summary of the decisions taken:
1. The Secretariat was advised to continue to develop cooperation with partners and search for new links for example with China, Brazil and others in order to reinforce the existing relationships.
2. To address the challenge of arrears, the Committee proposed that Member States should come forward with strategic payment proposal to cover the outstanding amounts owed. Since it was agreed that the Organization is still relevant to the Member States, given the importance of coffee in Africa’s economy, the issue of contributions by the Member States has to be resolved by mobilizing and sensitizing the Member States. The Chairman encouraged the members not to lose heart, because the issue of overdue contributions is a challenge even at the African Union itself.
3. The Committee was informed that the Government of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire has offered the Organization a piece of land of 6,000 Square meters to build its new headquarters, a financier has been identified, and IACO has requested for a guarantee from the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire to support the construction that will cost 31 Billion CFA or 48 Million Euros.
4. The Committee reviewed and accepted the Financial Feasibility Study for the construction of the new Headquarters, which was noted as a good idea for the sustainability of the Organization.
5. The Auditor’s Report was received, discussed and adopted, subject to the amendment of the Financial Report. The Finance Manager and the Auditor were to liaise with the Ugandan delegates for improvement of the presentation.
6. The Committee received, discussed and adopted the Draft Budget for the 2015/2016 Coffee Season amounting to 753,913 Euros.
7. A Working Group (D.R. of Congo, Uganda and the Finance Manager) was set up to address the issue of outgoing DRD’s claim for back payment of allowances not received for the education of his children between 2008 and 2013.
b) Production Committee
Chaired by Dr. Francis Oppong (Head of Ghana delegation), the following recommendations were made to emphasize Coffee production in order to satisfy the Global Coffee market:
- The Secretariat was asked to facilitate the sharing of experiences of important coffee producing countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda through workshops that should be institutionalized;
- Joint efforts to fight coffee diseases must be coordinated by the Secretariat;
- Efforts should be encouraged to intensify the dissemination of completed project results;
- Impact studies should be conducted for the development of other projects;
- Countries should show willingness and commitment to exchange genetic materials as shown in the example of Gabon and Cameroon regarding Gourmet Robusta Coffee.
c) Promotion and Sales Coordinating Committee
Chaired by Mr. Anselme Gouthon, the following decisions were taken:
- There is a need to improve Production, Productivity and Quality to support the farmers;
- Market partnerships are needed for the African coffee industry;
- Domestic consumption should be promoted.
d) Consultative Group
This Committee was chaired by Mr. Jean Jacques Engo (delegate of Gabon). During this Technical Committee, the following decisions were taken after discussions:
- The Morandum of Understanding between IACO and the Cafeology International Institute should be developed with the help of a legal expert before its adoption;
- Noted the significance of the Vision 2020 and the partnerships that are required to address the challenges faced by the coffee value chain. IACO can play a critical role in mobilizing Member States to take the necessary measures to promote the public-private-partnerships that will ensure the success of all efforts in addressing the industry’s constraints.
- IACO should continue its efforts to satisfy the interests of Member States;
- Member States were invited to participate massively in the World Coffee Conference to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2016.
Board of Directors
The Board meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Afonso Pedro Canga, Chairman of IACO. The agenda was adopted as presented:
- The Progress Report on the Strategic Plan of IACO was presented, highlighting the links with AfDB, and the technical assistance from AfDB was now confirmed, with the work expected to commence in early 2016. The report was adopted and the Secretariat was instructed to continue with the process and report accordingly;
- The Reports on the BoD Meetings in 2014/2015 were also noted and approved after discussion;
- The Board heard all the Oral Reports made by the Chairmen of each of the Technical Committees:
 Finance Committee,
 Production Committee,
 Promotion and Sales Coordinating Committee,
 Consultative Group.
- The Architect, hired by IACO, made a presentation regarding the construction of the proposed IACO Headquarters. The Board expressed appreciation to the Secretariat and the Architect for the creativity and the effort made in developing the design. SG requested for permission from the Board to continue discussions with the Government of Cote d’Ivoire regarding the guarantee, and all the details concerned with the construction of the headquarters. The Board approved the request, and the Secretariat was encouraged to carry on with the project, and to also send letters to the Member States to brief them on the progress and seek their financial contributions in order to reduce the loan amount.
- The issue of the impending vacancy of Director of Research and Development was discussed. A report of the committee that evaluated the CVs of the applicants recommended that Dr. Wegbe of Togo be hired for the job, given that his CV showed a greater knowledge of the coffee sector. However, the Board noted that it was advisable to carry out interviews and noted that since only one candidate came to Luanda, it was not possible to interview both candidates. It was also mooted that perhaps it might have been necessary to extend the request for applications so as to get more candidates. The SG was given the authority to hire a consultant to support him in the R&D area during the interim period as the process of recruitment of a new DRD is concluded. The SG was to arrange for the interview of the applicants at the Headquarters and report to the Board in due course.
- The Audit Report for 2014/2015 was approved.
- The Work Plan and Budget of Coffee Season 2015/2016 amounting to 753,913 EUROS were approved.
The Text of the Declaration of Luanda was discussed and some modifications were made before adoption.
III- Final Session
The 55th Annual General General approved and adopted all the recommendations made by the Board of Directors. Key among these were: the approval of the Budget for 2015/16; the approval of the construction of the IACO Headquarters; and the adoption of the Luanda Declaration 2016.
The Chairman, on behalf of the Members, specifically extended his gratitude to the Government of Cote d’Ivoire for the land granted to the Organization for the construction of the Headquarters. He noted that at 55 years, IACO needed to have its own house and that this construction was long overdue and thanked the Secretary General for his vision regarding this matter.
Election of the Chairman and Vice- Chairman of IACO: The Board of Directors proposed to the Assembly the following nominations:
- Chairman of IACO: H.E. Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, Minister for Trade, of the
Republic of Cameroon;
- Vice-Chairman of IACO: Hon. Minister of Commerce of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.
The General Assembly adopted the proposals as presented.
Election of the Chairpersons and Vice Chairpersons of the Technical Committees: There were no changes regarding the respective Chairpersons of the different Technical Committees of IACO.
Vote of Thanks:
One (1) vote of thanks was read out for the Government and the People the Republic of Angola for the warm welcome of the Delegates and for the commendable efforts made for the success of the 2015 Annual General Meetings.
Date and place of the next Annual meetings:
The 2016 Annual General Meetings will be held in Cameroon, and the details were to be provided soon.
After all the items on the Agenda had been dealt with, the Chairman of IACO thanked the Delegates for their active participation in the discussions and brought the 55th IACO Annual Meetings to a close.
Issued in Luanda, on 26th November 2015.