We passionately believe that Trade is the only viable strategy for Africa's economic and social development.
Africa has received over US$ 500 billion in Aid over the last 50 years and yet despite these huge inflows, the continent remains mired in poverty, disease, and systemic corruption.
There are many problems in using Aid as a vehicle for development. This is because handouts have never been an effective way to achieve economic transformation. There are several reasons for this:
If we take coffee as an example, this is the second most traded commodity after oil. Out of the total global coffee business valued at approximately US$144bn per year (2008), all coffee growing countries receive only US $15bn for their green unprocessed beans. The rest of the US129bn remains in the importing (developed) countries that add value to the coffee that they themselves have not grown.
As an example, 1 lb of green coffee will earn a Ugandan coffee farmer approximately US$ 1, whilst roasters in developed countries will be able to sell the same coffee for approximately $8. This means that we are losing US$7 per Ib of added value, simply because we are not roasting and packing our own coffees. Africa has been gifting this level of value to the developed world for decades.
Good African is proud to be the very first African owned Company to break this mold by setting up our own roasting and packing factory and selling direct to supermarkets in developed countries.
More from this author:
January 19, 2013 - Coffee entrepreneur Andrew Rugasira on empowering women farmers in Uganda
April 18, 2012 - Don't Help me, Trust me Your African Coffee Producer
April 6, 2012 - Can Coffee Kick-Start an Economy?
November 11, 2011 - Selling Ugandan coffee on US shelves: A story of persistence and constant lessons
November 9, 2011 - Selling Ugandan coffee on US shelves: A story of persistence and constant lessons
October 29, 2011 - Good African Coffee: From Kasese hills to American malls
October 29, 2011 - Andrew Rugasira Rebuilding Uganda One Farmer At A Time
October 22, 2011 - Andrew Rugasira:Rebuilding Uganda One Farmer At A Time
December 13, 2010 - When it comes to dealing with austerity, Africa wrote the textbook