UNECA chief lauds success in exporting Ethiopian coffee to China

 (Xinhua) — Recent successes achieved in exporting Ethiopian coffee to China will provide a roadmap in leveraging export potential of other African countries, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has said.

“Success recorded in exporting Ethiopian coffee to China will provide a roadmap in leveraging export potential for other ten African countries, where ECA is working this year, to provide more export potential from Africa to China,” an ECA statement sent to Xinhua quoted Vera Songwe, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive of the ECA, as saying.

“We are delighted to work with the government of Ethiopia on this real opportunity, to see how this partnership will continue to improve the livelihoods of citizens in Ethiopia, by offering an interoperable platform for trade,” Songwe said.

According to the UNECA, more than 11,200 bags of Ethiopian coffee were sold within seconds last week during the Ethiopian Coffee Brands Launch on China’s largest e-commerce platform, Alibaba (Tmall Global), in a joint effort with the ECA and the Ethiopian government.

“This launch demonstrates the benefits that, not only Ethiopia, but Africa can reap in harnessing digitalization,” an ECA statement quoted Gebremeskel Chala, Ethiopia’s Minister of Trade and Regional Integration.

“ECA has joined efforts with Alibaba Group, and the government of Ethiopia to bring more quality African products to one of the largest markets in the world today, the Chinese online market,” it said.

Through this partnership, the electronic World Trading Platform (eWTP) has successfully on-boarded three Ethiopian coffee brands that are Wild, Arada, and Hedero.

The ECA, Ant Group from Alibaba Group, and the Ethiopian government exclusively featured freshly roasted authentic coffee produced by small and medium-sized Ethiopian businesses at a livestream event to promote the launch of new Ethiopian coffee products on Tmall Global.

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According to the ECA, using AntChain’s track and trace technology, all coffee on display was airlifted from Ethiopia; thus, guaranteeing a safe and transparent journey from departure to arrival.

The primary objective of the initiative was said to leverage the infrastructure provided by the eWTP in creating an enabling environment to promote e-commerce and tourism for African entrepreneurs, whilst bringing quality African products into the Chinese market.

The ECA expects the initiative to enable other African countries to participate in and benefit from inclusive global trade.

Eric Jing, Alibaba Group Director and Executive Chairman of Ant Group, on his part commended the milestone as Ethiopian coffee penetrates the emerging Chinese coffee market.

“Through coffee, we will build a bridge fostering China-Africa economic and trade cooperation, and stimulating economic recovery,” the statement quoted Eric as saying.

Meanwhile, the launch set in motion a community project on Tmall Global, in which for each bag of coffee sold, a special donation will be made to purchase school supplies for Ethiopian primary school students.

Ethiopia’s Minister of Trade and Regional Integration stressed that “through your purchases, support, and the power of e-commerce, the cooperation will benefit coffee farmers, SMEs and students in Ethiopia.”

First proposed by Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma in 2016, the eWTP has been recognized by the G20 and launched in China, Malaysia, Belgium, Rwanda, and Ethiopia.

It also offers training and support in areas such as e-commerce, logistics, financing, cloud computing and mobile payments. (Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)

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