Information on ApiExpo Africa 2016, Kigali - Rwanda
 
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  We are here: News- Bee Buzz | ApiTrade Africa prepares beekeepers across Africa for global honey trade

Between 21st and 25th September 2016, Rwanda hosted the 5th edition of ApiExpo Africa, the largest honey trade business event in Africa. The event is a brand of ApiTrade Africa, an organization which promotes trade in African bee products globally. This year’s event was organised under the theme “Driving socio-economic transformation in Africa: the role of commercial beekeeping”, was organised side by side with the General Assembly of African Apiculture Platform (AAP), a platform which brings together beekeepers and policy makers from all the 54 Member States of the African Union.

This Expo also went down in history as the first ever graced by the next hosts of Apimondia Congress. In a show of solidarity, Apimondia Congress 2017 hosts, Turkey, chose to participate at the event to mobilise African beekeepers for Apimondia Congress Istanbul, in September 2017. We look forward to strengthen Africa’s position within Apimondia through the office of the Commissioner of Africa, currently held by Mr. Mulufird Ashagrie of Ethiopia.

ApiExpo Africa 2016 attracted hundreds of exhibitors of different bee products and beekeeping technologies. There were also several concurrent events which included conferences, business meetings, training workshops, beekeepers football match, Umuganda Community service and technical tours taking place at and around Kigali, the host City.

While opening the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources of Rwanda, Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, reiterated the commitment of the Government of Rwanda to continue supporting commercial beekeeping in the rural areas as a way of helping the farmers earn more income from bee products. On his part, the Chairman of ApiTrade Africa, Mr. Harun Baiya, highlighted the major areas of work which ApiTrade Africa will focus on over the next few years. These include the following:

Improving the image of commercial beekeeping in Africa by working with honey processors and exporters to improve their quality and visibility in the target markets

Improving the capacity of intermediary organizations to start business events and trade fairs in their respective countries so as to popularize honey consumption and utilization of bee products within their own borders. We shall help them plan and manage these forums

Improving the capacity of our members to competitively sell honey, beeswax and other bee products in the domestic, regional and export markets

Strengthening partnerships with organizations whose work positively reinforces the vision of promoting apiculture in Africa

The greater vision of ApiTrade Africa revolves around the following themes:

  1. Africa having a common united voice on beekeeping as an industry which supports food security, environmental protection and wealth creation agenda of the continent

  2. Africa having a strong reputation to host international business forums and command international trade in apiculture. This is possible. What we have demonstrated in Rwanda here is evident. Why then can’t we bid to host Apimondia Congress events here in Africa? The last time Africa hosted Apimondia Congress was in 2003 in Durban, South Africa! The facilities are now everywhere else in Africa. The spirit and resolve is strong. And ApiTrade Africa is willing to promote this bid if we are united behind it

  3. National Governments in all the 54 AU Member States committing a considerable budget towards not only agriculture, but also apiculture. A strong apiculture sector is a good recipe for agricultural development through pollination services

  4. Hundreds of Small and Medium Enterprises, working with thousands of small-holder beekeepers across the continent, to take the uniquely produced natural and organic bee products from Africa to the world. The markets exist locally, regionally and outside the continent. As a private sector body, we are ready to work with them

  5. We also see the regional economic communities and all the policy structures working together to move the apiculture agenda of Africa, in the same manner we have seen it happen in the coffee sector, tea sector, dairy sector, grain sector as well as other developed agricultural value chains

At the closing of the event, there was a general consensus about the future collaboration to boost the impact of ApiExpo Africa, and the work of ApiTrade Africa generally, across the continent. The key decisions which were taken include the following:

At the closing of the event, there was a general consensus about the future collaboration to boost the impact of ApiExpo Africa, and the work of ApiTrade Africa generally, across the continent. The key decisions which were taken include the following:

  1. Greater collaboration and synergy between government and private sector-led initiatives at the regional and continental level: drawing on the different mandates of African Union institutions and private sector led initiatives such as ApiTrade Africa

  2. African Apiculture Platform (AAP) endorsed ApiExpo Africa as the premium investment and trade promotion event for the continent and therefore AAP will work with ApiTrade to ensure relevant and engaging expos in future

  3. AU-IBAR to provide support to ApiTrade Africa as a continental private sector initiative to promote trade and investment and in particular to enhance private sector involvement in promoting intra-African trade in bee products, within the precincts of the on-going Bee Health Project

  4. The host of the 6th edition of ApiExpo Africa is Nigeria. Nigeria provides a very unique opportunity to mobilise beekeepers, honey businesses and policy makers in the West African region. It will be the first West African country to host such events. There is also a general sense that the apiculture sector is emerging at just the right time in Nigeria as an alternative source of revenue for the government in the wake of the collapse of the oil prices; oil being the major foreign exchange earner for the country

We are aware that there are so many challenges which still impede the growth of the honeybee industry in Africa today, and that no single entity can claim to know how to fix them at any one time. We, therefore, liken our work to that of a progressive social movement, whose mission can only be accomplished over time. It is a journey we are on. We shall continue to lobby like-minded partners to support commercilization of beekeeping in whatever way they can. Where need be, we shall petition political decision makers in the continent. For some, it is about providing conducive policy environments to the private sector, while for others, it will be providing financial incentives to enable the private sector do commercial transactions, gain skills and technologies. We therefore pledge to widen our partnership with many organisations and countries so as to achieve those aspirations discussed in Kigali.

Bosco Okello
CEO, APITRADE AFRICA

 


 
   
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