By Elizabeth Kabibi
The African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) in partnership with Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) are set to launch the first ever Uganda Coffee Tourism Week.
This will be held from the 10-16 February 2018 alongside the 16th African Fine Coffees Conference and Exhibition at the Kampala Serena Hotel from February 14 to 16, 2018.
The conference under the theme My Country My Coffee is expected to host tourists from coffee producing and consuming countries from Africa and outside such as Brazil, USA and China.
“This partnership with AFCA, UCDA and UTB is strategic because of its contribution to the economy. Conference participants will have the opportunity to visit other tourist attractions around Uganda before, during and after the event which will benefit the tourism industry,” said Mr. Stephen Asiimwe, UTB Executive Director,
Asiimwe added that coffee to Ugandans is not just a drink but a symbol of culture, heritage and history as it was used in the blood brotherhood practice known as omukago. In this practice, two people who wanted to establish a friendship would split two coffee berries. They would then sit down and make small cuttings on their stomachs below the navel to get some blood.
Each person would smear the coffee bean with their blood and afterwards put the blood-soaked bean into their right hand and give it to the other person to swallow. Asiimwe said this will be discussed at the conference.
“We strongly believe that tourism can promote Uganda Coffee, and that the reverse is true. Today's tourists like interactive tourist products like; harvesting coffee in a farm, pruning coffee trees, and hulling coffee which we believe can lure local and foreign tourists,” said the UCDA Director Corporate Services, Mr. Andrew Lajul Kilama.
The Chairman of AFCA, Hajji Ishak Lukenge also addressed the press and called upon the public to drink as much Uganda coffee as they can. He encouraged all to attend the conference to get sensitized on the importance of drinking coffee to an individual.