Given Africa’s enormous endowment of vast uncultivated land, immense untapped water, and labour resources, such measures are expected to boost the production of labour and natural resource-intensive products. Among the commodities for which Africa seems to possess a clear comparative advantage, coffee is a principal one. Currently, 25 African countries grow coffee. For some of these countries, it is the primary source of export revenues, and on average, accounts for more than 30 percent of their total export earnings. Coffee is also a vital contributor to GDP and tax revenue for some African countries (ICO, 2015). A significant number of people also derive their livelihood from coffee production. In Ethiopia, Africa’s leading coffee producer, close to a quarter of the population derive their liveli-hood from coffee production, marketing, and export.
Illustration Photo: Silas preparing sundried natural coffee (credits: counterculturecoffee / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))