Afruibana, a group of fruit producers and exporters from Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana that aims to strengthen trade between Africa and EU, has been launched.
The body was officially launched in Brussels during Cameroon’s Trade Minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana’s visit to European institutions on 19 July.
The association will allow fruit producers on the continent to combine their efforts with a view to having their voices heard better in international trade.
The minister was in the Belgian capital to address the Council of Ministers’ forum of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and visit European institutions.
In Brussels, Afruibana has thus become the permanent representative of fruit producers and exporters across Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. More producers from other Africans countries are expected to join the new group.
According to a press statement, the association will take steps to support competitiveness of African fruits in EU countries. It will also serve as an interface between producers in the sector and European institutions to secure financing and support for African fruit growers.
“Farming is thus one of the main sources of jobs and income for most of the rural population. For this reason, Afruibana has an essential role in reinforcing our ties with European agencies, favouring trade between Africa and Europe, promoting socioeconomic development and contributing to the fight against migration,” says Joseph Owona Kono, Chairman of Afruibana.
“A number of future European political decisions are of a strategic importance for African producers. Afruibana’s role is, therefore, to raise awareness among European decision-makers about the interest of maintaining and developing African farming not only to continue exporting quality bananas but also to develop the economy in our countries by shoring up rural employment and family-run farms,” explains Jean-Marie Kacou Gervais, vice-chairman of Afruibana.
Several important meetings will be on Afruibana’s institutional agenda in the coming months, namely the EU-Africa Summit in Abidjan at the end of November 2017, where a new road map for relations between the two continents is expected to be adopted.