Uganda: Museveni promises more support for coffee investor Tugume

President Museveni has supported value addition in coffee production and export and promised more support for Inspire Africa Group.

The President, who was on a project evaluation visit to Rweshamaire in Ntungamo district where Uganda’s first modern coffee facility is being built, warned “naysayers” who continue to fight against investment in the coffee value chain.

The project, owned by coffee businessman Nelson Tugume, recently sparked a controversial debate in the coffee sector over financing, but Museveni has maintained it.

The factory is expected to enter full production until December 2024.

Uganda aims to export 20 million bags of coffee by 2030, anticipating raising about $5 billion on top of the current $1 billion from green bean exports.

Museveni has since shifted his mission to add value and embarked on a deliberate investment in modern coffee facilities in Ntungamo.

During his assessment visit, the President toured the factory that will produce a wide range of products from instant coffee capsules, cold brew and cosmetics.

He mocked Africans for falling asleep while non-coffee-producing countries reap huge profits from the commercial crop.

“The global market raises $450 billion, we as Africans raise $2.5 billion and Uganda only gets $1 billion; we need more,” he said.

The President praised the Inspire Africa Group and promised continued government support for the success of the project.

“The detractors don’t know who they are playing with,” he warned, “we are going to invest so that they don’t miss another season. Now they should be buying coffee.”

The Nungamo coffee project has not been without controversy, with many questioning the responsibility of local investor Tugume for taxpayers’ money.

“Your Excellency, I am not a thief,” said Tugume, “this is where the project has come.”