The trusted advisor and counselor to many of the world’s most influential businesses and institutions McKinsey & Company is set to step its foot in East Africa, in a mission to enlighten Uganda on how to increase its coffee industry.
Uganda government contracted the global management consulting firm, to assist in maneuvering through the path of how to improve increase the production of coffee cum its exports by 2020.
McKinsey was brought onboard to work on an initiative called the “Coffee 2020 Lab,” which started on 13 March and will run to 7 April 2017.
The initiative is meant to “articulate realistic but ambitious goals for our coffee sector, identify roadblocks that have prevented us from growing faster up to now, and develop a tangible action plan that takes into account lessons from the identified roadblocks.”
The details of the roadmap, as well as McKinsey’s role, are outlined in a letter to coffee sector stakeholders signed by Ezra Suruma, the head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and Nicolas Denis, a partner at McKinsey.
“From 27-31 March 2017, we will conduct a ‘Rapid Delivery Lab,’ an innovative process where about 20 participants with various expertise in the coffee value chain will identify and prioritise issues, and design a tangible action plan to overcome these issues,” the letter says.
Mr Denis “advises government bodies on sustainable economic development, agriculture, and food security, especially in developing and emerging countries,” according to his profile on McKinsey’s website. His Linkedin profile says he is the “core leader of McKinsey’s Food & Agriculture practice, the global leader of the McKinsey Center for Agriculture Transformation and Food Security and the leader of ACRE, McKinsey’s advanced analytics solution in agriculture.”
Uganda aims to increase coffee production to 20 million 60-kilogram bags by 2020 from the current 3.32 million bags (exported in the previous coffee year). The target is in line with the president’s ambition to move the country to middle-income status by 2020, which will be achieved in part by the increased production and export of coffee, tea, and citrus fruits.
To achieve that objective, the government intends to plant 300 million coffee seedlings each year between 2016/17-2018/19. The initiative is spearheaded by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, while the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, Operation Wealth Creation, and local governments are partners.
Coffee is Uganda’s most valuable export and contributed 17.76% to the total value of exports in 2015.