(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroon’s trade minister, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, and the Russian ambassador to Cameroon, Anatoly Bashkin, have relaunched the project to create a coffee exchange operated by both countries. The idea is to create a platform for marketing Cameroonian coffee on the Russian market, a kind of meeting place between Cameroonian producers and Russian buyers.
The initiative has been in the pipeline for years, ever since the first Cameroon Economic Days held from October 19 to 23, 2016 in Moscow. The following year was supposed to see the start of the project, but nothing was done until it was relaunched in September 2023. Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana said a coffee market would only strengthen the trade ties between the two countries and promote Cameroon as a preferred destination for Russian investment.
Speaking after the 2nd Russia-Africa Summit in July, the Cameroonian official noted that Russia represents a modest 6-7% of the market share in Cameroon, accounting for roughly CFA96 billion in exports. However, the situation has shifted adversely for Russia following the outbreak of the Ukraine war in February 2022. In contrast, Cameroon has seen significant export improvements, with a remarkable 16-fold increase over the past two years, while imports from Russia have declined.
With its substantial population of 146 million, Russia represents a potentially significant market for Cameroon. During the 2021-2022 coffee campaign, for example, Cameroon exported a total of 11,557 tons of coffee, consisting of 10,579 tons of Robusta and 977 tons of Arabica, according to stats reported by the National Cocoa and Coffee Board (Oncc).