LCD Case Study AFCA
Abstract. Over the past nine years, USAID East Africa’s Competitiveness and Trade Expansion Program (USAID/COMPETE) and its predecessor project the Regional Agricultural Trade Expansion Support (RATES) program have helped the African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) grow from a fledgling organization to an industry leader. USAID’s long-term engagement with this regional trade association has been a key factor in ensuring that AFCA has been able to steer a successful course to growth and has engaged and energized the private sector in the region.
Founded in July 2000, the African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) – formerly the East African Fine Coffees Association - is a regional nonprofit, member-driven association representing coffee sectors in 11 member countries, including Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. AFCA’S vision is to be the leading origin of fine coffees in the world. USAID saw that East Africa needed to move beyond the highly competitive and volatile commodity-based coffee trade and play to the region’s strengths in developing a niche market for export differentiated, value-based products. In 2003 USAID began its partnership with AFCA and over the past 9 years, through the RATES and USAID/COMPETE programs, has helped AFCA refocus its core mission to expand specialty coffee exports, with a priority on training in coffee quality and marketing.
The process of institutional development has moved through many stages: from total dependence, to co-dependence and finally to operational independence (sustainability). What follows is a summary of steps in the Local Capacity Development (LCD) process.