April 15, 2024

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Afreximbank launches African Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Program

2 min read

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has launched the African Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Program under its Creative Africa Connections (CANEX) program. Launched during the 3rd Africa Trade Fair (IATF2023) in Cairo, the program is the latest addition to the Creative Africa Connections (CANEX) program and features nine renowned chefs from Africa and the Caribbean participating in masterclasses, live cooking demonstrations and discussions with culinary experts.

The first part of the program concluded with a live demonstration called “Jollof Wars,” showcasing the unique flavor and cultural diversity of Jollof rice, which is popular in Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal.

Professor Benedict Olama, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), said the launch of the program will help the continent refocus on local food production, ensure food security, reduce high food costs and imports, and minimize the impact of external shocks on Africa’s food supply chain.

Afreximbank launches African Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Program

Olama described the program as an opportunity to promote African cuisine, boost trade and local food value chains, highlight the health benefits of local food, support local restaurateurs and entrepreneurs, and enhance the dining experience through skills development and capacity building.

The program will also improve access to finance and support the development of industry infrastructure such as restaurants, franchises and packaged goods manufacturing plants, ultimately boosting the local food value chain and increasing employment opportunities.

The launch featured a live demonstration and conversation with Dr. Pamela Kirk Hamilton, President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), tracing Africa’s culinary journey and its impact on food culture in the Caribbean, the Americas and globally.

The program was developed by African Food Changers (AFC) and participating chefs included Davisha Burrowes, Development Chef, Yolk Brands, Barbados; Christian Abegan, Chief Executive Officer, Abegan & Co, Cameroon; Natasha de Bourg, President, Trinidad Culinary Trinidad Culinary Ltd president Natasha de Bourg; and Chef Stone of Red Dish Chronicles in Nigeria.

Olama emphasized that the program will create an enabling ecosystem from farm to table and address issues of food sustainability, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), local agriculture, franchising and the art of African cuisine.

The African Gastronomic Development Framework was launched by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to finance the development and expansion of food and beverage market infrastructure, support the production of locally packaged and other value-added products, and promote African chefs and sous chefs, food technicians, Nutritionists and food safety experts.

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