World Tobacco Africa Conference kicks off today in Harare

Staff Reporter

The World Tobacco Africa Conference commences today in Harare, with global sellers, buyers, and stakeholders gathering for the inaugural event.

The organisers believe this conference will be a pivotal platform for transforming Zimbabwe's local tobacco industry.

Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) chairperson, Patrick Devenish told the media yesterday that over 500 local and international delegates are expected to attend the event.

"We expect local input suppliers, equipment providers, and tobacco growers to engage with global stakeholders. Our aim is to transform the industry, striving to create a US$5 billion sector by 2025. Local growers will have the opportunity to meet off-takers and enhance value addition for the golden leaf," Devenish stated.

Collin Case, one of the organisers, highlighted Zimbabwe's status as an ideal venue for the conference.

"This is the first time Africa is hosting this event, and Zimbabwe's tobacco is renowned worldwide for its exceptional quality. We anticipate robust engagements and interactions with buyers, sellers, and industry stakeholders to create market opportunities and harness international tobacco linkages," Case said.

The conference comes at a crucial time for Zimbabwe's tobacco industry, which is a significant contributor to the country's economy.

The event is expected to attract a wide range of participants, including farmers, exporters, investors, and policymakers. The focus will be on exploring new markets, improving production techniques, and increasing the value of Zimbabwean tobacco on the global stage.

Speakers and panellists at the conference are expected to address various topics, including sustainable farming practices, advancements in tobacco processing technology, and strategies for market expansion.

The event will also provide a platform for local farmers to learn from international experts and network with potential business partners.

In addition to business discussions, the conference is expected to feature exhibitions showcasing the latest innovations in tobacco farming and processing.

Agriculture expert Modern Muvhuti said that the World Tobacco Africa Conference is not just a significant event for Zimbabwe but for the entire continent.

“It represents a step forward in promoting Africa's agricultural potential and connecting local industries with global markets. As the conference unfolds, all eyes will be on Harare, anticipating to see how this gathering will shape the future of tobacco production and trade in Africa,” said Muvhuti.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries, and Rural Development, Dr. Anxious Masuka, is scheduled to officially open the conference tomorrow.