Rising demand paves the way for expansion of Africa’s sugar industry

A new policy report produced by the Oxford Business Group (OBG), in partnership with the International Sugar Organization (ISO), explores the growth potential of the African sugar industry due to an anticipated increase in the regional demand. The report was presented to ISO members during the MECAS meeting at the 58th session of the Organization’s Council on June 17, 2021.

Entitled ‘Sugar in Africa’, the report highlights opportunities for investors to contribute to the development of the industry by helping to fill infrastructure gaps in segments such as agriculture and refining and port facilities.

The focus report is now available for consultation and download at:

The report examines the benefits that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could offer by supporting equitable intra-African sugar trade efforts and bringing regulatory frameworks together under one roof, which will be key to improving competitiveness.

Another topical issue under consideration is the increased international focus on ESG standards. Here, the report presents the initiatives already underway in Africa, supported by investments focused on ecology and sustainability at their core, which will help to instill confidence in new investors keen to adhere to ESG principles in their decision-making.

Additionally, subscribers will find coverage of the impact Covid-19 has had on the industry, with detailed analysis provided of the decline in sugar production and prices around the world, as restrictions on movement and social distancing measures have taken their toll on operations.

The report sheds light on sugar production in key markets on the continent, noting regional differences in production and assessing the roles of each country as net exporters and importers.

It also includes an interview with José Orive, Executive Director of the International Sugar Organization, in which he describes the peculiarities of the African sugar industry, while sharing his thoughts on what needs to be done to promote continental trade and the sustainable development.

“The region is well advanced in terms of sugar production overall, but several challenges still hamper its full potential,” he said. “It is not enough to produce sugar; producers need to be able to effectively pass it on to buyers. When all AfCFTA-related negotiations are completed, we expect greater investment across the continent and a clearer regulatory framework. “

Karine Loehman, OBG’s Managing Director for Africa, said that while the challenges facing African sugar producers should not be underestimated, the new report produced with ISO has highlighted an industry ready to go. grow thanks to the expected increase in consumption across the continent and higher production levels in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Regional sugar demand is expected to increase in the coming years, driven by Africa’s population growth and drawing a line from the declines triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said. “With per capita sugar consumption in sub-Saharan Africa currently standing at about half the world average, the opportunities to help meet growing national needs by increasing production are considerable. “

The African Sugar Industry Study is part of a series of bespoke reports OBG is currently producing with its partners, along with other highly relevant research tools, including a range of articles and interviews. on the growth and recovery prospects specific to each country.

Rachel J. Bradford