African ambassadors embraced vigorous coffee sales pitch in China
February 25- 2022
Coffee Geography Magazine
Ethiopian and Rwandan ambassadors in Beijing are engaged separately selling coffee from their respective countries to boost the export trade in the highly lucrative market. Last week, Rwandan ambassador to China, James Kimonyo, rode a bike to deliver Rwandan coffee to a customer who had ordered it from the online retailer JD.com. He is using Tik Tok to be connected to the coffee subscribers. He has been in Beijing for the last three years and says this is the new way to conduct diplomacy focusing on trade.
Ambassador James Kimonyo of Rwanda in Beijing
The other resourceful diplomat is Ethiopian ambassador to China, Teshome Toga, involved in a livestream with top Chinese influencer Li Jiaqi, on e-commerce retailer Alibaba’s e-shopping platform Tmall to launch and sell a brand of Ethiopian coffee in the country. He managed the sale of 11,000 bags of the Arada Coffee brand, in 500 g packets just in five seconds. China is Africa’s largest trading partner, with goods worth $254 billion traded between the two last year, according to China’s customs agency. But China’s exports outweigh its imports from Africa. Last year, Africa exported goods worth $106 billion to China and imported goods worth $148 billion from the Asian country.
Ambassador Teshome Toga of Ethiopia in Beijing
This trade deficit is likely to reduce, with China looking to import more goods from Africa, particularly agricultural products. Toga’s and Kimonyo’s initiative is seen as positive start by trade analysts in Africa which paves the way to penetrate the far-east market. Using the e-commerce platforms available in China, such introduction could facilitate the trade for newcomers to get the piece of the market share. China’s TikTok economy is about $5.4 trillion where the biggest internet user in the world is located and has the largest number of online shoppers where the two ambassadors have noticed the untapped opportunity for their products.