The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has launched an African Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Programme under its Creative Africa Nexus Initiative (CANEX) at the third Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023) in Cairo, Egypt.

CANEX African Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Programme featured nine African and Caribbean celebrity chefs in master classes, live cooking demonstrations, and expert conversations.

The programme’s inaugural session featured a live demonstration titled “Jollof Wars” to showcase the distinctive flavours and cultural diversity of Jollof rice from Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, said the introduction of the programme is aimed at refocusing efforts on local food production for food security, cost reduction, and minimizing external shocks.

The programme promotes African cuisine, enhances local food value chain, and supports local restauranteurs and entrepreneurs in skill development and capacity building.

It also aims to enhance finance access, facilitate sector infrastructure development, boost local food value chains, and boost employment opportunities.

The launch featured a live demonstration and conversation with Afreximbank President and the International Trade Centre Executive Director, Dr. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, highlighting the African food journey’s global influence.

The programme, which was developed by African Food Changemakers, featured chefs from Yolk Brands, Cameroon, Trinidad Culinary Limited, and Nigeria, including Davisha Burrowes, Christian Abegan, Natasha de Bourg, and Chef Stone.

Prof. Oramah said the programme is aimed at creating an ecosystem from farm to table, addressing food sustainability, GMOs, local farming, franchising, and African cuisine.

Afreximbank launched the African Gastronomy Development Framework to finance food service market infrastructure, support local production, and train African chefs, technologists, nutritionists, and food safety specialists.

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