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May 24, 2024

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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has launched Gastronomy and Culinary Arts under its Creative Connections (CANEX) program.

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The CANEX African Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Program was launched during the recent 3rd Africa Trade Fair (IATF2023) in Cairo and is the latest vertical of the CANEX program. Nine celebrity chefs from Africa and the Caribbean participated in the inaugural session of the program, engaging in master classes, live cooking demonstrations and conversations with culinary experts.

The program’s inaugural session concluded with a live demonstration called Jollof Wars, which highlighted the unique flavors and cultural diversity of Jollof rice from Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal.

A statement said the African Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Programme was launched to refocus the continent’s efforts on local food production to ensure food security, reduce the high cost of food and imports, and minimize the impact of external shocks on Africa’s food supply chain.

Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), highlighted the potential of the program to promote African cuisine and develop trade and local food value chains. He said the program will promote local foods, highlight their superior health benefits, and support local restaurateurs and entrepreneurs to enhance the dining experience through skills development and capacity building.

The African Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Program will also improve access to finance and support the development of industry infrastructure such as restaurants, franchises and packaged product manufacturing plants. This will facilitate the growth of local food value chains and create jobs.

Olama, President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Dr. Pamela Kirk Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), launched the program with a live presentation and dialogue. Together, they traced the evolution of African cuisine and its impact on food culture in the Caribbean, the Americas and globally.

The African Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Program was developed by Food Changers Africa, and participating chefs include Davisha Burrowes, Development Chef at Yolk Brands Barbados, Christian Abegan, CEO of Abegan & Co Cameroon, Natasha de Bourg, President of Trinidad Culinary Ltd. and Chef Stone of Red Dish Chronicles, Nigeria.

Prof. Olama said the program will create an enabling ecosystem from farm to table, addressing issues of food sustainability, GMOs, local agriculture, franchising and the art of African cuisine.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has launched the African Gastronomic Development Framework (AGDF) 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 training and capacity development of African chefs, sous-chefs, food technicians, dietitians, and food safety experts, among others.

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