This Forum takes place every three years in conjunction with the EU-Africa Union Summit, bringing together African and EU business leaders and political decision-makers to discuss how to improve the investment climate and increase economic partnership opportunities between the two continents.
The IWA reports that over 670,000 cases (over eight million bottles) of Irish whiskey were sold across the African continent in 2020 with initial reports suggesting strong growth again in 2021, particularly in Nigeria which has become one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for Irish whiskey.
The IWA used the opportunity of the Forum to call for a reduction in high tariffs on EU spirits across the African market, particularly in those markets where the EU has put in place economic partnership agreements which have delivered widespread tariff reductions for other EU goods.
At present, Irish whiskeys face a 20% tariff in Nigeria and 25% tariffs in each of Zambia, Kenya and Uganda.
“We’re calling on the European Commission to seek tariff reductions for EU spirits exports, led by Irish whiskey, to more African markets which the EU has economic partnership agreements with,’ stated IWA Director William Lavelle, “Reduction of tariffs will help grow Irish whiskey exports and support more jobs and more purchasing of Irish barley. It will also reduce costs for African consumers and tackle illicit trade which is costing African governments substantially in terms of lost taxes and excise.”
The workshop was moderated by Denis O’Flynn of Clonakilty Distillery and Chairman of the IWA Category Education Committee.
Other speakers included:
- Tendai O’Connor, Marketing Activation Manager – Africa, Pernod Ricard/Jameson
- Gareth Douglas, Regional Director – Africa, William Grant & Sons/Tullamore DEW
- Ese Okpomo, West Africa Regional Manager, Bord Bia
- Ronan Mullen, Deputy Head of Mission, Irish Embassy in Nigeria.