GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, October 1, 2021 – This year, with the continuation of ‘Coffee’s Next Generation’ as the focus for the International Coffee Day 2021, we are highlighting Sucafina’s East Africa Academy. With structured training and on-the-job exposure to the industry, the Academy is designed to help students prepare for a career in coffee.

The Academy is addressing the dual pressures of high unemployment and an aging coffee-producing workforce with one innovative solution. The 1-year internship program employs promising university students in a variety of fields at Sucafina’s sister companies in East Africa. Internships expand career opportunities by helping students gain work experience and prepare them for successful careers in the coffee industry.

Department mentors work with Polly Mwangi, East Africa HR Manager, and her colleagues to develop curriculums that play to individual strengths and interests while providing a solid grounding in the workings of the company.

“We’re excited to work with young people at this early stage in their careers,” Mwangi says. “We’re focused on the kind of experience our interns have with us, and how their time with Sucafina shapes their future career successes.”

Through a series of Academy training sessions, interns will build a working knowledge of the coffee industry, including logistics, sustainability, quality assurance (QA) and more. Interns will also have the opportunity to rotate between departments and build a wider foundation of job skills.

In September 2020, Sucafina's sister companies in Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia hired a total of 13 interns to work in our IT, finance, logistics, and quality assurance departments. Over the year-long internship, Academy interns will work with mentors on a variety of projects aimed at building their industry knowledge through their hands-on involvement.

“It’s been a year since we took the 13 young graduates from different universities in East Africa and I can say the first cohort was a huge success,” Mwangi says. “As we embark on the second cohort of the academy, we are fully recognizant of the unemployment situation in East Africa and are therefore excited to support the different governments in job creation.”

The participants were offered a customized learning journey and provided with an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and stretch their capabilities while gaining real-world experience, including an entry point into the world of coffee. With a strong retention rate, we can only expect a bright future for young graduates interested in the coffee industry.