SLOWING: Economic growth in Uganda has slowed in the face of uncertainties, the high cost of credit, and adverse weather that's affected agriculture.
INTERNATIONAL - Uganda, Africa's biggest coffee exporter, started its first-ever coffee auction yesterday amid a push to promote the quality of its beans as it boosts production.

Small quantities of top Ugandan arabica coffee were offered in an online auction to 10 countries, including the US, Australia, Asian nations, a European country and two from Africa.

This according to Martin Maraka, programme manager at the African Fine Coffees Association, which organised the event. The three-day auction will become an annual fixture, he said. 

Arabica, which accounts for about a fifth of Uganda’s output, is typically of a higher quality than robusta and is favoured for speciality drinks such as those made by Starbucks. The country’s coffee exports have rebounded from several years of declines, and Uganda is targeting the overseas market.