Great Lakes

Rwanda - RDC - Burundi

Africa's Great Lakes region is known for its quality Arabica and Robusta coffee. That is why buyers have criss-crossed the Great Lakes region for more than a century in search of the cherries that make such excellent coffee.

The Trade for Development Centre (TDC) has committed itself to supporting 5 of these cooperatives, in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC, to contribute to making the Great Lakes coffee a lever for development for small marginalised producers in the region.

 

The Great Lakes of Africa are a series of lakes in and around the Great Rift Valley. They include Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake in the world in terms of surface area, and Lake Tanganyika, the world's second largest in volume as well as the second deepest. Despite their beauty, the Great Lakes also rank as one of the world's most endangered water systems.

The term "Great Lakes" in the African context is a rather loose one. Unlike their North American counterparts, the three largest lakes have a host of middle-sized and small lakes nearby, though the small ones would be considered very substantial in many countries of the world. There is no accepted size criterion for "Great Lake."

Contrary to early European explorers' assumptions that one lake was the source of the Nile River, it is now accepted that glaciers in the Ruwezori Mountains and more than one lake and river feed the Nile's waters. Burundi claims to be the site of the springs that flow into the Kagera River, the largest of the several rivers that feed into Lake Victoria before the water exits the lake at Ripon Falls as the Victoria Nile. But a smaller system of rivers drains the Virungas and Ruwenzori mountains and the land between them and empties into Lake Albert, where the water joins with the Victoria Nile and then flows north as the White Nile.

The large rift lakes of Africa are the ancient home of great biodiversity; 10 percent of the world's fish species are found there. Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika, and Malawi hold a quarter of the planet's freshwater supply.

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