From Refugee to Winegrower: Tuscan Vineyards in Africa

Francois Desiré Baziean Italian-African entrepreneur, has embarked on an ambitious venture: to produce African wines with Tuscan vines in Burkina Faso. After being a political refugee and living in Italy, Bazie decided to return to his country of origin to help his fellow countrymen and create a concrete alternative to the migration phenomenon that is impoverishing Burkina Faso.

A Tuscan Vineyard in Africa

Bazie, originally from Burkina Faso, planted the first rooted cuttings of Tuscan vines such as Sangiovese, Vermentino, Massaretta, Cabernet and Merlot in the countryside of Bagre, in the province of Boulgou. Its goal is to produce African wines with Tuscan vines, offering a concrete alternative to the migration phenomenon that is impoverishing the country.

A Sustainable Project

Bazie's project is supported by the Italian government, which has granted the use of these lands. Furthermore, Coldiretti Toscana, BF, Filiera Italia and CAI (Consorzi Agrari d'Italia) have promoted one of the projects of the Mattei Plan for Africa, which envisages the cultivation of over 40,000 hectares in Algeria, Angola, Egypt and Ghana.

A Message of Hope

Bazie explains:

I returned to my home country to help my compatriots thanks to the government who granted the use of this land. I want to teach what I learnt in Italy about farming and vines and agriculture in general. In Italy I found hospitality and good people who taught me a lot. If I am what I am today, an agricultural entrepreneur, much I owe to the people I met. Burkina Faso is a developing country, with great potential and resources, which is unfortunately losing the generation that should be building the pillars of our future. Let us create the conditions here for them to stay but also for them to return'.

A Radiant Future

Bazie adds:

"I have brought back vine shoots of vermentino, sangiovese, massaretta, cabernet and merlot from Italy. I am planting together with a group of young people participating in the project. We will build a winery and produce the first wine with Tuscan vines for the African market here. Now there is a piece of Tuscany in my homeland'.

This project is an example of how Italian companies can support internationalisation and economic growth in Africa, creating job opportunities and sustainable development.

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