CAMERROON – In a groundbreaking development for Cameroon’s cocoa industry, experienced Cameroonian banker Josiane Salomé Tchoungui has taken the helm as the Managing Director of Atlantic Cocoa, the country’s first cocoa processing company.
With a wealth of financial expertise behind her, including a recent 5-year tenure as the Managing Director of Orabank Benin, Tchoungui’s appointment marks a significant milestone in the company’s history.
Prior to her role at Orabank Benin, she held executive positions at the Cameroonian subsidiaries of major banks, including BGFI, Ecobank, and Standard Chartered Bank.
Her extensive experience in the financial world has equipped her with the skills and knowledge necessary to take on this new leadership role.
The transition from banking to the agribusiness sector is not new to Tchoungui.
According to insiders, she has always had a passion for the agribusiness industry, making her appointment a perfect fit for Atlantic Cocoa.
Her previous role as Deputy General Manager of BGFI Cameroon also provided her with firsthand knowledge of the project, as BGFI Cameroon played a pivotal role in funding Atlantic Cocoa.
One notable aspect of Tchoungui’s appointment is her status as the first Cameroonian to lead Atlantic Cocoa, which has an impressive annual cocoa processing capacity of 48,000 tons, expandable to 64,000 tons.
The achievement symbolized a shift towards local leadership in the cocoa processing sector, which has traditionally been dominated by foreign executives. Tchoungui’s appointment is expected to bring fresh perspectives and strategies to the table.
The cocoa sector in Cameroon has long been characterized by a heavy focus on cocoa bean exports, despite the presence of industrial crushers with substantial processing capacities.
To align with the objectives of the Cocoa and Coffee Interprofessional Council (CICC) and Cameroonian authorities, Tchoungui faces the challenge of increasing the collection of raw cocoa beans and managing production costs effectively, especially in the face of rising energy costs.
Tchoungui’s leadership is seen as a crucial step towards achieving the goal of boosting local cocoa processing in Cameroon. This initiative aims to create value within the country by processing cocoa beans domestically, thereby retaining a larger share of the economic benefits within the local economy.
As Managing Director of Atlantic Cocoa, Josiane Tchoungui is set to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the Cameroonian cocoa industry.
Her experience, passion, and local knowledge are expected to drive the company towards greater success while contributing to the growth and development of Cameroon’s cocoa sector.
With Tchoungui at the helm, the future of Atlantic Cocoa seeks for promising prospects, and the possibilities for the local cocoa processing industry are brighter than ever.