GHANA – Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are working together to address the unfavorable global cocoa pricing regime to reduce the vulnerability of both nations to the volatility of the markets, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana has said.

He described as “manifest injustice” the situation where, for the 2015 crop season, both countries earned for their output, which accounted for 65 per cent of the worlds cocoa production, only 5.75 million dollars at a time when the global market was worth some 100 billion dollars.

“This means that our farmers, through whose toil and sweat the cocoa industry was founded, earned 5.75 per cent of the global value chain of the industry… this is manifest injustice. It cannot and should not continue.

“We will not continue to be victims or pawns of the global cocoa industry that is dependent on the work of our farmers,” he President Akufo-Addo said.

The highlight of the evening’s event was the conferment of the highest State Award of Companion of the Star of Ghana, Honorary Division, on in recognition of his “exceptional leadership and incomparable commitment towards deepening the close friendship and cooperation between Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana”.

During a meeting in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo and Ivory Coast’s President Ouattara announced their commitment to provide leadership for technical and political cooperation that would effectively address the international cocoa price decline in the short-to-medium term in the two countries.

They said that they were formulating policies towards achieving a shared vision of an industrialised and prosperous cocoa economy to reduce the vulnerability to the volatility of the market and help deliver prosperity to cocoa farmers.

“If we work together and harmonise our policies, we can protect our farmers and guarantee a better life for them,” said President Akufo-Addo, reiterating the high priority Ghana placed on her relationship with its neighbour Ivory Coast.

“We are amongst the biggest economies in West Africa, we are bonded by common history, by common ethnic ties, by common culture and by common geography… these ties impose on us the necessity to work together and to live as good neighbours with each one being the others keeper,” he added.

He called for stronger collaboration between Ghana and the Ivory Coast to ensure the full engagement of their other sister countries in the process of West African integration to make the bloc a strong regional economic player.