WEST AFRICA – Ghana and Ivory Coast have signed the Headquarters Agreement for the establishment of the Ivory Coast-Ghana Cocoa Initiative Secretariat in Accra.
The signing is the latest milestone in a unique bilateral process to further strengthen and expand the existing economic relations on cocoa and other related matters between Ghana and Ivory Coast the two largest cocoa-producing countries in the world.
Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board, Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, indicated that the establishment of the Secretariat is key to facilitate the coordination of efforts by the two countries in line with compliance to the principles and protocols governing cocoa production and trade.
The two West African nations who together produce more than 60% of the world’s cocoa, came together in mid-2020 and created the joint body to tackle the sector’s issues.
“The day is coming when the Secretariat in Accra will be serving not only Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire but all cocoa-producing countries in the West African sub-region and beyond because already, the initiative is showing promise of becoming a bigger force within the global cocoa industry following advances by other cocoa-producing countries to join,” said Aidoo.
The signing of the agreement galvanises the two countries’ resolve to secure and sustain a decent income for cocoa farmers in their respective countries through the framework of a fully implemented Living Income Differential (LID) and other joint programmes.
“The day is coming when the Secretariat in Accra will be serving not only Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire but all cocoa-producing countries in the West African sub-region and beyond.”Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board – Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo
The initiative further binds both countries to commit to a common front on the global cocoa market with respect to policy formulation, research, pricing, anti-smuggling, and sustainability initiatives in their countries to support growers of the crop.
The Minister for Food and Agriculture of Ghana, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who doubles as the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Initiative, said the two countries produce nearly two-thirds of the world’s cocoa – a good reason for them to come together for a bigger voice within the global cocoa industry.
“Together, we should be able to tell the world that the US$120 billion industry for which we are getting only US$6 billion is not fair.
“As Chairman of the Initiative, I will do everything within my power to ensure that the objective of this initiative is realised,” he said.
The Director-General of the Le Conseil Cafe Cacao, Mr. Yves Brahima Kone, also said the calibre of personnel chosen to manage the affairs of the Secretariat is an indication of the strong desire by the two producers of cocoa to protect the interest of their hardworking farmers.
Meanwhile, Mr Alex Arnaud Assanvo, who brings on board vast experience within the cocoa industry has earlier been appointed the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat.
The establishment of the Secretariat in Accra is seen as strategic, as the city also hosts the headquarters of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
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