Cocoa sector receives a boost with the signing of “Abidjan Declaration”

Ghana has singed a new Strategic Partnership Agreement with Cote D’Ivoire, which is aimed at addressing the challenges of the cocoa sector, called the “Abidjan Declaration.”

Per the framework for the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement, the two countries, are expected to end smuggling and help set an equal pricing for the commodity both on the local and international market.

Even though Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are responsible for up to 60% of cocoa produced in the world, their budgets and economies had a hit in 2017, when the price of the commodity fell up to 20%, with cocoa farmers being the most affected.

In view of this the two countries last year pledged to come together and ensure that, they get value for money and also begin to add value to the raw materials before exporting to the international market.

It is for this reason that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and His Excellency Alassane Ouattara, President of Cote d’Ivoire, on Monday, 26th March, 2018, held a consultation devoted to the cocoa economy, and, subsequently, signed the “Abidjan Declaration.”

In a press briefing after the agreement was signed, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen stated that, “the Declaration is aimed at better defending the interests of cocoa producers, as well as the economies of both countries. To this end, President Akufo-Addo and President Alassane Ouattara have reaffirmed their commitment to define a better, common strategy and a sustainable solution for the improvement of prices for cocoa producers, in their respective countries.

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They also committed themselves to harmonising their cocoa marketing policies, and agreed to announce, every year, in a concomitant manner, and before the beginning of the campaign, the price to cocoa producers.”

“The communiqué additionally said Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have agreed to intensify collaboration, in the field of scientific research for the production of cocoa plants, the improvement of plant varieties, and also to adopt and implement a regional programme to fight against the swollen shoot disease.

We have also committed to process a major part of cocoa, and the invitation of the private sector, notably the African private sector, to invest massively in cocoa processing in Africa, was also reached,” Mr. Kyeremanten pointed out.

Finally the two heads of state, also committed to promote jointly the consumption of cocoa by the locals, regional and emerging markets, and agreed that consultation between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, on the management of their cocoa sectors, should be done on a regular basis.

Meanwhile President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo still in the Ivorian country, assured potential private sector investors that their investments will be safe if they came to Ghana.

Speaking at the 6th Africa CEO Forum, held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Nana Addo said his government is keen on building the most business-friendly economy on the continent

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He noted that over the last 14 months, the period of stay of his government in office, his administration has focused its energies on trying to build a resilient economy, and put in measures aimed at helping move Ghana to a situation beyond aid.

With some degree of success, President Akufo-Addo told the Forum that: “We have put in place, in Ghana, since I took office, a monetary policy that has stabilised our currency, and has reduced significantly inflation and the cost of borrowing.”

He told the Forum, comprising African CEOs, bankers and investors that Ghana wants to participate in the global market place “not on the basis of the exports of raw materials, but on the basis of things we make. We want to bring greater dignity to the lives of millions of people in Ghana. We want to build a Ghana Beyond Aid.”

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