The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo says the country is ready to welcome other cocoa-producing countries in the sub-region to the Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative.
Even though the initial agreement centres on the two largest cocoa-producing countries in Africa, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, the secretariat says it is looking forward to include other Africa countries in cocoa production.
Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire on Thursday signed an agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Côte d’Ivoire –Ghana Cocoa Initiative, which makes Ghana the host of the secretariat, with the sole responsibility of providing a permanent place for the smooth running of the organization.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Accra on Thursday, Mr. Boahen Aidoo said its doors are open to receive other cocoa-producing African Countries to the agreement.
“A number of countries are knocking on the doors of the initiative to join. A day is therefore coming when the secretariat in Accra will serve not only Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, but all cocoa-producing countries in the West African Sub-region and beyond. The decision to bring the secretariat to Accra has gained more weight and leverage with the physical presence of the secretariat of the African Continental Free trade Area (AfCFTA) already in Accra,” he said.
One Monumental achievement of the Côte d’Ivoire – Ghana Cocoa Initiative is the Living Income Differential (LID) which seeks to improve the earning of cocoa farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Though the LID is due to come into effect in October, the new initiative marks a formal step towards closer ties and is aimed at promoting its cocoa industries internationally.
On her part, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway said the secretariat marks a higher level of corporation between the 2 leaders in cocoa production.
“Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire have, over the years, cooperated in several paths towards ensuring economic development in our respective countries, with the most prominent and recent area of cooperation being the adoption of various sustainability initiatives which guarantee decent incomes for cocoa farmers in the two West African cocoa-producing countries.”
“This joint unprecedented feat climaxed the trajectory to the achievement of the Côte d’Ivoire – Ghana Cocoa Initiative. The decision by the Steering Committee of the initiative to establish its secretariat to be headquartered in Ghana meant that some protocols have to be agreed upon between the Government of Ghana on one side and the Côte d’Ivoire – Ghana Cocoa Initiative on the other side,” she said.