February 23, 2022

CHOCOLATARIUM – THE BUSINESS OF CHOCOLATE

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The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) participated in the “Chocolatarium, the Business of Chocolate” event held at the Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel, Accra on Monday 21st February 2022. The event was organized by the Ghana Tourism Authority as part of the National Chocolate Week celebration and was under the theme “The Business of Chocolate”. GEPA was one of the key partners of the programme together with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and the Ghana Enterprises Agency, among others. The event provided a platform for key players in the cocoa, chocolate, and the hospitality sectors to interact amongst themselves and to learn more about the value chain. Image preview

In his opening remarks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr. Akwasi Agyeman stated that as part of this year’s National Chocolate Week, there was a need to provide a platform for players in the cocoa and chocolate sector to meet and discuss ways to keep up the momentum to sustain interest in the consumption and funding of these products to aid producers to produce more.

Mr. Yofi Grant, the CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) giving the keynote address emphasized the need for local industries to look for more investment opportunities in the sector. He urged participants to optimize and maximize the benefits of cocoa and chocolate and to look for ways to attract further investments into the cocoa value chain. He told participants that more money is earned at the end of the cocoa value chain compared to export of cocoa beans. He gave statistics to back his arguments and urged Ghana to do all it can to process it’s premium cocoa domestically.

Image previewThe Special Guest of Honour was the Deputy Minister of Finance, Hon. John Ampontuah Kumah. In his address, Hon. John Kumah expressed his delight that the National Chocolate Week Celebration aas now looking at the business of chocolate and how we can work together to create value for all the players along the cocoa value chain, thus the appropriateness of the theme of the event”. He congratulated the GTA, and the partnering agencies made this event a reality. He also enumerated the several interventions Government is undertaking to improve livelihoods, including the Ghana Cares Obama page project.

Reading the solidarity message on behalf of the CEO, Mrs. Agnes Gifty Adjei-Sam, Director of Marketing and Promotions outlined several projects and activities that GEPA was undertaking to assist exporters to take advantage of the AfCFTA markets. He informed participants that Government has launched the National Export Development Strategy as the blueprint to enable the Non-traditional Export sector achieve a total earnings of USD25.3 billion by the year 2029. He observed that Cocoa derivatives, including cocoa confectionery are the leading priority products under the Strategy.

She thanked the GTA for organizing this event which will provide an opportunity for members in the cocoa and chocolate value chain to interact with each other and to harness ideas on how to promote and showcase the sector.Image preview

There were two panel discussions on the topics: Cycle of the Cocoa/Chocolate business and the Marketing and Funding for Cocoa/Chocolate Business. Mr. Alexander Dadzawa, Director Projects, GEPA, in a response to a question asked during the second panel discussion informed participants that Ghanaian chocolate is the most preferred locally and internationally due to the  high cocoa content used in its manufacture. He pledged GEPA’s readiness to support export-ready SMEs to the market through its market entry and facilitation programmes. He cited the examples of the facilitation of exporters, including chocolatiers to participate in the locally organized African Cocoa and Chocolate Expo (ACCE) and the Salon Du Chocolat fair in France.

Mrs. Philomena Norman, Director, Women Entrepreneurship Development, Ghana Enterprise Agency and Nana Aduna II, CEO of Ohene Cocoa and the Know Your Cocoa Foundation shared their views on why it was important to invest in the cocoa value chain and the opportunities therein.

Partner agencies and collaborators of GTA in the organization of the Chocolatarium event included the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, the Ghana Cocoa Board, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Ghana Enterprise Agency, Ghana Export Import Bank and the Cocoa Value Addition Artisans Association of Ghana (COVAAGH).

 

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