Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has launched the 2021 National Chocolate Week to celebrate and promote the consumption of chocolate in Ghana.
The event, which is from the 8th to the 14th of February, is packed with activities to encourage the consumption of chocolate confectionery, beverages, and chocolate-infused dishes. It is under the theme: Eat Chocolate; Stay Healthy; Grow Ghana.
Launching the celebration at the Marriott Hotel in Accra on behalf of Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Minister of Information Designate, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah acknowledged the special role that cocoa and chocolate plays in the lives of Ghanaians and its impact on national development.
“Every Ghanaian, in one way or the other, derives benefit from cocoa. From foreign exchange earning to employment, food and beverages, cosmetics to the provision of social and infrastructural amenities, the cocoa business is one that can best be described as an essential and robust one with several untapped opportunities.”
He stated that among all the activities within the cocoa value chain, one aspect that requires attention is local consumption. “I have been told that Ghana’s current per capita consumption hovers around 0.52kg whereas elsewhere on the globe, and mainly among non-cocoa producing countries, per capita consumption ranges between 3-11kg.”
“Fortunately for us,” Hon. Oppong Nkrumah added, “the popularity of chocolate and cocoa products is growing in the country. Ghanaians are beginning to understand and appreciate the health benefits of cocoa and its related products, resulting in increased demand for high-quality good flavoured cocoa products in various forms.”
The Minister of Information Designate pledged the support of the government for entrepreneurs and investors interested in cocoa processing and value-addition. He also encouraged everyone to “Eat chocolates to stay healthy and grow the Ghanaian economy”.
Also, speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo said the National Chocolate Week is part of a bigger drive by the cocoa regulator to promote local processing of cocoa to boost cocoa consumption among Ghanaians.
He said, COCOBOD is poised to strengthen its incentive packages to help local processors and artisanal chocolate makers expand their businesses. The incentives will ensure that the processors are able to access more beans and produce more chocolates and other cocoa products for the consuming public.
It will also be crucial in ensuring that 50% of cocoa produced annually is processed locally to support the high demand and taste for cocoa products in Ghana and beyond.
Hon Boahen Aidoo further thanked cocoa farmers for their invaluable role in the world’s cocoa value chain.
“We have great support from our cocoa farmers and other stakeholders within the cocoa value chain and I would like to seize this opportunity to commend our illustrious farmers in particular for their efforts at producing the best quality cocoa for the confectionery market the world over.”
Two chocolate songs by sensation Ghanaian music artists, Amarado and Kofi Kinaata were also launched at the event.
The National Chocolate Week is being organised through the collaborative effort of COCOBOD, the Ghana Tourism Authority, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, cocoa processing companies and other stakeholders in the cocoa industry.