ACCRA TO HOST CHOCOLATE LOVERS AT MAIDEN PAN-AFRICAN COCOA EXPO Featured

By ISABELLA AGYAKWA September 20, 2019 1030 1 comment

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) will host the maiden edition of the African Cocoa and Chocolate Expo (ACCE) from October 4-6 2019 at the Accra Tourist Information Centre.

Hundreds of cocoa and chocolate lovers from Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, the Netherlands, the UK and the US will be among visitors expected to participate in the three-day event.

Organisers expect to assemble and showcase innovations and achievements by entrepreneurs and change-makers in the cocoa value chain from across Africa.

Displays of cocoa products and demonstrations of the uses of cocoa, panel discussions on cocoa innovation in Ghana and the role of cocoa in skincare and cosmetics, tasting and sampling sessions and a seminar on the medicinal and nutritional benefits of cocoa are among a broad range of activities lined up for the event.

Investment openings

The chief executive officer of GEPA, Afua Asabea Asare, said the aim of the event is to create opportunities for investment and technological advancement throughout the cocoa value chain.

It will also bring together industry leaders and the general public for knowledge-sharing, networking, celebration and fun.

“The vision is for this event, which opens in the week of National Cocoa Day (October 1), to become Africa’s premier cocoa and chocolate gathering by embracing all players in the cocoa value chain, right from the hard-working farmer to the highly valued consumer, and shedding light on innovation and growth opportunities on an annual basis,” she said.

She expressed the hope that the event will achieve more local and international mileage for entrepreneurship using Ghana’s cocoa, such that the agenda of value addition and its accompanying brand positioning on the international market become entrenched.

Paradigm shift

Nana Aduna II, a spokesman for the charitable organisation which instigated the expo, said the event is a not-for-profit initiative which aims to create exposure for the multiple uses and benefits of cocoa, Ghana’s leading agro-export commodity.

Nana Aduna, a cocoa farmer and director of the KYC Foundation who is also Akyeamehene of Akuapem, observed that globally, consumption events around cocoa have focused largely on chocolate, and they are invariably hosted in Europe or North America.

Recent action on the global market by Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the world’s two leading cocoa producers, has turned the spotlight on the need for a paradigm shift in how we support cocoa farmers and organise the cocoa trade, he said.

“The ACCE intends to capitalise on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to extend and expand the use and consumption of cocoa.

“Cocoa is a commodity with no peer in Africa in terms of value and sheer volumes produced. The crop has many uses besides making chocolate,” he added.

Free of charge

The ACCE will be an important element of GEPA’s 50th-anniversary celebrations, which have been running since the start of the year.

The event will be free of charge and open to all chocolate and cocoa product lovers, students and enthusiasts of cocoa, entrepreneurs, investors and the general public.

Jack Steijn, co-founder of Chocoa, the world’s largest cocoa and chocolate festival, who is also the director of the Equipoise consultancy for sustainable cocoa, is one of the high-profile guests expected to attend the expo on Sunday.

Also on the programme is the launch of the Cocoa Ecotourism Initiative by the Ghana Tourism Authority. The initiative is expected to drive tourists’ interest in Ghana’s world-acclaimed premium cocoa.

Solidaridad West Africa, Ohene Cocoa and the Cocoapreneurship Institute of Ghana are among sponsors of the event.

* For more details and registration, visit: www.accexpo.com.

Sampling cocoa on a visit to a farm in the Eastern Region 

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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 September 2019 11:44

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