Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire have signed the headquarters agreement for the establishment of the Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative Secretariat in Accra.
The agreement is in line with the fundamental elements of the initiative charter. These stipulate, among other things, that Ghana will provide a permanent place or office for the smooth running of the organisation.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the chief executive officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said: “The grain of mustard seed that was planted in March 2018 by the two countries has grown and is now assuming shape and prominence on the international scene.”
He said the secretariat will provide much-needed, co-ordinated momentum to ensure compliance with the dictates of the Living Income Differential, a monumental achievement by the initiative, which seeks to improve earnings of cocoa farmers in both countries.
Keep the vision alive
The agreement will also support sustainable cocoa production, research into the cultivation and processing of cocoa and the marketing of cocoa grown in both countries.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the agreement brings to a climax years of deepened bilateral cooperation to harmonise the interests of the world’s top two producer nations.
“We shall achieve the ultimate vision of securing a decent income for cocoa farmers in our countries through a commitment to implement pragmatic policies under this agreement,” he said.
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, concurred. She said that the agreement will grant Ghana the accord necessary for the smooth running of the organisation, giving diplomatic privileges to the secretariat and its staff.
“By this charter, the Republic of Ghana guarantees absolute diplomatic privileges, support and protection to the operations of the secretariat of the Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative,” she said.
Both countries have settled on Alex Arnaud Assanvo, the director of corporate affairs for Europe and Africa at Mars Inc, as the first-ever executive secretary of the Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative.