Nana Aduna II, the chief executive officer of Mi-Cocoa, owner of the Ohene Cocoa brand and farm ventures, believes that Ghana can leverage the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to refine and export cocoa products to more African countries.
Speaking to Prince Moses on Business PM on Tuesday, Nana Aduna reflected on how Ghana stands to rake in more revenue by exporting refined cocoa rather than raw produce.
“One of the big advantages we have [is that] rather than sending the product to Europe for them to redistribute to other parts of the world, we have the opportunity to sell to ourselves right on the continent,” he said.
He added: “We were not doing enough with our raw cocoa that we have and the true, real money is actually in the processing and the value addition, not in the raw beans.”
Justification for value addition
The Ohene Cocoa CEO expressed optimism that Ghana can increase the value it gets from the raw beans if there is enough commitment to work towards processing most of the raw cocoa that Ghana currently exports and if it directs the trade towards AfCFTA.
“Just imagine: we are producing 100% of this stuff. Somebody takes it from us and puts just a little of it into something, and then marks it up by so much. So how come we won’t complain that we get only 5% of the total value?
“Just go to any restaurant or hotel and go and ask for a cup of hot chocolate. You will not get it less than GHCS10 or GHC15. So, just look at the mark-up on a sachet that contains less than 5% of cocoa to the mark-up price of GHC20 for a cup of hot chocolate,” he said.
Huge continental market
On 17 August last year, President Akufo-Addo commissioned and handed over a fully furnished African Continental Free Trade Area secretariat headquarters to the chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the AfCFTA secretary general, Wamkele Mene, in Accra.
The Commission will administer the free trade agreement, which has created a single market of 55 members with a combined population of over 1.2 billion and a total gross domestic product of roughly US$2.5 trillion.
All 54 sovereign nation states of Africa have signed the agreement and 30, including Ghana, have ratified the deal.
Stay tuned to Asaase Radio throughout the month of February as we bring you reports, documentaries and insightful interviews on personalities and developments in the cocoa sector as part of our month-long celebration of chocolate: the Cocoa Affair.