It’s been 15 years since the inception of Ghana’s Chocolate Day celebrations, and yesterday at an auspicious commemoratory event, the man, the Lake Jake Obestebi-Lamptey, who initiated it during his time as Tourism Minister was celebrated.
The National Chocolate Day is celebrated to change the widely held perception of the promotion of immoral conducts among the youth most especially on Valentine’s Day, to the promotion and consumption of made in Ghana chocolate, with the main objective of boosting domestic tourism, promoting the consumption of Made in Ghana chocolate and Cocoa based products. Also, it aims at creating awareness for Ghanaians to appreciate the health benefits of Chocolate, and to promote Ghana as the preferred chocolate destination.
At the event yesterday, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo admonished Ghanaians to cultivate the habit of consuming chocolate and cocoa-based products as it gives value to the country’s biggest cash crop.
He urged all and sundry to be ambassadors of cocoa promotion especially when Ghana’s cocoa is the most premium in the world.
“Ghana is the centre of the entire world when it comes to cocoa so let’s promote it and we can only do that when we ourselves are taking cocoa. Thanks to Jake, now every 14th February, he’s made it possible for us to remember that we have a very important product called cocoa so we must take chocolate.”
He added that cocoa has remarkable health benefits that make its daily consumption salient. “For our own health, if you are taking it, it enhances your longevity; the point is that at one point, all your body cells will reach a critical stage and they will die, but then you can slow that process by having food which is rich in antioxidants and cocoa provides that.”
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Barbara Oteng-Gyasi said the theme of this year’s celebration – “My Chocolate Experience, My Holistic Wellbeing” – is apt as it speaks to the chocolate experience in its entirety.
She added that “the Chocolate Day celebration has increased local patronage of our chocolate and cocoa-based products, have offered employment opportunities to numerous artisanal chocolatiers, cocoa-based products processing entrepreneurs amongst others.”
“The National Chocolate Day is in its 15th year; we celebrate the gains so far and look forward to increase awareness of the positive effects of the consumption of chocolate and also minimize social vices associated with the celebration of Valentine’s Day,” the Minister stressed.
Numerous activities ran simultaneously alongside the main celebration all across the country. Winners of a nationwide Cocoa Arts and Digital Campaign Competitions were awarded yesterday at the Alisa Swiss Spirit Hotel in Accra where the event took place.
Patrons included, public officials, students, traditional authorities and partners of the event comprising, the Cocoa Processing Company, COCOBOD, and others.
Wife of the Late Jake Obestebi-Lamptey received a citation as tribute to his vision of promoting tourism through the creation of the National Chocolate Day.