A first-of-its kind event dubbed, ‘Chocolatarium’ has been held to end the second edition of Ghana’s National Chocolate Week celebration.
Chocolatarium was held with the primary objective of harnessing Ghana’s cocoa production capacity to maximize business opportunities in the chocolate industry.
Organized by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), the event which is also under the umbrella of the Ghana CARES Obaatanpa Programme, seeks to promote and support local businesses in the cocoa value chain amidst COVID-19 challenges and beyond.
The event which was held at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra yesterday, brought together players in the cocoa, chocolate, and tourism value chain.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman in his welcome address said, edition of this event noted that this summit seeks to bring together stakeholders within the chocolate value chain to discuss ideas on value creation, and funding for artisanal chocolate manufacturers.
“After a successful celebration of the 2nd edition of the National Chocolate Week, GTA is introducing the Chocolatarium Business Summit to highlight ways in which we can reap the economic benefits of chocolates while promoting its consumption.
We will also explore ways to boost chocolate consumption in the hospitality sector. This summit promises to be edifying and insightful,” he said.
In his remarks, he acknowledged the support of the Government of Ghana under the Ghana CARES Obaatanpa Programme. “GTA is appreciative of the support government is rolling out to ensure that businesses in the cocoa and chocolate sector are empowered to positively contribute to the economic transformation of the country, he said.
Guest Speaker and CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Yoofi Grant said Chocolatarium provides an opportunity window to build a sustainable chocolate manufacturing industry in Ghana which is highly competitive and able to secure a larger share of the revenue accrued on the global market.
“To strategically expand the chocolate manufacturing industry in Ghana, the relevance of investments cannot be undermined. It comes with a collection of tangible and intangible assets which is considerably notable for sustaining businesses and economies,” he said.
A Deputy Minister of Finance and Special Guest, John Kumah stated that government has placed emphasis on modernizing our production system and be proactive and innovative in linking all the players in the value chain.
He emphasized that is an opportunity for the Ministry to reiterate its commitment to presenting policies and programmes that will boost local businesses and help the Ghanaian youth take advantage of business opportunities, in this case in the cocoa and chocolate sector.
“Any attempt to increase and boost local consumption cannot be done without the involvement of the tourism and hospitality sector. I am therefore delighted that the Ghana Tourism Authority, the regulator of the sector and the related ministry have taken this proactive step of bringing the entire value chain together,’’ the Deputy Minister added.
There was exhibition of chocolate and other cocoa-based products companies in addition to panel discussions on topics such as, ‘Cycle of the Cocoa and Chocolate Business and Marketing and Funding for Cocoa and Chocolate Business.
Chocolatarium was in partnership with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), GIPC, Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), Ghana Exports Promotion Authority (GEPA), EXIM Bank and Cocoa Value Addition Artisans Association of Ghana (COVAAGH).
By: Samuel Obeng Appah