Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire sign deal to establish cocoa initiative secretariat in Accra

Ghana and Ivory Coast have signed the Headquarters Agreement for the establishment of the Cote D’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative Secretariat in Accra.

The agreement is in line with the fundamental elements of the Charter of the Initiative, which amongst other things stipulates that Ghana provides a permanent place or office for the smooth running of the organisation.

“The grain of mustard seed that was planted in March 2018 by the two countries has grown and is now assuming shape and prominence at the international scene,” Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive Officer Ghana Cocoa Board, said at the signing ceremony.

He said the establishment of the secretariat would provide the much-needed coordinated effort to ensure compliance with the dictates of the Living Income Differential, a monumental achievement of the initiative, which seeks to improve the earnings of cocoa farmers in the two countries.

The agreement would also support sustainable cocoa production, research, and marketing of cocoa from both countries.

Minister for Agriculture, Dr Akoto Owusu Afriyie, said the agreement climaxed years of deepened bilateral cooperation to harmonise the interests of the two cocoa-producing 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 stated.

Speaking at the event, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey stated that the agreement will grant Ghana the needed accord for the operation of the organization when it comes to some diplomatic privileges for 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 Cote d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa initiative,” she revealed.

Both countries have settled on the Director of Corporate Affairs for Europe and Africa at Mars Inc, Alex Arnaud Assanavo as the first-ever Executive Secretary of the Cote d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative.