With the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) ready to commence, hundreds of cocoa and chocolate lovers from Netherlands, United Kingdom, United Sates as well as fellows from the West African sub-region are expected to participate in the maiden edition of the African Cocoa & Chocolate Expo (ACCE) which begins today and will end on Sunday October 6th in Accra.
The expo presents an opportunity for business to business engagements in the cocoa and chocolate sectors which would in turn assist the business community in Ghana itself to leverage on such opportunities presented.
Instructively, the AfCFTA has the potential to increase demand on the continent not only for made in Ghana chocolates, but all its cocoa products, and for this reason, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) – being the leading partner in the event in collaboration with Know Your Cocoa Foundation have initiated steps aimed at developing and harnessing opportunities in the industry.
The main objective of the event is to create opportunities for investments and technological advancement throughout the cocoa value chain, while at the same time bringing together industry leaders and the public for knowledge sharing, networking among others geared towards developing the sector.
Importantly, what business entities need in recent business ecosystem may not necessarily be direct injection of funds, but access to expertise, business to business networking such as the aforementioned one, effective policy guidelines and an environment that promotes the safety and growth of businesses makes it possible for businesses to thrive.
In effect, this activity being undertaken in partnership with the state agency charged with responsibility for developing and promoting the export of non-traditional products falls in line with the Authority’s development agenda in the cocoa and chocolate sectors which seek to maximise gains.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEPA, Madam Afua Asabea Asare highlighted that her hope is for the event to achieve more local and international mileage for Ghana’s cocoa value chain such that the agenda of value addition and its accompanying brand positioning on the international market becomes entrenched.
Activities lined-up include cocoa exhibition and demonstrations, panel discussions on cocoa innovations in Ghana, cocoa in skincare and cosmetics, tasting and sampling sessions and a seminar on the medicinal and nutritional benefits of cocoa.