Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire plan to maintain a coordinated effort to ensure compliance with the dictates of the Living Income Differential (LID), the CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has said.
The two countries in 2018 set up the Ghana-Côte d’Ivoire Cocoa Initiative to promote the cause of farmers in the cocoa sector and remain competitive globally.
Among the key achievements of the initiative is the LID, which is a surcharge of US$400 per tonne added to the price paid by buyers to improve the earnings of cocoa farmers in the two countries.
Speaking at the signing of the Headquarters Agreement in Accra for the Ghana-Côte d’Ivoire Cocoa Initiative, Mr. Aidoo said in accordance with the fundamental elements of the charter of the initiative, Ghana must provide a permanent office for the smooth running of the organisation.
This secretariat in Accra will serve not only Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire but all cocoa producing countries in the West African sub-region and beyond.
“The decision to bring the secretariat here in Accra has gained more weight and leverage with the physical presence of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) already in Accra,” the CEO said.
Ghana’s Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has been elected chairman of the Steering Committee of the Initiative, while Alex Pierre-Arnaud Assanvo has taken up the leadership of the secretariat as the first Executive Secretary.
Dr. Akoto’s chairmanship will span the remainder of the current cocoa season which ends in September 2021 and continue until the end of the next cocoa season in 2022.
The Steering Committee is the highest decision-making body of the initiative.
At the same progamme, Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, said the Initiative was the idea of both presidents Nana Akufo-Addo and Alhassane Quattara, who have influenced the roadmap and strategy for its realisation.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said the move will enable the two counties harmonise efforts as leaders in global cocoa supply.
The initiative will improve coordination and research, child labour and price setting, and marked a step towards effective cooperation, she added.