2023 Chocolate Week commences
This year’s National Chocolate Week, aimed at promoting the local consumption of made-in-Ghana chocolate and cocoa products, has been launched in Accra.
The celebration, the 18th edition, is on the theme: "Eat chocolate, stay healthy, grow Ghana".
The launch was performed by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in partnership with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), with support from stakeholders.
The celebration, which began yesterday, ends on Tuesday, February 14, 2023.
It is aimed at promoting domestic tourism, social cohesion, networking, job creation, among other objectives.
Present at the launch were the Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, John Yao Agbeko; the Deputy CEO in charge of General Services, GTA, Ben Anane Nsiah, and Anita Quarshie of the Ghana Free Zones Authority.
Others were a council member of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), Stella Appenteng; the President of the Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), Alisa Osei Asamoah; the Managing Director of FAIRAFRIC Company Ltd, Michael Mammon Halm, as well as representatives of private sector cocoa product manufacturers, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority.
As part of the celebration, there will be a health walk at Ayi Mensah on Saturday, February 11, 2023 to create awareness of the event, including the establishment of a Chocolate City at the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange in Accra on the same day.
Other activities are a family day out, visits to churches and interactions with students and pupils on the benefits of chocolate.
And on Valentine’s Day, there will be distribution of chocolate and chocolate products in all regional capitals.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey, called on stakeholders and tourism industry players in the value chain to promote the consumption of more chocolate and cocoa-based products.
"The event must continually be nurtured and promoted to attract both national and international attention and participation.
"We have managed to establish a high degree of association between tourism and cocoa-based products, one of which is chocolate, and positioned it as a veritable component of the country’s tourism experience," he said.
Mr Mantey paid glowing tribute to the late Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, a former minister of the sector, during whose tenure the celebration was instituted in 2005 to coincide with Valentine’s Day as a symbol of love to encourage chocolate consumption.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, in a speech read on his behalf by a Deputy CEO in charge of Finance and Administration, Ray Ankrah, said his outfit had engaged a Belgian chocolate company to set up an academy to train and polish the skills of chocolate makers. in the country
He also said discussions were ongoing with relevant state agencies to have taxes paid by artisanal chocolate manufacturers reduced or scrapped to reduce the cost of operation to make them more competitive.
To increase the consumption of chocolate, Mr Aidoo said, a committee had been tasked to work on market access and opportunities within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Board Chairman of COCOBOD, Peter Mac Manu, said in addition to pushing for avenues for the increased local processing of cocoa, it was also important to build a reliable market base locally for processors.
He encouraged all stakeholders to actively promote and participate in the various activities rolled out to mark the week.