The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has signed an agreement with the China General Technology (Group) Holding (Genertec) for the establishment of a cocoa processing factory in Ghana.
The factory, which will be located at Sefwi-Wiawso in the Western North Region will be operated by COCOBOD and Genertec through a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
Implementation of the plan for the construction of the cocoa processing factory will involve the China International Development Operating Agency, with funding from the China Development Bank (CDB) and the Sino-African Fund.
The project holds great potential to contribute significantly to the improvement of the Ghanaian economy, and particularly, for the local economy of the Sefwi-Wiawso area, said the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, in his address to the Chinese delegation led by the country’s Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Zhou Wang. The signing ceremony took place at the Cocoa House in Accra.
The project, Hon. Aidoo added, also has the potential to grant Ghana access to the huge Chinese market of well over a billion people. There lies a unique opportunity to reach several-million consumers of cocoa made and processed in Ghana.
“This is a project that is going to benefit both countries,” he said with some glee. “It is going to be of mutual benefit; a win-win situation. Ghana will benefit and of course, China will as well benefit.”
Hon. Aidoo said the project will also aid in COCOBOD’s drive towards increasing local consumption and more importantly, it fits into the agenda of the present government, that Ghana should increase its share of the USD$ 100 billion global cocoa industry through value addition to cocoa beans.
“It is a matter of taking a bigger part of the global value chain, worth over USD$ 100 billion annually. Once the comprehensive feasibility studies are completed, we are looking forward to the commencement of the project.”
On his part, Mr Tan Xinghui, the Vice President of Genertec said the company already has some foothold in the Ghanaian cocoa sector spanning some 15 years, however, the establishment of the cocoa processing plant commences a new model of corporation between Ghana and China.
Although, China has invested in other sectors of Ghana, they are yet looking for other opportunities where the two countries can cooperate for mutual profit and a deepening of relations.
“We regard Ghana as the regional hub”, Mr Tan Xinghui added. “We believe that our portfolio in Ghana is not yet enough, so, basically we are looking forward to expanding our investment here in Ghana and that is why we are here today.”
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of COCOBOD, Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyeman, was grateful for the co-operation and was hopeful that the project will commence in due time to achieve the objective of expanding the consumption of cocoa in the country.
He was positive that the mutual relationship between the two countries will be further strengthened.