chocolate economy

Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana unite on cocoa trade, creating ‘Chocpec’

By The Africa Report

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Posted on April 16, 2021 09:53

A man cuts a cocoa pod from a tree on a plantation in Toumodi, Côte d’Ivoire. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

Rare is the international business conference that can claim to have midwifed a new geopolitical strategy.

But that is what happened when Côte d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Dramane Ouattara met Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama at the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan in March 2016.

Asked how their countries could cooperate more closely, using their production of 70% of the world’s cocoa as a bargaining point with the multinational chocolate companies, the two presidents smiled knowingly. “That is exactly what we’re doing,” said President Ouattara.

“We are presenting a united front on the commodity markets. And we’re going to call it Chocpec,” added President Mahama to a mixture of applause and laughter. Veterans of the commodity markets were sceptical from the start.

A fruit and nut case

Few market analysts gave these two African states much of a chance in taking on some of the world’s biggest commodity traders servicing the global chocolate industry, which is worth $100bn in the United

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