More than 250 Washington area high school and middle school students and their teachers have had a unique opportunity to learn all about cocoa and its origins at a Cocoa Educational Workshop at the Embassy of Ghana in Washington, D.C.
The event, organized by the World Cocoa Foundation in partnership with the Let's Go Africa Foundation was hosted by the Embassy of Ghana.
The event included presentations on the origins of the cocoa, an overview of the industry in Ghana and a demonstration of cocoa harvesting in a Ghanaian village using real cocoa pods and beans.
The students explored the botanical source of chocolate and learnt about the anatomy of the cocoa tree, the lives of cocoa farmers in Ghana and methods of cultivation and processing of cocoa in Ghana. They also learnt about the efforts of World Cocoa Foundation partners including Africare, Winrock International, Let's Go Africa Foundation, Africa Society, AED, the Academy for Educational Development, the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African Art, Chocolate Manufacturers Association and IFESH, the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help to celebrate African culture and assist cocoa farming communities.
A Cocoa Quiz and competition was held and prizes awarded for winning students and schools.
In a speech on behalf of the Ambassador of Ghana to the US, Colonel Kwame Oppong-Kyekyeku of the Embassy recognized the efforts being made by the Government of Ghana to strengthen the cocoa industry by supporting the cocoa communities who cultivate this special crop.
“Since chocolate is a favorite treat of many around the world, it is important to understand and value the hard work of the farmers who grow cocoa and efforts of government and institutions such as the World Cocoa Foundation to raise farmer incomes, encourage responsible, sustainable cocoa farming and strengthen communities,” said Colonel Oppong-Kyekyeku.
The World Cocoa Foundation was established in 2000 and plays a leading role in strengthening the partnership between industry and cocoa farmers. With nearly 60 member companies, the Foundation supports a range of economic, social and environmental programs in cocoa communities in Africa, Asia, Central and South America.
The Let's Go Africa Foundation is a non-profit organization created to improve the lives of disadvantaged populations in the inner cities of America and African Countries by promoting social and economic development and cultural exchange.