Ghana seeks investment to enhance value of Cocoa
By Hilda Abban, GNA Special Correspondent, Aichi, Japan
Aichi, Japan, June 28, GNA - Ghana is showcasing cocoa by-products at the ongoing World Exposition 2005 at Aichi, Japan to attract investment into their production to enhance the value of the crop. She has in this regard mounted an exhibition of various by-products from the crop such as cocoa vinegar, cocoa liquid soap and alcoholic beverages like cocoa gin, cocoa brandy and cocoa wine.
The World Expo, which is on the theme: "Nature's Wisdom" incorporates traditional wisdom with modern science and technology to create a world where humankind and nature can co-exist in harmony. One hundred and thirty countries including 28 from Africa are participating in the 185-day Expo and they have mounted stands exhibiting their various natural resources particularly wildlife and artefacts depicting their cultures, traditions and documentaries on various potentials.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Kwaku Adu-Mensah, Deputy Commissioner-General for Ghana at the World Expo, explained that the focus on attracting investment in the cocoa industry was to ensure that cocoa farmers derived more value from their products. He said Ghana was participating in the Fair to create exposure for Ghanaian culture, products and her people within the context of the overall theme for which Ghana was an icon in Africa for peace, economic development and progress.
Mr Adu-Mensah, who is also the General Manager of the Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC), said Ghana had 10 exhibitors, who are displaying beads, carvings and other artefacts and two Kente weavers whose live demonstration of Kente weaving had drawn a lot of visitors to the Ghanaian stand. Mr Edmund Opoku-Agyeman, a Co-Director at the Ghana Stand said about 60 per cent of the visitors to Block B, Africa's Joint Pavilion were attracted to the Ghana stand because of their fascination with the Kente weaving and Ghana's chocolate.
Mr Opoku-Agyeman said high profile visitors, who have been attracted to the Ghana stand included His Royal Highness, The Crown Prince of Japan, Hironomiya; President Marc Ravanomana of Madagascar;
Mrs Sadako Ogata, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Vice President of Tanzania, Dr Ali Mohammed Shin and the Governor of Aichi Prefecture. He said that so far 903,334 people have visited the African Pavilion while an estimated nine million people have turned up at the Expo since it opened on March 25. According to estimates, about 15 million people would visit the Expo by the time it closes on September 25.
Ghana would hold her national day on Thursday June 30 under the theme: "Sustainable Development of Natural Resources - A Key for Wealth Creation". Her presentation will focus on four key elements: "Cocoa - From Seedling to Chocolate and Beyond;" "Ghana's Traditional Signature Textile - Kente;" "Eco-tourism Attractions" and "The Legacy of Dr. Hideo Noguchi - The Father of Ghana-Japan Relations".