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08.10.2005 General News

COPAL ends 68th General Assembly

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Accra, Oct.7, GNA- Delegates at the 68th General Assembly of the Council of Ministers of the Cocoa Processors' Alliance (COPAL), which ended in Accra on Friday, nominated Mr Soumahoro Amadu, Cote d' Ivoire's Minister of Commerce as its new Chairman.

Mr Amadu takes over from Mr Kwadwo Baah- Wiredu, Ghana's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in January, 2006. The Vice chairmanship of the 10-member organisation goes to Nigeria, while the General Secretary Mr Sona Ebai of Cameroon was re-elected for another five year term.

Mr Baah-Wiredu made this known during a courtesy call of members of the Council, on Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama at the Castle Osu.

He said the Assembly accepted the proposal of Malaysia for the establishment of the post of Deputy General Secretary, to be manned by an appointee from the Asian country.

Mr Amadu said the bloody conflict in his country would not hamper the effectiveness of his administration, since Cote d'Ivoire is still playing leading roles internationally.

He pledged to widen the geographical scope of the organisation to promote broader consultations on issues that could move the cocoa industry forward.

Vice President Alhaji Mahama said Ghana remained a strong member of the Alliance dating back to 1962 since cocoa is the strategic cash crop that had been the backbone of national development. "Cocoa is our life line, our blood, he said. Vice President asked COPAL to forge unity of purpose to fight for good pricing of the commodity on the international market. "Our strength lies in unity so that together we protect the industry".

Vice President Alhaji Mahama suggested the need for COPAL to promote the drinking of at least a cup of cocoa a day in member countries, through the dissemination of the health and nutritional values of the product.

The health benefits of cocoa include the prevention and treatment of persistent coughs; drowsiness; constipation, cancer and sexual weakness.

The Council of Ministers preceded the maiden launch of COPAL Cocoa Week in Accra, Ghana, last Saturday.

COPAL is an intergovernmental organisation created 43 years ago, with its headquarters in Nigeria and comprises representatives of the governments of Brazil; Cote d'Ivoire; the Dominican Republic; Gabon; Malaysia; Sao Tome and Principe; Togo and the host country. The organisation accounts for approximately 75 per cent of the total world cocoa production. 07 Oct. 05

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