National Best Cocoa Farmers Embark on Educational Trip to UK


A delegation of 14 National Best Cocoa Farmers are set to embark on an educational and familiarisation trip to the United Kingdom.

The contingent, made up of current and past award winners from 2019 to 2023, is expected to undertake a number of activities aimed at promoting the country’s cocoa sector, and offer them the opportunity to aquire knowledge and insight into the processes involved in the international cocoa trading system. 

Amongst the activities to be undertaken by the delegation include visits to Cadbury and Mars Cocoa Processing Factories, meeting with the Ghanaian Business Community and also pay a courtesy call on the Ghana High Commission to the United Kingdom.

The team will also visit the Cocoa Research Institute of the United Kingdom to acquaint themselves with operations of the institution which conducts research into cocoa.

Other key highlights of the visit will include participation in a Town Hall Meeting and UK Ghana Business Forum to be attended by the Vice President of the Republic
of Ghana and later hold meeting with management of the Ghana International Bank (GIB-UK).

According to the Head of Public Affairs at COCOBOD, Mr. Fiifi Boafo, the trip will offer the farmers numerous benefits such as knowledge exchange, skills development, market access and understanding consumers preferences, quality standards and market demands.

Mr. Boafo further observed that the initiative was a demonstration of COCOBOD’s commitment to empowering farmers, building innovation and strengthening the cocoa industry.

According to him, management recognises the pivotal role cocoa farmers play in the country’s economy and the potential for growth through knowledge sharing in advanced farming techniques.

‘The objective of management is to empower our hard working farmers by exposing them to global trends and building their confidence in the sector’ He emphasized. 

The delegation is expected to return to Ghana on Thursday, June 27.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Your Ghana, my Ghana: Sweet robustness of good Ghanaian coffee

Coffee culture is fast becoming ingrained in Ghana’s hospitality industry. Locally roasted brands like Jamestown Coffee Roasters, Gold Coast Roasters, Kawa Moka, Coffee Magnifico and Asili Coffee are all making their mark on consumers and exerting a pull on small and large businesses along the coffee value chain.

Time was when Labone Coffee Shop was the only place that went by the name of a coffee shop in Accra. Now new coffee chains and speciality hangouts are opening all the time in shopping malls and other discerning spaces of cities like Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi.

Diversifying

An important stimulus for this new trend is the country’s need to diversify away from its over-reliance on cocoa, which has been the mainstay of the Ghanaian economy for the past 100 years and more.

While cocoa income largely stays in Ghana and works to stabilise the economy, as distinct from gold and other important commodities, the threat of illegal mining, known as galamsey, has raised the alarm about the need to have other
sources of income and economic stability.

And already Ghana’s Robusta coffee is proving itself more resilient than cocoa to the ravages of galamsey. Currently, the Ghana Cocoa Board manages coffee development and only licensed exporters can sell raw, green coffee beans outside the country. But coffee roasters face no restrictions on exporting their finished products.

‘Robusta is Ghanaian’

Coffee production has long been a Ghanaian economic activity and Robusta coffee is grown in 10 of Ghana’s 16 regions. One company, Kawa Moka, founded and run by Emi-Beth Quantson, even claims on their website that ‘Robusta is Ghanaian’.

Underpinning this claim is the idea that ‘Native robusta coffee originated in Central and West Africa and has been growing in Leklebi [Volta Region] since the 1930s.’ Kawa Moka sources its coffee beans from 250 farms, many of them run by women farmers, across three coffee enclaves in the Volta Region.

Coffee trees are intercropped with cocoa, plantain and food crops, which Kawa Moka ackn
owledges as contributing to the complex notes of its speciality artisanal coffee flavours.

Remember Bongo coffee?

During the heady days of the 1980s, when the economy was on its knees after a decade of unstable military rule in the 1970s, Bongo coffee, grown in Brong Ahafo, was a cheap and readily available source of comfort during a challenging period of economic stagnation, drought, bush fires and foodlessness.

But coffee died out from Ghanaian culture until quite recently. It was brought back to life through the efforts of companies such as Jamestown Coffee Roasters, whose founder, Kwasi Osei-Kusi, is the current president of the Coffee Roasters Association of Ghana (CRAG).

The association exists to promote the interests of coffee roasters and navigate government policy as a group. ‘Quality, price, transparency and volumes are the issues that concern us,’ says Osei-Kutu. ‘There are not enough volumes to support our needs, hence we need to work together,’ the CRAG president told Your Ghana, My Ghana.

N
ew trends

Jamestown Coffee Roasters has been in business since 2018. Seven years before that, Osei-Kusi had started a lesser-known brand called UpCountry Coffee with Canadian business partner Dorinda Steward-Kline.

Jamestown Coffee started with volumes of 200-300 kg in its first year and is now roasting 6-7 tons a year. Because of COVID, its Osu café only opened in 2021. A second branch was opened in East Legon last year.

All the coffee it roasts is sourced from the Volta Region, where the high altitude around the regional capital Ho and the border with Togo border, combined with the type of processing and training given to small-scale farmers, result in ‘the picking of more ripe cherries and a better quality and more flavour some coffee,’ says Osei-Kusi.

Favourable high-altitude conditions have facilitated the development in Togo of a new hybrid variety, Arabusta, a cross between arabica and robusta.

Value chain

One roaster who grows his own coffee is Cillian Walsh, the owner of Gold Coast Coffee Roast
ers, currently the single largest producer of Robusta coffee in Ghana. ‘It’s a huge advantage to grow our own coffee so we can control the value chain,’ says Walsh.

Walsh sold his first bag in January 2019, right at the start of the current coffee surge. At that time he says there was one coffee shop opening a month, whereas now there are up to four.

‘It took me 6-8 months to get a roast profile that didn’t have a bitter taste. In the end, people couldn’t believe it was Robusta,’ Walsh told Your Ghana, My Ghana, adding ‘Now we’re doubling in size every year’.

Arabica

‘I tried to grow Arabica in Aburi but it’s very difficult, very precious and sensitive. There’s a lot of acid in Arabica and the insects love it. Usually, there’s no insect threat at altitude. But in Aburi the insects devoured it. We didn’t get the same response as with Robusta.’

Gold Coast Coffee Roasters have two farms, in Aburi in the Eastern Region and Jasikan in the Oti Region (formerly part of Volta Region). Because supply from the two
farms cannot keep up with the growing demand for coffee beans, the company also sources from small-scale farmers.

Challenges

Coffee roasters are confident about the future of coffee in Ghana. As Osei-Kusi says, ‘Consumers understand the coffee culture. We have unique recipes popular with folks. The customers are not a problem at all.

But roasters are worried about the problems of cost and quality. As Osei-Kusi points out, ‘Two years ago, coffee was GHS11 a kg. Now it’s GHS50 a kg. It’s going to become way too expensive. And the challenge is that there’s no price-to-quality ratio happening.

There’s a lot of smuggling. And the impact on pricing is driven by currency fluctuation rather than the quality of beans.’ For his part, Walsh worries about the increasing use and impact of inorganic fertiliser, subsidised in Ghana, on the habitat of bees, which on his farms provide an indication of the health and quality of coffee trees.

With coffee shops providing an important complement to highly-priced city restaur
ants, price and quality will also certainly be of concern to the consumers driving Ghana’s coffee culture surge.

Source: Ghana Web

Bawumia’s victory is for a better Ghana – Tema MCE

The Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, Yohane Amarh Ashitey, has said that Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s victory in the 2024 presidential elections is a foregone conclusion and that the 7th December poll will just be a matter of Ghana going through the motions to satisfy due process.

According to him, the victory is for the betterment of Ghana in all respects, from development to reputation.

‘It is simple, the world is now in a digital revolution and nations which want to keep up to pace must digitalize. Dr. Bawumia is already driving the digital agenda and that is why his first-round victory will be for a better Ghana,’ Yohane Amarh Ashitey wrote.

The hardworking Tema MCE made this known in a post on social media on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

The statement comes in the wake of new polls that suggest that Dr. Bawumia has overtaken former President John Dramani Mahama, the presidential candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress, in a voter appeal.

According to the survey by Professor
Smart Sarpong of the Kumasi Technical University, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is the front-runner in the race for the 2024 presidential election in Ghana.

The findings show Dr Bawumia leads as the preferred candidate with 38.9% of support, closely trailed by John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at 36.1 percent.

In his post, Yohane Amarh Ashitey did not reference the survey but said that the current trends in as far as the acceptance of candidates’ messages are concerned indicate clearly that Dr. Bawumia speaks more to the desires of the ordinary Ghanaians.

‘Now, increasingly, Ghanaians are asking what the 24-hour economy is and from where I sit, the NDC have only struggled to explain it.

In contrast, Dr. Bawumia’s over 20-point agenda which he recently unveiled has only inspired hope.’

According to the Tema MCE, the election will be a one-touch victory for Dr. Bawumia.

‘Those using poll findings as basis to say that there will be a run-off are only setti
ng themselves up for surprise because now that Dr. Bawumia has levelled up in popularity with Mahama, the next developments will be that he will totally over take Mr. John Mahama, especially when he finally unveils his manifesto.’

Source: Ghana Web

We’ve not been able to address chieftaincy and land disputes because of our short-term solutions – Analyst

Security analyst Adib Saani emphasizes the need for a long-term solution to address persistent chieftaincy and land disputes in the country.

“These disputes across the country have long-term consequences, highlighting the necessity for our national security to implement long-term solutions to solve them,” he argued.

He was responding to the violent clashes in Wa West Municipality, which claimed three lives on Sunday, June 17, 2024.

Mr. Saani agreed that deploying joint police and military forces to areas plagued by conflicts over chieftaincy and land-related concerns is a short-term solution that does not address the issues comprehensively.

Speaking on Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5FM, he said the situation in Wa West and other areas is not surprising because we have over 350 unresolved chieftaincy and land disputes nationwide.

“In most cases, these chieftaincy and land disputes rise and fall, and when the tensions subside, we presume the matter has been settled. However, the factions involved
renew their conflicts. So it would be impossible to deal with them unless there was a purposeful attempt to resolve the underlying difficulties, particularly by employing traditional methods, including the use of traditional institutions.

“If we don’t take care, we may not resolve these disputes. Deploying the police is good and will stop the clashes in the interim, but it will not resolve the conflicts in the long-term. Until, as a matter of national security priority, we set up a body to address the systematic myriad of land and chieftaincy disputes, from the Upper East to the Upper West, from Greater Accra to Volta to Oti to the Western North, and address these issues, it will be difficult for these problems to be resolved,” he said.

Source: Ghana Web

CEO of MTN Ghana calls on Ga Mantse, His Majesty King Tackie Teiku Tsuru II

The Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Stephen Blewett, has paid a courtesy call on His Majesty King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, the Ga Mantse, at his residence in Accra.

The purpose of the visit was to officially introduce Mr. Stephen Blewett as the new Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana and to strengthen the longstanding relationship between MTN Ghana and the Ga State. The CEO was accompanied by the Chief Corporate Services and Sustainability Officer, Adwoa Wiafe, and some other MTN employees.

During the courtesy call, Mr. Blewett expressed his gratitude for the warm reception extended to him by King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II and the Ga Traditional Council. He reiterated MTN Ghana’s commitment to supporting and engaging with local communities, saying, ‘We appreciate the fact that we are most welcome here and we look forward to continuing our good relationship and working with the projects that Your Majesty is supporting.’

He emphasized the importance of fostering partnerships that are mutually beneficial to
MTN Ghana and the Ga State.

King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II acknowledged the positive impact the telecommunications industry has had on the Ga community and the nation. He commended MTN Ghana’s efforts in promoting digital inclusion and supporting impactful initiatives and expressed his support for future collaborations that would benefit people in the Greater Accra region.

The courtesy call symbolizes a meaningful step towards deepening the partnership between MTN Ghana and the Ga community. The leadership of MTN further affirmed the organization’s respect for and commitment to preserving and promoting cultural diversity in the communities where it operates.

A group picture of His Majesty King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, CEO of MTN Ghana, Stephen Blewett, and some MTN Ghana employees during the visit

Source: Ghana Web

We did not say there would be ‘dumsor’ for 3 weeks – Deputy Energy Minister clarifies ECG, GRIDCo statement

Collins Adomako-Mensah, a Deputy Minister for Energy, has clarified a joint statement issued by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) warning Ghanaians of an interruption in the power supply, known as ‘dumsor’, due to a reduction in the supply of gas from Nigeria.

Speaking on a panel discussion on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana programme on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, the deputy minister stated that the announcement by ECG and GRIDCo was never an indication that the country was going to experience ‘dumsor’.

According to him, the statement was just a notification to Ghanaians about a possible hindrance to the country’s ability to generate its power needs.

“We did not say there would be ‘dumsor’ for 3 weeks. The West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) issued a statement, informing us that one of their suppliers in Nigeria is embarking on maintenance for three weeks. So they quickly wrote, informing all the beneficiaries of the WAGP line, i.e., Benin, Togo, Ghana, th
at this may cause some disruptions in the supply of gas or the amount of gas that comes in.

‘So, GRIDCo and ECG, being proactive, also released a statement indicating to Ghanaians that because of the work being done in Nigeria, which will cause a reduction in the supply of gas through the WAGP line to Ghana, we might experience some challenges,’ he said.

Collins Adomako-Mensah, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Afigya Kwabre, indicated that the government and Nigerian authorities were able to find an alternative supplier of gas, which is why there was no disruption in power supply as indicated by ECG and GRIDCo.

“Fortunately for us, WAPCo and the Ghanaian team and a committee that was set up quickly were able to find an alternative supplier of gas. And for the past week and a half, the maintenance is still ongoing in Nigeria. But you realize that we are not feeling the effect as was expected based on the release from GRIDCo.”

What ECG and GRIDCo said:

The power supplier indicated that some pa
rts of the country were already experiencing a disruption in power supply due to the reduction in the supply of gas from Nigeria.

It added that the situation has caused a reduction in Ghana’s power generation capacity, which could result in load management over the period of the work.

“The Ghana Grid Company LTD. (GRIDCo) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) wish to inform the public that due to a reduction in gas supply from Nigeria since Wednesday, June 12, 2024, some areas across the country have experienced an interruption in power supply.

“The West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo), in a statement, has explained that the reduction in gas supply was due to maintenance works being undertaken by a gas supplier in Nigeria and is projected to last three (3) weeks,” part of the joint statement reads.

It added, “The maintenance has caused a reduction in overall power generation capacity in Ghana, which could result in load management over the period of the work.”

Watch his remarks in the video belo
w:

We didn’t say there was going to be ‘dumsor’ for 3 weeks – @adomakomens #GoodMorningGhana #MetroTV pic.twitter.com/4DAGpzhzHu

– Metro TV Ghana (@metrotvgh) June 19, 2024

Source: Ghana Web

Comparing Ghana and Dubai: Anokye Frimpong criticises leadership as Ghana’s development hurdle

Dr. Yaw Anokye Frimpong, Esq., a 2024 presidential candidate hopeful of the People’s Redemption Movement, has identified poor leadership as the primary obstacle to Ghana’s development.

Speaking on the Class Morning Show with Kwame Dwomoh-Ayemang on Class91.3FM, Dr. Anokye Frimpong compared Ghana’s resources to Dubai’s, asserting that Ghana has the potential to become a first-world country but has been hindered by inadequate leadership.

“Ghana has all it takes to push us to become a first-world country, but we’ve got the wrong leadership in place, and once we have poor leadership, consistently the country will fail,” he lamented.

He highlighted that Dubai’s transformation was achieved by leveraging its limited resources-sand, sea, and sun-while Ghana possesses superior assets, including better climate conditions, richer marine resources, fertile agricultural land, and valuable minerals like lithium.

“Ghana also has the sun, and it’s better than the Dubai sun because it is not that hot; the sea, which is be
tter than the Arabian Sea because this is the Atlantic and it’s got all the fish in the world; and then the sand, which is better than the Arabian sand because Ghana’s is an agricultural land,” he stated.

Dr. Anokye Frimpong emphasized that Ghana’s natural advantages should enable it to surpass Dubai’s development.

He also criticized the prevailing economic philosophy, arguing that the state, rather than the private sector, should be the engine of growth.

Dr. Anokye Frimpong contended that the shift towards privatization since the Rawlings era has led to the failure of many industries established by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

He questioned the continued adherence to policies favoring private sector-driven growth, suggesting that state-led enterprises are essential for creating jobs and driving development.

“Since Rawlings came to power and we followed the path that the private sector is the engine of growth, all things have failed. Industries put up by Nkrumah have all failed because we switched from the state a
s the engine of growth to the private sector. Having sampled the private sector through Rawlings, Kufuor, Atta Mills, Mahama, and Akufo-Addo, nothing is working, so how do you continue to follow NPP and NDC with the policy that the state must not set up enterprises to create jobs for the people of Ghana?” he questioned.

Source: Ghana Web

Vivo Energy Ghana launches Safety Day and pledges Goal Zero

Vivo Energy Ghana, the Shell Licensee, is proud to announce the successful launch of Safety Day 2024 at its head office in Cantonment, Accra. Safety Day, a cherished tradition of the business, underscores the company’s commitment to Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Quality (HSSEQ) practices while celebrating its safety achievements and milestones.

With a vision of becoming the leading and most respected energy business in Africa, we remain committed to ensuring the safety and security of our employees, partners, customers and communities. The focus for this year’s Safety Day is on our HSSEQ Management System (MS), an integral part of our commitment to achieving Goal Zero- no harm to people and minimising our impact on the environment.

Speaking at the launch, the Managing Director of Vivo Energy Ghana, Kader Maiga, emphasised the company’s collaboration with regulatory bodies like the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Ghana Standard Authority (GSA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the A
ssociation of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC) to ensure compliance with procedures, standards, environmental sustainability, and industry best practices. ‘I wish to throw more light on our Goal Zero Days (4,900 days/over 13 years) – the number of days without a recordable incident in our operations as a company. We could only achieve this with the help of our employees, third party contractors, site attendants, customers and regulatory bodies by complying with our safety procedures, standards, and regulations’, he said.

The Special Guest, CEO/Industry coordinator of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC), Dr. Riverson Oppong, commended Vivo Energy Ghana for its proactive approach to safety, noting, ‘It is heartening to see a company that prioritises the well-being of its employees and partners. AOMC is immensely proud to partner with Vivo Energy Ghana and all its members in the relentless pursuit of Goal Zero through collaborative efforts to achieve a future where safety and sustainability are the
cornerstones of every operation within the downstream petroleum industry.’

Representing Vivo Energy Ghana Transporters, the CEO of S. O. Frimpong Transport Limited, Randy Frimpong, in his goodwill message applauded the leadership and management of Vivo Energy Ghana for their dedication to a proper way of doing business which is a safer alternative. ‘We are happy to say that all transporters of Vivo Energy Ghana, through the adaptation of its HSSEQ Management System (MS), are now professional companies and we are also able to share knowledge and best practices to others in the industry,’ he said.

Vivo Energy Ghana pledges to integrate safety into every aspect of its operations and commits to staying informed and adhering to safety protocols to safeguard its colleagues, families and communities. Together we will achieve Goal-Zero and set a benchmark for others to follow.

Source: Ghana Web