The first African Cocoa Platform Conference was the setting for a lively multinational exchange of experience.
Photo: Arne Schuffenhauer, GIZ


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At the invitation of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH the first multinational meeting of the actors in the West African cocoa sector was held at the end of November in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The exchange focused on measures for increasing cocoa-farmer incomes, adding value through local processing, and functioning models of agro-ecological cocoa farming systems.

Yet another new initiative in the cocoa sector? This may have been the initial sceptical reaction of many observers in the run-up to the first African Cocoa Platform Conference from 19-21 November in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. However, by the end the 70 participants from six African cocoa producer countries were largely united. A representative of the Cocoa and Coffee Interprofessional Council (CICC), Omer Maledy from Cameroon put it in a nutshell: ‘We African actors can use the Cocoa Platform as a vehicle for closer and cross-border cooperation between the institutions. We now have a playing field which we can approach as designers.’

In the past there has been virtually no multinational and thematically broad format for sharing knowledge and experience in the cocoa sector. The Cocoa Platform is now closing this gap. Faced by the current development policy problems in the cocoa producing nations in West and Central Africa, the platform is adopting existing approaches in various thematic areas.

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