International cocoa and chocolate scholar, Professor Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa, has been appointed chair of the 3-member Advisory and Awarding Board of Ghana Cocoa Awards, an industry awards scheme.
Professor Afoakwa, who is also the Interim Vice-Chancellor of Ghana Telecom Univesity shares the board with another scholar of the global cocoa and chocolate industry, Dr Kristy Leissle, and acclaimed management consultant, Mr Stephen Essien.
Announcing the appointments, the Founder and Event Director of Ghana Cocoa Awards, Mr Kojo Hayford, said the three eminent persons constituting the Advisory and Awarding Board have between them decades of knowledge and expertise in cocoa, chocolate and business management.
“It is our expectation that our distinguished Board will bring to bear their wealth of knowledge and accomplishment in identifying for recognition outstanding personalities, innovators and organisations achieving excellence in the Ghana cocoa industry value chain”, Mr Hayford noted.
He said, cocoa contributes some US$2 billion annually to the economy of Ghana and this is made possible by the combined effort of our respected cocoa farmers and a complex chain of hardworking non-farming actors.
According to him, “it is to recognise and celebrate the achievement and committed contribution of non-farming industry players in the cocoa sector that the Ghana Cocoa Awards initiative was instituted. The scheme serves as a compliment to the Ghana Cocoa Board‘s longstanding tradition of acknowledging and rewarding hardworking cocoa farmers at the district, regional and national levels yearly.”
Accepting the appointment, Professor Afoakwa who is also the Chief of Fiapre Traditional Area in the Bono Region of Ghana intimated, “I am pleased and humbled to be appointed as Chairman of the Advisory and Awarding Board of Ghana Cocoa Awards”, adding “I wish to congratulate VC Media Ghana for this great initiative of creating a platform that will recognize excellence, motivate industry and serve as a networking platform for players within Ghana’s Cocoa industry.”
He was of the conviction that, “ensuring the sustainability of cocoa production is critical to our national economic growth and I believe these heroes that have gone unnoticed for far too long would be excited for the recognition. I promise to bring on board my rich expertise and knowledge that will help expand the horizon of the Ghana Cocoa Awards and also tap into my huge international networks to support this great initiative.”