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Revolutionizing Africa’s Cocoa Industry

Rare is the international business conference that can claim to have midwifed a new geopolitical strategy. But that is what happened when Côte d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Dramane Ouattara met Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama at the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan in March 2016. When asked how their countries could cooperate more closely, using their production of 70% of the world’s cocoa as a bargaining point with the multinational chocolate companies, the two presidents smiled knowingly. “That is exactly what we’re doing,” said President Ouattara. “We are presenting a united front on the commodity markets. And we’re going to call it Chocpec,” added President Mahama to a mixture of applause and laughter. Veterans of the commodity markets were sceptical from the start.