The President and Chairman of the Board of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Benedict Okey Oramah said on Thursday that his outfit wants to help Ghana increase its cocoa processing capacity.

Oramah, who was speaking during a meeting with President Nana Akufo-Addo in Accra, said although Africa produces 80 percent of the world’s cocoa, a paltry 17 percent is processed on the continent, a situation which has resulted in Africa earning only 12 billion U.S. dollars of the 120 billion dollars cocoa industry.

He said the Bank has set itself the objective of increasing the processing capacity of cocoa in Africa from the current 17 percent to 35 percent.

He said the bank has helped Cote d’Ivoire to become, not only the number one producer of cocoa, but also the number one processing country of cocoa, overtaking the Netherlands, doing so by increasing the processing capacity in Cote d’Ivoire by an additional 120,000 metric tones.

“We want to repeat what we did for Cote d’Ivoire here in Ghana,” said Oramah.

President Akufo-Addo said his government has made the decision that the way forward is to clean up the business environment, not just in the area of regulation but also of policy and also to stimulate the development of the private sector, because it holds the key to Ghana’s development.

“To hear a bank which is interested in helping us to deal with these critical areas of our national economy, especially an African institution, like yours, is great. Our program fits so easily with the intentions of the bank,” he said.

The Afreximbank is an African trade finance bank, which was established by African governments in 1993, under the auspices of the African Development Bank to promote and finance intra and extra Africa trade, provide trade financing, guarantees, and also trade information and advisory services.

The authorized share capital of the Bank is 5 billion dollars. Enditem

Source: Alex Osei-Boateng, Xinhua/