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General News of Thursday, 14 February 2008

Source: GNA

First family receives chocolates on Valentine Day

Accra, Feb. 14, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor and his family were the first to receive hampers of cocoa products on Thursday as part of activities to commemorate the National Chocolate Day fused into the St Valentine's Day celebration.

Madam Theresa Kufuor received the items on the family's behalf at the President's residence in Accra.

The National Chocolate Day initiated by the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations in 2007 is aimed at making Ghana a chocolate tourist destination and to promote the consumption of locally made chocolate as a token of love on Valentine day. This year's Chocolate Day was under the theme: "Chocolate, A Gift of Love and Health."

Mr. Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations said the gifts were to wish the first family a happy Valentine and Chocolate Day. He said, acceptance of the National Chocolate Day, though not encouraging, the Ministry hoped with time, it would become a major event in the country.

He noted that Valentine's Day should not be a time to indulge in immorality, but an occasion for a sense of togetherness. The Deputy Minister said the occasion should also be used to appreciate farmers for their contribution to cocoa production and entreated all to show love and care.

Mr. Osei-Ameyaw expressed the hope that eventually wearing of red on February 14 would fade off for brown, which represented the colour of chocolate.

Madam Kufuor thanked the cocoa producing companies for the gift, saying, "I am so happy that our family has been remembered at such an occasion".

"I am proud that Ghana produces the best cocoa in the world and happy to realize that cocoa was being used more currently than before", she added.

The companies which made the presentation were Cadbury Ghana Limited, Nestle Ghana Limited, Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), Ghana Chefs Association and Hords Limited, producers of Brown Gold natural cocoa powder.

Others included Koala Shopping Mall and GIHOC Distilleries. The Ministry together with Cadbury, Nestle and CPC also made subsequent presentations to the aged at the HelpAge Ghana Centre at Osu. Welcoming officials from the Ministry and the cocoa producing companies, Nana Baah Okuampah VII, Acting President of HelpAge called on government to expedite action on the proposed Ageing Policy to protect their interests.

He said the ageing population had tripled, saying this was a reflection that people were now leading healthier lifestyles. Nana Okuampah VII further commended all institutions that had supported Help Age's mandate since it was established 20 years ago. An exhibition of cocoa pastries manufactured by the Ghana Chefs Associations also took place at the National Theatre to mark the Day.

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