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Ataa Bikome: here's to you.

Donkor Jones
2021-06-10 20:47:37

“Even vegetation seek their interests but not the Bantu”
I laughed to tears when I first read these words penned by you. The truth in your words can be seen in any High School biology course. I am sure we all remember that plants turn their leaves toward the sun (positive phototropism) and send their roots deep into soil (positive geotropism) so as to gain the benefits these two natural resources provide for their growth and development.

Some time last week, a foreigner who is knowledgeable in the world chocolate trade was reported on Ghanaweb as saying Ghana’s lack of capacity for making chocolates and her exporting raw cocoa beans is causing it to miss out on serious money. He said Ghana earned a measly $2bn in 2019 or 2020 of the $150bn worldwide chocolate revenue in spite of accounting for about 30% of cocoa bean production. The man said that Ghana lacks a dairy industry ( milk powder is a key ingredient in making chocolate) and so this lack would have to be overcome, in addition to other barriers.

Papa samos like me surely remember Ghana’s Golden Tree Chocolates that were manufactured in the mid to late sixties, and in a post of mine last week, I wondered what caused production to cease so long ago. It must be mentioned that Ghana in those days had a livestock industry in the North, the cows being used to produce milk and also as a source of meat for the then-tasty Volta Corned beef.

The chocolates were superb. Even the packaging was attractive.They were wrapped in aluminum foil and an outer paper covering that came in crimson red (dark chocolate), sky blue (extra-milk chocolate) and lemon green (dark and milk in equal amounts). According to Asase, the chocolates even won international prizes! Notice that all the things that went into making them were naturally available in Ghana, even the aluminum foil, lol (Ghana had bauxite, you know,)

So who or what stopped the manufacture of these chocolates only a few years after production had started? Politics? (I believe Nkrumah started both the chocolate and corned beef enterprises) or was it poor management?

Imagine the vast experience Ghana would have if it were still making those chocolates, experience that would inevitably translate to chocolates of such high quality as to be very competitive internationally. Ghana could be earning at least ten times the paltry $ 2bn it earned last year out of the whopping $150 bn world chocolate revenue. Given the nominal Ghana GDP of $60bn last year, $20bn, would be no small change. And we are not even considering the earning potential of spin-off industries!

Why can’t Bantus add value to their natural resources and extract maximum earnings? Self interest would dictate this. I remember clearly the-then Chinese ambassador to Ghana many decades ago, long before China became what it is today, advising Ghana to process its logs instead of just exporting these. Akwasi Adam ( or someone else) wrote last week about how some Chinese wondered why Ghanaians come to China to buy a certain finished product instead of buying the machines which they can then use themselves to make the item.

Is it lack of foresight and discipline, a desire for quick gain? (just ship the raw material out and get the cash fast(lol)) Is this ineptitude on our part a sign of true inferiority? At times I despair. Cheers to Ataa Bikome for telling it as it is - even vegetation seek their interests, but not the Bantu.

[This is an authentic posting from Donkor Jones (Registered User)]
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OsaagyefoBa Kasa Barima
06-10 23:52
London Whale
06-10 21:15
London Whale
06-10 22:02
Donkor Jones
06-10 22:33