Ghana’s Cocobod trade organisation reopens after temporary coronavirus office closure
Staff working at the headquarters of the Ghana Cocoa Board in Accra have been affected by coronavirus, resulting in a three-day closure of its offices and subsidiary divisions following deep-cleaning of its facilities.
The organisation represents the country’s key cocoa trade serving the confectionery sector, and confirmed that its actions were taken as part of a mass testing exercise with the nation’s Cocoa Clinic, as part of wider measures to protect against coronavirus.
According to Cocobod, as early as March 2020, measures had been put in place to tackle coronavirus, with only management and core staff working from its offices and the remainder of its employees working on a rota or from home.
The cocoa authority also promptly mounted touchless automatic sanitiser dispensers at vantage points in all Its offices for use by staff and visitors and insisted on the strict observation of all precautionary measures against coronavirus.
Furthermore, Cocobod moved to assure its stakeholders including farmers, buyers and processors, that its business is ongoing business is ongoing in terms of essential services and responsibilities to all parties in both the supply and demand sides of the cocoa sector.
Chief executive Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo has asked staff to observe the necessary protocols at all times amid the pandemic. He recently confirmed that the organisation is on track to receive its programme of syndicated loans – totalling around £1.3 billion to finance the 2020/21 cocoa season. Notably, he stated that some media reporting that this key financing was under threat amid the pandemic was not in fact correct.
He said: “Cocobod issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) in February 2020 to International Banks to raise the funds for the 2020/2021 cocoa purchase,” adding that on 12 June, the financial institutions including key banking institutions. Evaluation of the proposals was held on 18 June 2020 by an in-house committee chaired by the chief executive with representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana.