President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has conferred the national award of Companion Of The Order Of Volta, Honorary Division, on Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD).
The award was conferred on him for spearheading the joint Ghanaian and Ivorian effort to secure a New Trading Mechanism which allows for a new cost item of $400.00 per tonne, as Living Income Differential (LID), for every cocoa sold by the two countries.
Similarly, the same award was conferred on his Ivorian counterpart, Mr. Ibrahim Kone Yves, the Director-General of Le Conseil Du Café-Cacao (CCC), at the same ceremony which was held on Thursday the 12th of November 2020, at the Jubilee House, Accra.
The National Award of Companion Of The Order Of Volta, which was instituted in 1960, is categorised as a national Order of Merit and reserved for persons who have distinguished themselves in some form of public service to Ghana.
The two gentlemen, who head the respective cocoa regulatory organisations in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are the 44th and 45th individuals to have merited the award.
Already, the President of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Dramane Ouattara on 1st October 2020 in Yamoussoukro awarded the two men; each as Commander of the National Order of Merit of Côte d’Ivoire, for their achievement in the cocoa sector.
In presenting the award, President Akufo-Addo remarked that the ceremony was in honour of two outstanding men who have shown exceptional commitment to the growth and development of the cocoa industry and for the betterment of the lives of the millions of cocoa farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
He acknowledged that the benefit of LID has already been realised by the two countries. The extra revenue inflow from LID has enabled both countries to announce unparalleled increases in their producer prices of cocoa for the new season despite the fall in the international price of cocoa brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The President added that the exceptional feat chalked by the two men, “does not only serve to immediately provide our dear farmers with remunerative incomes but also safeguards their future welfare by creating a lasting buffer for them against the shocks associated with drops in the world market price of cocoa”.
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire need to continue to work together to consolidate present gains and deepen cooperation in the fight against the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) and in promoting environmentally friendly farming practices devoid of child labour.
He further expressed confidence in the two gentlemen to work together to improve the cocoa sector as a whole.
In his response, Joseph Boahen Aidoo said he was humbled to be honoured with such a high national award in his lifetime. He credited President Akufo-Addo and his Ivorian counterpart, Alassane Dramane Ouattara for initiating the processes which ultimately led to the achievement of a new trading mechanism for cocoa from the two countries.
Mr. Ibrahim Kone Yves, on his part, said that he had been very much moved by the honour. The award, he added, was not just for him but for all who supported efforts towards achieving the LID and, indeed, for the entire Ivorian nation.