Ghana closes in on $600 million African Development Bank cocoa loan

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) is close to approving a $600 million loan package for Ghana’s Cocoa Board (COCOBOD).

The funds will allow COCOBOD to build warehouses to stockpile beans and protect itself against price falls, AfDB president, Akinwuni Adesina said.

Mr. Adesina explained that the financing would support initiatives planned by Ghana and Ivory Coast, the world’s two top growers, to give the two countries more control over global prices.

“The last time the price of cocoa collapsed, Ghana lost $1 billion. Ivory Coast lost over $1 billion. We must be smarter than that,” Adesina told journalists on the sidelines of an investment forum in Johannesburg.

The AfDB has committed $150 million to the deal with bank syndication providing the remaining financing. He did not name the banks.

Another AfDB official said on Wednesday that the deal had already garnered the provisional approval of the Abidjan-based bank’s board. Barring last minute objections from board members, it should be approved this week.

Despite accounting for over 60 percent of the global supply of the chocolate ingredient, the governments of Ivory Coast, the world’s number one producer, and Ghana remain largely at the mercy of world price fluctuations.

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