19 Apr

Africa’s resource economies can only gain from closer collaboration

Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire have announced plans to coordinate their cocoa production strategies to combat price volatility. It comes as prices for chocolate’s raw ingredient languish at a 10-year low, hitting public finances in both countries.

If acted upon, the move would be a rare example of countries taking steps for more effective collaboration on managing their resources. Given the reliance of many African economies on commodity exports it is surprising there are not more efforts like this.

Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are the world’s top two cocoa producers, and Africa accounts for 75% of global production, yet they wield little influence on prices. This is notwithstanding Africa’s paltry 2% share of the estimated $98bn global chocolate market.

It remains to be seen if actions match rhetoric – the two countries have provided little detail. But resource rich countries in Africa have long under-played their position as strategic commodity producers.

Whilst there are no guarantees they will achieve better prices, there appears to be little downside to more collusion.

Distributed by: WhyAfrica.

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