The Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Henry Yeleduor, has observed that chocolate and other cocoa-related products produced in Ghana have the greatest potential to boost the growth of the local economy.
He said apart from the huge foreign exchange earnings from cocoa export, the consumption of chocolate and made in Ghana cocoa-related products have higher nutritional value for proper growth of human beings, particularly children.
Mr Yeleduor made the call when he addressed the congregants of the Bolgatanga Central Mosque, in the Upper East Region, on Friday, as part of this year’s National Chocolate Week.
The commemoration, which is in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Cocoa Board and the Cocoa Processing Company, is on the theme “Eat chocolate, stay healthy, grow Ghana” with a sub-theme as “Our chocolate, our health, our wealth.”
“We are told that cocoa products and chocolate boost our immune system, slow down ageing, and controls blood pressure and other underlying health conditions. So, we are telling the general public that this is what we have, Ghana made cocoa and chocolate products and that let us consume what we have,” Mr Yeleduor said.
He asked Ghanaians to contribute to the growth of the national economy by patronising chocolate and other cocoa products.
Mr Yeleduor urged the leadership of the Moslem and the Christian Religion to use their pulpits to encourage their members to patronise cocoa products to transform the economy.
He appealed to the hospitality industry to join the campaign to promote the consumption of cocoa products.
“Currently, cocoa is one of the major foreign exchange earners for Ghana, always competing once we consume to grow and consume what we produce to boost the economy,” Mr Yeleduor noted.
He explained that February was dubbed the month of love, and encouraged the citizenry to show love to their loved ones by buying for them chocolate and other cocoa products.
Mr Yeleduor said apart from the fact that chocolate symbolically represented love, research had shown that chocolate had various health benefits and should be consumed regularly.
He said that GTA had over the years celebrated the Chocolate Day with the vulnerable, and donated chocolate and other cocoa products to orphanages and hospitals.
The Chief Imam for the Jordan Mosque, Umar Abubakar, expressed gratitude to the GTA for the love extended to the congregation and appealed to the people to patronise chocolate and cocoa products to stay healthy to contribute to the growth of the economy.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA