The Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations is, in consultation with Cocoa processing companies putting frantic measures in place towards making Ghana a destination for chocolate tourism.
As part of the grand scheme, the National Chocolate Day was first observed last year on Valentines Day. The ministry has equally designated the 14 of February this year as National Chocolate Day under the theme “Chocolate: a gift of love and health.”
It is hoped that the event would highlight the globally acclaimed quality of Ghana’s cocoa and promote Ghana as the best destination for all forms of chocolate pastries.
With no cocoa trees to boast of, Belgium has found a way of positioning her tourism around chocolate by organizing Consumer Experience Tours to chocolate manufacturing companies.
Ghana, which shares the top cocoa producing nations’ position with Ivory Coast, is yet to make an emphatic statement to the outside world about her own made chocolates.
What she has been parted on the back for over the years has been the usual primary producer of the raw material; the cocoa bean, which finds its way to factories in other parts of the world.
With the National Chocolate Day initiative however, the ministry of tourism is hoping Ghana’s own private sector will grab the opportunity to set up processing plants aside the Cocoa Processing Company of Ghana, Cadbury Ghana and Nestle Ghana.
The event is also aimed at making Ghanaians appreciate the health benefits of cocoa, as it has been found to contain many antioxidants that fight diseases.
The ministry further wants Ghanaians to discard the notion that chocolate is only in the form of chocolate bars.
As a result, seventy-five trained chefs will be exhibiting several varieties of chocolate pastries at the National Theatre on Valentines Day to which the public is invited.
At a press briefing to announce activities lined up for this year’s celebration of the event, the Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, Stephen Asamoah Boateng said Ghanaians must be proud of their own and be ready to sell it to the outside world.
He said just as Asian countries are eager to present their tea to visitors; Ghanaians must not shy away from presenting to the world what nature has endowed them with.
During last year’s observation of the day, there were reported shortages of chocolates on the market due to the high patronage of the programme.
The Cocoa Processing Company of Ghana, the only producer of chocolate bars in the country assured the public that enough of the pastry will be available this year and that no one should entertain fears of its shortage.
Also tied to the purpose of the event is the culture of giving and the Ministry of Tourism said it will be making donations of chocolate and other cocoa products to homes for the aged in all regions throughout the country.