International Firms Circle to Buy Liquidated Assets of Ivory Coast’s Top Cocoa Exporter, Ghana to Open Norwegian Embassy


In this week’s roundup, Cargill, Wilmar, and Touton are seeking to buy the liquidated assets of Ivory Coast’s top cocoa exporter, Total expects to increase deepwater output, and Ghana to launch new embassy in Norway.

Cargill, Wilmar and Touton to Buy Ivory Coast Cocoa Exporter’s Liquidated Assets

Agro-businesses Cargill, Wilmar and Touton plan to buy the liquidated assets of Ivory Coast’s leading cocoa exporter SAF-Cacao.

SAF-Cacao buys between 150,000 and 200,000 tonnes of the crop every season but owes circa $143.50 million to the country’s Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) and 160 billion CFA francs to banks in Ivory Coast.

According to an official from the CCC, “The most serious candidates are Wilmar, Touton and Cargill, who made offers that will be analysed on Monday by the creditor banks and the other lender, the CCC.”

Cargill, Wilmar and Touton have not released a statement. Sources indicate that Wilmar, which is based in Singapore, and the French company Touton have shown interest in SAF-Cacao’s Choco-Ivoire grinding plant and other cocoa as well as coffee factories. Based in the United States, Cargill holds an interest in the circa 100,00 square metre storage warehouses.

Commenting on the liquidation, an official from CCC stated, “Our objective is to sell all the assets and allow the lenders to be reimbursed and wrap up this affair as quickly as possible.”

Ivory Coast in the highest producer of cocoa in the world. In 2016 and 2017, world prices of cocoa decreased mid-season preventing numerous local exporters from fulfilling their contracts and repaying loans. There are concerns that the country’s poor liquidity could dismantle the banking industry of Ivory Coast’s biggest economy.

Ghana to Open Embassy in Norway

Ghana will soon open an embassy in Norway’s capital city, Oslo.

The West African nation hopes to strengthen bilateral relations with Norway.

According to Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, “We are working very well; we have some Norwegian companies in Ghana who are doing business, with some in the oil and gas industry.”

Norway has already launched an embassy in Ghana.

Ghana Garden and Flower Show Pushes for Environmental Awareness

Taking place from 20th-24th September in Accra, Ghana, the Ghana Garden and Flower Show will focus on climate change. The show is part of the flagship Ghana Garden and Flower Movement which draws awareness to the economic, aesthetic and health advantages of horticulture and floriculture while celebrating Ghana’s flora as well as fauna.

Themed, “Enriching Ghana: One Garden at a Time”, the show will encourage greater conservation and sanitation practices. Chief Executive Officer of Stratcomm Africa, Esther A.N Cobbah emphasised this need, believing it contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Movement’s goals for a cleaner and greener Ghana.

Stratcomm Africa founded the Ghana Garden and Flower Movement in 2013.

Total to Increase Deepwater Output in Nigeria

The global oil and gas company Total’s deepwater production is expected to increase to 500,000 barrels of oil per day by 2020. This increase contributes to its 6 to 7 per cent output goals per annum from 2017 to 2020. Furthermore, the percentage of deepwater oil and gas production will play a significant role in Total’s output and cash flow due to large projects in West Africa.

Total’s President for Exploration and Production Arnaud Breuillac provided some figures relating to Total’s ambitions in deepwater output. “Deepwater is approximately 15 per cent of the group’s production, but it will contribute to more than 35 per cent of cash flow from operations in the coming years,” he said at a presentation.

The company expects production to commence in Nigeria’s Egina field by the close of the year.

Total is currently considering starting a deepwater project in Senegal.

Ivory Coast to Use Solar-Powered Vehicles

Ivory Coast has revealed plans to use solar-powered vehicles in an attempt to create an eco-friendly environment in the resort town Jacqueville.

Proposed by Marc Togbe to Mayor Joachim Beugre, the new vehicles will replace the bush taxi called “Woro Woro” in the native language. The new Chinese-made cars are covered with solar panels and can drive 87 miles on solar energy.

Speaking to ECN Magazine, Beugre said, “Today, a dozen cars are up and running. We are right in the test phase. More and more people are asking for them.”

Togbe founded the project in January with his business partner Balla Konate, starting with two cars.