News / Africa

Ivory Coast Incumbent Government Rejects Cocoa Ban

Workers gather bags of cocoa at the port of Abidjan. EU-registered vessels have been barred from all new financial dealings with Ivory Coast's two main cocoa-exporting ports, 17 Jan 2011
Workers gather bags of cocoa at the port of Abidjan. EU-registered vessels have been barred from all new financial dealings with Ivory Coast's two main cocoa-exporting ports, 17 Jan 2011

Ivory Coast's incumbent government says there will be no disruption to cocoa production, despite calls by the internationally recognized winner of November's election for a month-long ban on cocoa exports.  

Even though much of Ivory Coast's current cocoa harvest has been sold, any threat to production in the world's largest grower has a global impact.

Cocoa prices spiked to near 30-year highs following the export ban announced by the U.N.-certified winner of the vote, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara.

The U.S. agricultural firm Cargill, which usually buys about 15 percent of Ivorian beans, is suspending purchases in keeping with the ban.  International cocoa dealers say the country's political crisis has created a very testing environment.

The incumbent government of Laurent Gbagbo says Mr. Ouattara has no authority over cocoa exports and his call for a ban will not affect production.  In a meeting with cocoa dealers, the president of Ivory Coast's cocoa body CGFCC, Gilbert Ano, said there will be no disruptions.

Ano says Ivory Coast has a president who was elected, who was inaugurated, and who has named a government.  That government is at work.  So he says no one can send his board a letter telling it what to do.

Ano said abiding by Mr. Ouattara's ban would cost exporters dearly.

He says if a dealer has 300,000 tons of cocoa that comes to around $900 million.  How are exporters going to make $900 million, Ano asks, if they do not continue to export?

Mr. Gbagbo's minister of economy and finance, Desire Dalo, says it is business as usual in Ivory Coast.

Dalo says the computer system is operating, the management committee of the Ivorian Cocoa and Coffee Body is working, and the employees are carrying on with their operations as usual.  So he says the Gbagbo government wants to reassure the Cocoa Business Federation that everything is OK in Ivory Coast.

But everything is not ok in the country's petroleum sector after the European Union froze the assets of the state oil firm, along with its main energy utility and cocoa ports, because European leaders say those firms are helping to fund what they call Mr. Gbagbo's illegitimate government.

Fadika Kassoum, the director of the state oil firm, says if sanctions have repercussions after two months or three months or six months, everything will slowly disintegrate.  He says the state oil firm will not be able to pay its salaries or its suppliers.

Kassoum says the state oil firm cannot earn money when sanctions stop it from spending as its budgets dictates.  So he says the firm is exposed to a slow, but certain, disintegration.

Diplomatic efforts have failed to end the standoff between Ivory Coast's rival presidents, with Mr. Gbagbo rejecting African Union mediator Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga because he says Mr. Odinga is siding with Mr. Ouattara.

The African Union is trying tries again, with alliance chief Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika meeting separately with Mr. Gbagbo and Mr. Ouattara.   

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid