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 Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid