The pandemic hit the oil and gas sector hard and oil prices spiralled down rapidly. The downturn is causing anxiety and is deterring projects from being pursued as planned. The pandemic has caused major players in Ghana such as Aker Energy to re-strategise due to new supply chain complexities as well as current oil prices. At the beginning of the year, we had amazing projections of what was going to happen in our industry within the next two to three years. Companies like Aker Energy, ENI, Tullow Oil, and Exxon Mobil were making big moves. All of their laid out plans are up in the air at the moment, but things may change for the better as we progress into a more stable situation.
The silver lining is that the challenges experienced this year are stimulating a global shift to renewable energy. Companies and investors are looking at alternative sources of energy, and that will lead to new opportunities for companies such as ourselves. In regards to local content, the Petroleum Commission has done well to ensure international companies have local joint venture partners and transfer knowledge and skills to these local partners. By building local capacity tangible benefits shall trickle down to local communities in many ways.
Cocoa is not just a cash crop for us; it has also become part of our politics. The cocoa sector feeds about 800,000 people in the country and issues that affect the industry can be quite emotive. Unfortunately, our industry has suffered a dip in production in recent times. The dip in production has been occasioned by climatic changes as well as factors such as disease. The government has put in place measures whose impact will start being felt in a few years with the expected rise in volumes of production.
The government is putting a focus on increasing production while also encouraging diversification in the overall agriculture sector. Adding value to our cocoa is also part of our national strategy. Value addition will help increase the value of our product, boost our standing in the global cocoa industry, and lead to job creation. Diversification will also see us improve the agricultural sector and boost our national revenue.
Delin Consult is a multi-disciplinary Engineering Consultancy that Impacts Lives Through Partnership & Infrastructure. The engineering consultancy has achieved milestones in developing the needed infrastructure for Ghana to prosper. The company is doing well to connect Ghana to the rest of the West African sub-region through infrastructure.
Recent studies criticising the global chocolate industry for exploitative practices have concerned ethical consumers. Cocoa farmers only earn about 6% of the chocolate industry’s total revenues. Leading chocolate companies have since 2001 made pledges to end widespread abusive labour practices, but continue to fall short.
In Ghana, local firm Federated Commodities has shown it is only by improving the cocoa supply chain, with experienced local oversight, that ethical, sustainable and profitable cocoa and chocolate industries can exist. CEO Hajiya Maria Adamu-Zibo is ready to form international partnerships to take the Ghanian cocoa sector forwards.