Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is working with fellows of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) to conduct research into cocoa elements that can aid in the management of some life-threatening infections and metabolic diseases around the world.
The study is part of COCOBOD’s program to expand the use of cocoa beyond the confectionery and cosmetic industries, thereby expanding the global cocoa market.
In the maiden meeting between the management of COCOBOD, the President of GAAS, and the Fellows involved in the research, the parties acknowledged the need to conduct more studies into the health properties of cocoa. The President of the Academy, Emeritus Prof. Samuel Kofi Sefa-Dedeh, strongly welcomed the collaboration.
The Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, explained the need to support every claim about the health properties of cocoa with empirical facts.
“Anecdotal reports alone are not sufficient,” he said, adding that “You cannot just go out there to say that cocoa has health and nutritional benefits when there’s no solid scientific basis or backing for what you are saying. However, if your statement is backed by robust scientific proof, then the world will also buy into it”.
He added that COCOBOD deems it important to establish a lasting collaborative relationship with the
“We have to support the science community to delve deeper into the nutritional and health benefits of cocoa and then use the proven benefits to promote the consumption of cocoa, not only for Ghana or the sub-region but for the global community at large.”
He believes that if cocoa is recognized as more than just an ingredient in the confectionery and cosmetic industries, but also for its broader nutritional and health properties, it can aid in the management of some life-threatening infectious and metabolic diseases.
“I’m very happy and so excited that this novel collaborative approach is being promoted and driven here in Ghana by our own scientists. We are glad to be part of it.”
Mr. Aidoo assured that COCOBOD will play its role to ensure that the collaboration yields adequate results which can withstand scientific scrutiny.
The President of GAAS, Emeritus Prof. Samuel Kofi Sefa-Dedeh, on his part, said he strongly agreed with Hon Aidoo’s statement on the need to have a well-grounded collaboration between industry and the science community to enable the conduct of research and development (R&D) to drive innovation.
Such collaboration, he added, is important to finding solutions to challenges that hamper our progress towards industrialisation and the expansion of Ghana’s economy.
He further indicated that the partners should develop timelines and policies to guide the execution of the project.
Finally, the President pledged GAAS’s commitment to see that this project is completed to the fullest extent possible in order to provide desperately needed relief to our people.