In a landmark event for the organization, more than 500 people gathered on 25 April 2017 for the formal inauguration of the International Cocoa Organization’s (ICCO’s) new headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Ivorian Vice President HE Daniel Kablan Duncan was present for the ceremony, along with HE Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly, Minister of Agriculture, HE Souleymane Diarrassouba, Minister of Trade and Robert Beugré Mambé, Governor of the Abidjan Autonomous District.
They were joined by ICCO Council Chairman 2016-17 HE Luis Valverde, ICCO Executive Director Dr Jean-Marc Anga and representatives from embassies, intergovernmental organisations and cocoa sector stakeholders. The ceremony took place during the 95th regular session of the International Cocoa Council and subsidiary bodies.
In a statement, the ICCO said the relocation to Abidjan “should focus the organization’s attention even more towards the requirements of producers.”
“Côte d’Ivoire is convinced that the presence of ICCO in Abidjan will provide opportunities to better understand the realities of the sector and to better appreciate the expectations of producers,” Vice President Kablan Duncan said.
“Through our establishment in a producing country,” Dr Anga said, “we want to offer better access to information on the world of cocoa and to identify the existing opportunities that producing countries could benefit from. The goal is to improve the transparency of the cocoa market by providing member countries with cocoa studies, analyses and statistics, as well as forecasts on world supply and demand.”
The move to Côte d’Ivoire’s commercial capital after 44 years being headquartered in London comes after a decision by the Council in 2015, following an invitation by the Ivorian government. The government provided and refurbished a three-storey building in the city’s Deux Plateaux area, which now houses the organization’s 25 staff members.