After lunch at a well air-conditioned restaurant and being followed by 20 Ghanaian men trying to sell us bracelets outside our bus (they ask your name as you get off the bus then when you get back on they try giving you a bracelet with your name woven into it), we braved crazy Accra traffic to head downtown to the Cocoa Board, the organization that controls the entire Ghanaian cocoa industry. We met with Cocoa management in one of their boardrooms. Unfortunately the room was on the 4th floor and the air conditioning was broken (this seems to be common in Ghana) despite temperatures in the 90s. All of us were melting in our coolest business casual clothes, though the Ghanaians were all wearing business suits! The Cocoa Board controls every facet of the cocoa bean supply chain and even fixes the price for cocoa, so it's basically a cartel and is really shady. One of the board men mentioned how the cocoa market wasn't very competitive...well no wonder, that's what happens in a monopolized industry. In addition they check 100% of the cocoa beans to ensure 100% quality, which is horribly inefficient and expensive. We had lots of questions about their business practices as good Kelley students :) They were gracious hosts and gifted us with 100% Ghanaian cocoa bars. It was a long, hot day so we hit the pool when we got back to the hotel.
Other things I saw being sold in the road: bras, passports (!!!!), windshield wiper blades, and plungers. Most of the roadside shops are just old shipping containers and have religious named like "Jesus is Lord" and "Blessed Fashions" or "God's Way Building Materials" and "Love of Holy Spirit Fast Food."
|With the CEO of Kingsbridge Microfinance in a local market|