06 Jun, 24


ASANTE EUGENE OWUSU | Jun 6, 2024 | Tags, Tags |


The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has established an education trust to oversee the repurposing of financial resources from the former COCOBOD Scholarship Scheme. The resources will be used to construct model basic schools in underserved cocoa-growing areas, with the aim of improving access to quality education.

The decision to shift the focus towards primary education infrastructure in rural cocoa-growing areas was made following consultations with various stakeholders, including Members of Parliament, the Council of State, the Ghana Education Service, and Cocoa Farmer Associations.

In a statement delivered on behalf of the Chief Executive of Cocoa Board, Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Finance and Administration, Mr Ray Ankrah, highlighted the pivotal role of COCOBOD’s former scholarship scheme in aiding the wards for farmers access secondary education.

He said the former scholarship scheme which has annually provided financial assistance to around 10,000 students in senior high schools across Ghana can be credited with enabling numerous young Ghanaians attain significant positions of trust and responsibility.

However, he said, the introduction of the Free Senior High School Programme by the government in 2017 prompted COCOBOD to reevaluate the allocation of its educational funds. Following extensive engagements with stakeholders, the decision was reached to shift the focus towards primary education infrastructure

"The new model schools will bridge the educational infrastructural gap between children in rural areas and their counterparts in the cities," Mr Ankrah stated. "This initiative will facilitate access to quality education, help develop the potential of cocoa farmers' children, and ultimately contribute to the manpower needs of these communities."

The newly inaugurated five-member COCOBOD Education Trust will be chaired by the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Ernest Addison. The other members are the Director-General, Ghana Education Service (GES), Dr Eric Nkansah; the 2022 National Best Cocoa Farmer, Mr Bismarck Fuachie; the Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Operations at COCOBOD, Dr. Emmanuel A. Opoku and the Director, Legal & Solicitor Secretary, COCOBOD, Mr Francis Opoku.

Swearing in the trustees the Chairman of the Board of Directors of COCOBOD, Mr. Peter Mac Manu, emphasised the significant impact of the former scholarship scheme while expressing optimism for the new direction focusing on basic education.

"The COCOBOD Scholarship Scheme has been a beacon of hope for many young Ghanaians," he said. "As we transition to the Education Trust, our focus on primary education infrastructure will ensure that we continue to support the educational advancement of cocoa farming communities", he said.

In his acceptance statement, Dr. Ernest Addison, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the COCOBOD Education Trust, expressed gratitude for the confidence reposed in him and the other members of the trust. He said, education is fundamental to our progress, and we are committed to ensuring that this trust makes a meaningful impact in the lives of cocoa farmers and their children”.