Three deputy chief executive officers of Ghana’s cocoa regulator left their posts last week after one was fired by Agriculture Minister Owusu Afriyie Akoto, another got transferred to the ministry and a third official resigned, according to two people familiar with the matter.
William Mensah, who oversaw finance and administration, tendered his resignation while Nana Oduru Owusu, in charge of operations, was dismissed by Akoto, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Mensah didn’t give an explanation for his resignation while the minister didn’t offer reasons for Owusu’s removal, said the people.
Yaw Adu-Ampomah, deputy CEO for agronomy and quality control, left the regulator at the same time to serve as Akoto’s adviser on cocoa, said the people. Akoto appointed Emmanuel Opoku as the new deputy CEO for operations and Emmanuel Agyemang Dwomoh to take charge of the agronomy and quality control portfolio, said the people. No successor has been named for the finance and administration position, they said.
Akoto, Adu-Ampoma and Opuku didn’t answer calls for comments. Phones for Dwomoh, Mensah, Owusu and a spokesman for the regulator were switched off.
Ghana is the world’s second-biggest cocoa grower, accounting for about 20 percent of global output. The industry regulator sets the minimum price for farmers and purchases all beans before selling the produce to offshore buyers and local processors.
Ghana produced 899,209 tons of cocoa in the annual season that ended last month, the second-biggest crop of the past seven years, according to people familiar with the matter.
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