Date: 24th June 2020
The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), has received proposals from a number of international banks to raise funds for its annual syndicated loan and is presently engaged in the usual negotiations which follow such proposals before reaching an agreement.
It is expected that the cocoa authority and its financing partners will complete negotiations and sign an agreement in September this year.
This was revealed in a speech delivered by the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo during a ceremony to officially launch the US$600 million loan facility which it signed with some Development Finance Institutions (DFI) last year to provide funding for various investment projects within Ghana’s cocoa industry.
The ceremony was held on Tuesday, 23rd June 2020 at the Alisa Swiss Spirit Hotel in Accra.
Hon. Boahen Aidoo said the recent media reportage which suggest that COCOBOD’s international financial partners are reluctant to raise the US$1.3billion syndicated loan to fund the 2020/2021 cocoa season purchases due to perceived risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic is “simply not accurate. They do not reflect the current state of engagements between COCOBOD and its financial partners," he said.
He stated that “COCOBOD issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) in February 2020 to International Banks to raise the funds for the 2020/2021 cocoa purchases.”
Hon. Boahen Aidoo disclosed that, “On the 12th of June 2020, the financial institutions including COCOBOD’s traditional Banks submitted their proposals. Evaluation of the proposals was held on 18th June 2020 by an in-house committee chaired by the Chief Executive with representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana.
“So, COCOBOD is currently negotiating the terms of the proposals with the Banks; which is the normal practice. Once the terms are finalized, all due processes will be followed through to their logical conclusion, up to the signing of the facility which is expected in September 2020.”
Hon. Boahen Aidoo made another revelation that COCOBOD has, unencumbered by the COVID-19 pandemic, paid its 2019/2020 syndicated loan facility in this present month of June 2020, three (3) months ahead of schedule.
He gave an assurance to all of COCOBOD’s stakeholders and partners that the process for securing the US$1.3billion syndicated loan facility is indeed moving steadily and is expected to be finalized on schedule.