The presence of Barima Offe Okogyeasuo II – Kokofu Omanhene, Nana Fe Baamoah – Chief of Asokwa, friends of Kuapa Kokoo - foreign and local, coupled with other dignitaries in Ghana’s cocoa sector, contributed largely to not only add colour but pomp and pageantry to climax the 20th Annual Delegates Conference of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on August 1st, 2014.
It was a sight to behold as the chiefs who are custodians of the Ghanaian tradition and culture were accompanied to the durbar grounds by Kete and Adowa groups, followed by foreign dignitaries nicely dressed in the Kuapa Kokoo anniversary cloth made of African print. The farmers and staff were not left out as they also wore a mixture of anniversary cloth and T-shirts to suit the occasion.
The day started as early as 7am with the farmers and staff in a float through some principal streets of Kumasi to the durbar grounds. The farmers danced to brass band music and sang to express their joy.
The theme for the occasion was; ‘’Celebrating 20 years of empowering Small-holder Cocoa Farmers’’. Praises upon praises were showered on the executives and members of Kuapa Kokoo by various speakers of the occasion for sustaining Kuapa Kokoo – the biggest Fairtrade farmer owned cocoa organization over the years and urged them on to forge ahead.
Kuapa Kokoo started in 1993, currently has a membership of over 87,000 farmers across the 6 most cocoa growing regions in the country namely; Western South, Western North, Ashanti, Eastern, Central and the Brong Ahafo regions.
Kuapa upholds democracy as one of its core values, therefore voting serve as a pre-requisite for electing Kuapa executives into office every four years and since the previous executives’ tenure of office had come to an end, and it was expedient to elect new executives to fill the vacuum during this year’s AGM.
The previous day (31st July 2014) programme chaired by Nana Wiafe Akenten III – Offinso Omanhene, was set aside for the National Executive Council (NEC) elections. 2,012 delegates from the various Kuapa Kokoo societies constituting 91% turnout voted to elect new National Executive Council members as against 2,206 expected voters.
The 13member elected executives comprised of 7 males (54%) and 6 females (46%).The newly elected are: Fatima Ali - president, Nicholas K. Dzobese - Vice-president, Appiah Kwarteng – Secretary, Mary Appiah – Treasurer, Isaac Baidoo - Welfare, Esther Mintah Ephraim – Protocol and Linda Berchie – Porter.
The regional representatives are: Janet Owusu – Ashanti, Joseph Atta Nimo – Brong-Ahafo, Solomon Obeng – Central, Kwaku Wiredu – Eastern, Kusi Mary – Western North and Samson Kobina – Western South respectively.