The Export Competitiveness of Ghana’s Cocoa Industry in West Africa

  •  Alhassan Abukari    
  •  Tan Cunfeng    


Ghana in the year 1911 became the world’s largest exporter of cocoa. However, cocoa export in Ghana nearly came to standstill in the 1970s as a result of the outbreak of swollen shoot disease of cocoa. Ghana since then has not been able to rejuvenate its cocoa export as expected. The years 1999 to 2018 have witnessed a downward trend in the export of cocoa in Ghana. This raises questions of whether the phrase “Ghana is cocoa, and cocoa is Ghana” is still valid. The study attempts to analyze the competitiveness of Ghana’s cocoa sector vis-à-vis its neighbors. In doing so, the authors calculate the Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) and Revealed Symmetric Comparative Advantage (RSCA) for Ghana to compare with other West African exporters of cocoa and assess the determinants of Ghana’s cocoa exports. The authors adopt a regression framework to explore the determinants of cocoa exports. The results revealed that Ghana is highly competitive in the export of cocoa beans. The study attributed this advantage to the quality of the cocoa beans Ghana exports. The results further showed that Ghana’s cocoa production volumes and the World consumer price of cocoa beans were the major determinants of the volume of cocoa beans exported in Ghana. The study concluded that although Ghana enjoys a comparative advantage in the export of cocoa beans, Ghana’s cocoa production volumes fluctuate thus affecting the volume of cocoa exported. Ghana, therefore, needs to invest in new hybrid climate-smart cocoa cultivation to boost production and export.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.