Guest on State of Affairs about Election2016




On Wednesday morning we all woke up to a new world, a world where Donal Trump is the president elect of the US. It was perhaps not a shock to me in the same way brexit hit, I think I even had a hunch as I chose to not check my phone, not turn on the radio until I had dropped my daughter off at school. When I finally turned on the radio in my car, I heard a familiar, but yet different voice. It sounded like a calm and kind Trump. Then it hit me, the only way he would sound like that is if…if…I pulled the car to the side of the road and just stared ahead.

That sweet spoken president elect is not the candidate we have gotten to know in the last year or who shouted “You’re fired!” on his TV-shows.

By a string of coincidences, I ended my Wednesday on live-TV on the popular politics show “State of Affairs” on GhOne discussing Trumps historical win with Nana Aba Anamoah and Prof. Baffuor Agyeman-Duah, founder of CDD, formerly a governance advisor with UN and now with the John A. Kufuor Foundation.

So what did I say?

I believe I said I was disappointed the American people did not make history when they had a chance of a woman leading the US, although Clinton was of course not just a woman, but also definitely the establishment personified. I said I was very worried about outcomes of Trumps presidency.

When we talked about effects for Africa, we discussed trade and aid, I looked at the budget of the USAID in Ghana ($162,8M in 2015) and opened for that for instance malaria prevention would take a big hit if their funding was cut. On trade, I was inspired by Jerome of CediTalk’s analysis.

However, my co-panelist Prof. Agyeman-Duah was more positive and said he does not think Trump can tear up already signed agreements on trade. After that I got a good punch line, one that a tweep caught:

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Magnum Ghana Cocoa – Ice Cream for the Europe Market

After having had my blog hacked into last week, my blogging time was eaten up (a suitable expression for this post!) by changing passwords etc. While I am on this topic, if you haven’t changed your blog’s password – or email password for that matter –  this year, do it today!

Anyways, now I am back with a snack!

In Europe, they are at this time celebrating the yearly return of the sun and good weather. And what always comes with nice and temperate times…?

Yes: Ice Cream. This year, the celebrated Magnum kind of ice-cream-on-a-stick has created a Ghanaian version with Ghanaian chocolate! This follows the trend of chocolate as a more refined sweet. These days, people are specific when they want chocolate – they might want a certain brand (Valrhona is supposed to be one of the best), a certain cocoa percentage (70% cocoa melts in your mouth, 80% and above can taste bitter, although preferred by some) and maybe even a specific country of origin for the bean (say Ghana or Ecuador).

Magnum UK describes the Ghana ice cream in this fashion:

“For chocolate connoisseurs.Bite into its cracking milk chocolate made with specially selected cocoa beans from Ghana.”

The phrase “specially selected”, makes me smile but still it is good news and possibly even nation branding that Ghana is mentioned together with “connoisseurs”, however still the question is: When will we in Ghana also take part of that value added?

The ice cream is also available in Sweden where they add the information that the rest of the ice cream has a hazelnut flavor. So when I go there next month, I plan to have a bite!

Anyone tasted it yet?

Pic: Borrowed from Ida.


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Emilie Reports from A Ghanaian Village

Emilie, Kuapa Kokoo worker Frank and cocoa beans.

My good friend and former class mate  Emilie Persson, fairtrade activist and Ghana-lover, is currently living in a cocoa producing village in Ghana and writing reports for Divine Chololate’s blog. (I hope you have tasted Divine’s fairtrade chocolate made from Ghanaian cocoa?)

In Emilie’s first post she writes:

I will try to capture some of the everyday activities from one of the many villages where the Kuapa Kokoo farmers live and where farmer grow the cocoa for the company they co-own – Divine.

As a masters-graduate in global studies, from the University of Gothenburg in western Sweden, I’ve been given an exciting opportunity to spend two months in the Ghanaian countryside, more exactly Assin Akonfudi in the central region. Having a passionate interest for development and agriculture and with several years of experience advocating Fairtrade in Sweden, it’s great to be able to get a more in-depth insight into the lives of the farmers behind Divine.  I hope it will be as interesting for you too!

Weekly, she will be writing  updates and posting her wonderful pictures. So check back in!

Today is also Emilie’s birthday. Happy birthday, dear friend, hope you’ll have an excellent day in the cocoa village!

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