Guest Lecture: Cocoa Life by Ms. Yaa Amekudzi

Room 3.10

Talking about the challenges that cocoa farmers face in Ghana, including climate change, gender inequality, poverty, and child labor, join Yaa Peprah Agyeman Amekudzi on November 10 at 6 PM in room 3.10.

About the Speaker:

Yaa Amekudzi is a Development Worker, Social Entrepreneur, and Cocoa Farmer. As a Development Worker with 30 years’ experience in sustainable community development, Yaa’s work  has taken her to all districts in Ghana and to all the districts in Ghana as well as 31 countries across the world facilitating development interventions related to women empowerment, opportunities for the youth, alternative livelihoods, gender and development, community physical infrastructure, sustainable environment, forest protection, biodiversity, development of the child and poverty among others.  She is currently Country Lead/Regional Expert on Gender and Child Protection, Cocoa Life Program of Mondelēz International.  Underpinning Yaa’s outlook are her non-negotiable humanitarian, resiliency and sustainability principles.

Born into an artistic household headed by her Anthropology father, Yaa learned to draw, paint, work with clay and weave at a very early age.  In later years in her twenties, Yaa was drawn to the colorfulness of beads and the stories each bead told her. She started stringing beads for herself, then for family and friends until she turned into a social enterprise ensuring that her materials are purchased as much as possible from producing sources.  Yaa is the Founder and Creative Director of Kai-biyoo Company Limited where each bead is carefully designed and strung by her.  She is also the co-owner of Kaibiyoo The Shop which is an outlet for Kai-biyoo Company Limited as well as an outlet for several small arts and crafts enterprises.

Walking the talk, Yaa with her husband acquired a moribund cocoa farm in the year 2017.  With assiduous labour and finance, the Amekudzikope cocoa farm is now a thriving farm that has modern irrigation.  The yield is now 85% ahead of the national average.  Plans are afoot to add a cocoa waste plant to process cocoa husks into potash and pharmaceutical-grade calcium carbonate in order to provide additional income sources for smallholder cocoa farmers working near Amekudzikope.

She has had her formal education in Ghana earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration; a Diploma in Communications; a Master of Public Health Degree; a Certificate in Gestalt Organisation and Systems Development; and an Executive MBA in Project Management. She has also been an international student in Norway on AFS graduating with a High School Diploma; and has been in USA on the International Visitor Leadership Program. She is currently a Doctor of Business Administration Candidate.