Around 62% of 15-24 year-olds in the world’s premier cocoa-producing country never completed primary school, according to the Education Policy and Data Center. A study by Tulane University also estimated around 820,000 children in the Côte d’Ivoire were found to be working on cocoa-related activities in 2007/2008.
The Jacob’s Foundation’s seven-year TRECC (Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities), initiative hopes to improve the education sector to benefit 200,000 children in cocoa growing communities. It was announced yesterday at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Middle East & Africa meeting.
The World Cocoa Foundation’s CocoaAction platform is supported by 11 of the biggest players in the cocoa supply chain: Mars, Hershey, Barry Callebaut, Nestlé, Cargill, Mondelēz, Ecom, Ferrero, Blommer, Olam and ADM.
‘Just the starting point’
Tim McCoy, senior advisor at the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) told ConfectioneryNews: “WCF believes this is a significant and unprecedented investment in education in Côte d’Ivoire. $52 million is just the starting point."
The current funding will come solely from the Jacob's Foundation, but McCoy said that would change.
“The Jacobs Foundation’s framework calls for additional resources from industry, other donors, and impact investing to be leveraged. We also know that the government of Côte d’Ivoire has an aggressive strategy for improving access to education. Education is a key component to growing the capacity of both individuals and communities, and we’re optimistic that this investment will help result in better outcomes for children and their families.”
He said the WCF would reveal further details about the investment later this year as it builds action and implementation plans together with Jacobs Foundation.