YAOUNDE May 11 (Reuters) – Morocco’s leading chocolate-making company, Compagnie Cherifienne de Chocolaterie, will build a 40,000 tonne-per-year chocolate factory in Cameroon this year, Cameroon’s government said on Friday.
Cameroon is the world’s fifth largest grower of cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, with more than 200,000 tonnes of production, and its government has been seeking to boost value-added exports.
“The Compagnie Cherifienne de Chocolaterie is going to set up a major modern chocolate-producing factory here in Cameroon through its subsidiary, the Cameroon Investment Company (CIC),” Trade Minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana told reporters.
He said construction of the factory would start in June with first output before the end of the year. He estimated the project would cost between 30 and 50 billion CFA francs ($60-100 million) and would employ 500 people.
Cameroon currently has just one local cocoa processing firm Sic-Cacaos, based in the economic capital Douala, with an annual grinding capacity of 30,000 tonnes.
The new project comes on the heels of another investment in the central African country by a Moroccan firm. Morocco’s Addoha Group announced on Wednesday a planned $26 million cement plant project. ($1 = 506.7650 CFA francs) (Reporting by Tansa Musa; Editing by Richard Valdmanis)