Creating Value in Unexpected Places: A Conversation with Steve Wallace, Founder of The Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company.
Learn about the cocoa value chain, how Omanhene thinks about value creation and have your cocoa questions answered.
Omanhene designs and manufactures high-value cocoa products in Ghana. The company’s pioneering economic jiu-jitsu upended the legacy supply chain that, for decades, limited wealth creation in Ghana’s cocoa sector by focusing on the export of raw beans to offshore processors at the expense of domestic value-addition. See below for more information about Steve Wallace and The Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company.
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Steven Wallace and The Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company
Omanhene is the first company to sustain exports of premium, single-origin chocolate manufactured entirely in Africa (Ghana in 1994) and with creating an entirely new chocolate category (dark milk chocolate). Omanhene’s entrepreneurial accomplishments and path-breaking business model have been recognized by President Jimmy Carter, former ambassador Shirley Temple Black and the United Nations Global Compact.
Wallace is the author of the award-winning book, Obroni and the Chocolate Factory: An Unlikely Story of Globalization and Ghana’s First Gourmet Chocolate Bar, called, “a rare glimpse into the mind of an unusually literate and articulate entrepreneur.” Steve was selected as one of the inaugural TED Fellows in 2007. He is a featured subject in the book, Food Heroes by Georgia Pellegrini and features prominently in the book Chocolate Nations by Orla Ryan.
Wallace first came to what was then-called the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana as an AFS high school foreign exchange student during the summer of 1978. He founded Omanhene at the age of 29. Wallace often speaks on the subjects of comparative advantage in international trade, economic development, cross-cultural issues, entrepreneurial ventures and how productive business and political engagement with Africa might unfold in the 21st century.
He delivered a TEDx talk in Accra and has served as a guest panelist at the US State Department sponsored African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum in Accra, Ghana. He is a guest presenter to young Ghanaian entrepreneurs at events sponsored by the US Embassy-Accra. Wallace frequently teaches at schools and universities including Brown, Harvard, Princeton, Tufts, The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, The University of Michigan Graduate School of Business and Northwestern University.
Steve served as vice-chair of the board of directors of AFS-USA, Inc. and on the board of trustees of AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc. the largest volunteer student exchange organization in the world. AFS has been instrumental in the US State Department’s YES program bringing young people from countries with Muslim populations to the US to spend a year with a US family and attend a US high school — Ghana has directly benefited from the YES program fully-funded scholarships.
Wallace holds a bachelor’s degree in History magna cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa) from Brown University and a juris doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. For more information, see omanhene.com