Traditionally the cocoa used to make chocolate has been grown in Africa and exported to Europe and the U.S., but as Hayley Platt reports, Africans are now getting a taste for producing the sweet treat for themselves.
Around 75 percent of the world's cocoa supply comes from West Africa. But chocolate consumption is low. That's something Naheed Ahmed is trying to change. He's one of the few chocolatiers in East Africa. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NAHEED AHMED, CHOCOLATIER SAYING: "Today people are getting exposed, people know what chocolate is. People are curious to know how to make chocolate. That same cocoa, instead of going outside of Africa, can still be within Africa and the skill is coming to Africa and chocolate is able to be made locally." Africans have been farming cacao, the raw ingredient of chocolate, for years. And they're now getting a taste for the finished product. Chocolate sales are on the rise, topping 530 million dollars last year. Some of the biggest names in the business - Nestle, Mondelez and Lindt have factories in Africa. But few local companies produce chocolate because many Africans can't afford luxury sweets. Yves Ouya is a financial expert. (SOUNDBITE) (French) YVES OUYA, FINANCIAL EXPERT SAYING: "There are a large number of people in the world who want to consume chocolate and who cannot because it's a luxury product, so we need to put a chocolate product of certain quality, to the market, that is acceptable. I think that's a sector that can work." It's still early days for Ahmed's Absolute Chocolate factory. He's only producing around 100 kilograms a month. But he's not the only African chocolatier - a few other are also starting up in the hope of winning a bigger bite of a global chocolate market which by some estimates is set to reach close to $100 billion by next year.