Remarks by Ambassador Jackson at Opening of Pinkberry in Kumasi

Ambassador Jackson cutting sod for the opening of Pinkberry in Kumasi.
A man cuts sod with arched overhead balloons.
Ambassador Jackson cutting sod for the opening of Pinkberry in Kumasi.

At the opening of Pinkberry’s Frozen Yoghurt shop at the Kumasi city mall on December 5, 2017, Ambassador Jackson celebrated American-Ghanaian partnership that will not only serve the people of Ghana a delicious product, but create employment opportunities for Ghanaians and help stimulate economic growth and development.

Opening of Pinkberry in Kumasi
Remarks by Ambassador Robert P. Jackson
December 5, 2017 | 2 p.m.


Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  Special greetings to KNUST Vice Chancellor Obiri-Danso, Pro Vice Chancellor Ansah and other honored guests. I am thrilled to be asked to open the second location of Pinkberry in Ghana — right here in Kumasi.  It has only been five months since I helped christen the first store in Accra with Finance Minister Ofori-Atta.  That was a landmark occasion, as it was the first Pinkberry to open in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The success of this new American franchise in Ghana has exceeded all expectations.

When Pinkberry first opened in Hollywood, California, in 2005, it became an overnight success.  Celebrities like Oprah, Beyoncé, and Michelle Obama have all partaken of and praised the healthy, sweet treat of Pinkberry frozen yogurt.  Even when more locations were added, lines formed outside the stores and it could easily take 20 minutes or more to order.  Pinkberry’s Accra store has had similar success.  From the looks of the crowd today, it appears Kumasi might experience the same effect.  If you spot any celebrities in line today — don’t forget to take a selfie!

In all seriousness, though, the opening of this location is special.  The Ashanti Region has often been called the heartland of West Africa — but it is also where we find the roots of Peak Investment Capital, the company that had the vision to bring Pinkberry’s frozen yogurt to Ghanaians.

Over the past 60 years, the United States has worked together with Ghanaians to enrich our bilateral relationship and strengthen our economies.  The opening of this store encompasses that ideal perfectly:  an American franchise, fueled by American and Ghanaian investment, fully operated by Ghanaians, utilizing many of Ghana’s own incredible natural resources — not just with fresh toppings, but with the dairy as well.

I am not sure if you know this, but for more than two years, KNUST and Peak Investment Capital have been working together to improve the local milk supply through the school’s Dairy Research Station.  With assistance from United States and other international advisors, they were able to increase dairy output and bring locally produced yogurt up to international standards.

The success we are celebrating today is proof that the commercial relationship between Ghana and the United States continues to strengthen and grow.  American brands and franchises are rapidly expanding to new markets all over the world — fueling job growth at home and around the globe.  As the gateway to Africa, Ghana plays a key role for U.S. companies developing their presence on the continent.  Ghana’s stability, sound legal environment and steady governance are a solid platform for American companies to build upon.  Joining with a capable local partner, as Pinkberry has done with Peak Investment Capital, is a great way to get started here in Ghana and throughout Africa.

I’m proud that American franchises are playing an increasingly stronger role here in Ghana.  Kentucky Fried Chicken, Hertz and Avis have been operating in Ghana for years.  Since I arrived in Ghana in January 2016, I have witnessed other American franchises opening their doors to the Ghanaian market, including Pizza Hut, Steak Escape, and Counter Burger.  More are on the way, with many planning to be in Kumasi soon.  These investments play a key role in improving the local business climate here in Ghana.

Successful concepts are able to tailor their goods or services to meet the needs of each market, and I am confident Pinkberry will continue do just that — not only serving the people of Ghana a delicious product, but creating employment opportunities for Ghanaians and helping stimulate economic growth and development.

Thank you again for the opportunity to be part of your celebration this afternoon.  And now, I believe we are ready to officially open the newest location of Pinkberry.  I don’t know about all of you, but I am eager to get some of their delicious frozen yogurt.  Congratulations to Pinkberry and to the city of Kumasi.

Thank you.