Ambassade de la Côte d'Ivoire
Washington, DC - Etats-Unis
Washington, DC
Abidjan
  
SPEECH OF THE EMBASSADOR OF COTE D’IVOIRE, HIS EXCELLENCY DAOUDA DIABATE
Jeudi 27 Mars 2014

Distinguished Professors,

Staff Members,

Fellow Students,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to convey to each and everyone, the warmest greeting of the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, His Excellency Mr. Alassane Ouattara, his Government and the people of Côte d’Ivoire.

On behalf of my delegation to this important event organized by Shepherd University and in my own name, I would also like to extend my sincerest gratitude to the Professors, to the Students Association and Staff and to all those who in a way or another, have contributed to the happening and success of this ceremony.

I cannot but have special mention of those who took the initiative, those who had the faith to make the project become a reality.

In this regard, I would like to pay a special tribute do Mr. Siriki Diabaté, an Ivorian National President of the Student Association. He visited several times the Embassy to extend the invitation to us. Although we were dubious, He has been able to convince us.

And here we are today.

Siriki and his colleagues and his professors deserve for sure a standing ovation.

They give us today the opportunity to briefly show case Côte d’Ivoire, my country.

As you know, Côte d’Ivoire, this West African country of 22.1 million inhabitants has been during four decades a haven of peace, stability and economic prosperity.

The country has been noticed particularly for its economic performances and its peace and stability.

I remember when in July 15, 2004, I presented my credentials to the former US President George Bush, he mentioned to me that “Côte d’Ivoire use to be a success story. Let the Ivorian bring that back again”.

 

On his part, President Obama on the same occasion, in February 23, 2011, qualified Côte d’Ivoire as being “a land of growth and opportunity”.

I can assure that both Presidents are absolutely right.

It is the free enterprise policy applied by the Ivorian Authorities since the independence that attracted many investors and created the economic prosperity of the years 60’s-70 up to mid 80’s. It also attracted many people from the neighboring countries.

With an immigration rate of 26%, the country became a kind of melting-pot, as well as a model of regional integration.

 

Unfortunately, the model had suffered from 10 years of socio-political and military crisis which culminated to the post-electoral crisis from December 2010 up to April 11, 2011.

Now the crisis is over.

The county has returned to democracy and has fully resumed its relations with the international community and particularly with the United States of America.

Consequently,

President Alassane Ouattara paid in 3 years, 3 visits to the USA and met President Obama who invited him in July 2011;

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid two days visit to Côte d’Ivoire in January 2012;

Two Ivorian Prime Ministers visited United States in December 2011 and June 2012, then in 2013 and 2014.

In October 2011, Côte d’Ivoire became eligible to AGOA (African Growth Opportunity Act) that offers great commercial and investment opportunities.

Côte d’Ivoire is also negotiating for its access to MCC (Millennium Challenge Corporation). That will give greater opportunities and additional considerable resources.

All these positive developments are the results of the new leadership in the country but also of the deep reforms.

The President, His Excellency Alassane Ouattara has brought to Côte d’Ivoire: rule of law, good governance, structural reforms, Code of Ethnic, democracy, news business climate with incentives from the new Investment Code, for private sector investments.

Two months ago, we organized a Business Forum in Côte d’Ivoire to showcase the potential of the country and attract the investors.

ICI 2014 registered: 3733 participants; 1280 of them coming from abroad; 103 countries attending;886 million US $ investment commitment taken.

So, now is the time to come and invest in Côte d’Ivoire. The opportunities are there in sectors such as:

Agriculture

Côte d’Ivoire is an agricultural country with major production of many tropical products:Cocoa: word number one producer, with 1,3 M T

Coffee: 110.000 T/Y
Pineapple
Cashew: world number 2 producer with 400.000 T
Rubber
Banana
Cotton
Sugar cane
Tuna.

Agribusiness has a great potential and a high Return On Investments.

Mines, Oil, Energy, Gas

These sectors are also promising for exploration and exploitation.

Côte d’Ivoire plans to become an energy hub in a near future.

In this regard, Côte d’Ivoire has a sub-regional interconnection program with the neighboring countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Togo.

Roads

The Ivorian road network is one of the best in sub-Saharan Africa.

But still, it needs to be extended and renovated.

New road have to be built also such as: the Abidjan-Ouagadougou Highway, the Abidjan-Lagos Highway via Accra, Togo and Benin. Many other national roads have to be built to better link the country and the neighboring countries.

Many bridges have to be constructed including the third Abidjan Bridge already under construction (Henri Konan Bedié Toll Bridge).

 

There is a new railway construction plan in the West of the country to link the port of San Pedro to the Iron Ore Mont Klahoyo.

The region will become a new pole of development.

Ports

The port of Abidjan, the second largest in sub-Sahara Africa, is a regional port. It has to be extended as well as the Port of San Pedro with the construction of the western railway.

Airports

Abidjan airport has to be extended and certified to increase its capacity as a regional hub.

The local Airports have to be renovated.

Telecommunication network

It is very developed thereby. As such, it facilitates business transactions. There are business opportunities for US private sector.

Housing

There is a huge deficit in the Housing sector. At least 50.000 houses need to be built per year to gap the deficit. The Government has facilitated the loan conditions by extending the period up to 20 years. There are business opportunities for US constructors as well. Many of them are already in Côte d’Ivoire.

Tourism

Hotels and Resorts must be constructed or renovated to bridge the gap between the under capacity and the demand.

Wonderful resort development areas are waiting for investors.

The goal is to reach 500.000 Tourists by 2015.

Education

Schools, Universities need to be constructed or renovated to maintain the good standard that Ivorian Education system use to have and to provide the qualified Human Resources the country needs for its development. There are big business opportunities in the education sector.

IUGB, the International University of Grand-Bassam an English speaking and teaching school in a French environment is already a model to be expanded.

IUGB has a partnership with Georgia State University.

Our Government is committed in having well trained human resources to take care of your business.

Health

In addition to the construction of hospitals, we need also the health care system to be modernized. CMU, Universal Medical Coverage, has just been adopted by the Government to respond to the population needs in that sector.

In conclusion, I’d like to let you know that Côte d’Ivoire has: a domestic market of 22.7 million persons;

the well integrated WAMU Market of 100 million persons living in 8 countries and sharing the same currency;

we also have the ECOWAS Market of 15 countries with 300 million people with strong regional integration projects and policy.

In addition, Côte d’Ivoire is privileged to be a country where everything grows everywhere. Cocoa, Coffee, Rubber, Palm trees, Pineapples, Bananas, very profitable products stop growing, where Cashew, Sugar cane, Cotton, start growing as well; not mentioning Mines, Energy, Gas, NTIC, Finances sectors, etc.

We also are privileged to have the leadership of President Alassane Ouattara who has a clear vision of what he wants for his country.  He wants it transform to an emerging country by the year 2020. This means good governance, rule of law, democracy but also hard work.

Being a former US educated Student then a former IMF Deputy Director General, President Ouattara knows where to lead his country.

 

Dear Professors,

 

Staff Members,

 

Dear Students,

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

This is the new Côte d’Ivoire, the country that has once been considered as a success story, the country that has sent its delegation to you, to Shepherd University to the Students to the leaders of tomorrow, to show to them, to you the win-win investments opportunities in Côte d’Ivoire.

We still have projects in the pipe line: Agribusiness, Infrastructure, Mines, Energy, Housing, Tourism, Education, Health, NTIC, etc.

So you are very welcome to Côte d’Ivoire to start or to continue this new business Journey with the new Côte d’Ivoire, a land of win-win opportunities.

 

Thank you for giving us this marvelous opportunity to present our country but also to discover your beautiful University and its wonderful Professors and Students.

 

H.E. Daouda Diabaté

Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire to the USA

 

 

CHANCELLERIE
 
(202)797.0300
Lundi - Vendredi
09:30 - 13:00 et de 14:00 - 15:30
Email
info@ambacidc.org
SERVICES CONSULAIRES
(202)204.4034
Lundi - Vendredi
DROP OFF: 09AM- 12 PM
PICKUP: 2PM - 3:30PM
VISA HOURS
DROP OFF: 09AM- 12 PM
PICKUP: between 2PM - 3:30PM
2 to 3 business days after the drop off