I am very pleased to be with you today for the training seminar for artists on the fight against child labor, a subject that is particularly close to my heart.
This event also marks the launch of the fifth edition of the WARA TOUR caravan, whose theme this year is: no to child labor in cocoa cultivation.
I am pleased with the presence today of all the personalities who came to support the fight against child labor in Côte d'Ivoire.
First of all:
Minister Mariatou KONE, Minister of National Education and Literacy;
Minister Adama KAMARA, Minister of Employment and Social Protection,
President of the Inter-ministerial Committee for the fight against child labor in Côte d'Ivoire;
Minister Nassénéba TOURÉ, Minister of Women, Family and Children, Vice-Chairperson of the Inter-ministerial Committee;
And Mrs. Arlette Badou N'GUESSAN KOUAME, Minister of Culture and Industry, Arts and Entertainment.
Dear members of the Government, your presence in large numbers is a strong signal that your interest in this issue is at the highest level of the State and I thank you very much.
I would also like to greet our sisters, the wives of Presidents of Institutions and Ministers who are accompanying us today.
Mrs. Florence ACHI, Patricia Ahoussou, Mayélé Coulibaly, and Flore Donwahi.
Thank you, my dear sisters, for your support.
Now, I would like to greet the Ambassadors and members of diplomatic missions accredited in Côte d'Ivoire, as well as the representatives of the United Nations System agencies present in our country. Thank you for your presence which I appreciate.
We also have the pleasure of receiving the partners of the National Monitoring Committee, ladies and gentlemen of the cocoa and chocolate industry, as well as representatives of national and international NGOs involved in the fight against child labor in cocoa production, and I thank them.
My greetings also go to Mr. Abu Nidal, Commissioner General of the Wara tour and I thank him for this initiative that allows us to put the spotlight on the fight against child labor.
To these greetings, I would like to associate all our talented artists of national and international renown, present at our side, to say no to child labor.
I would like to mention in the first place:
Mr. Toumany Diabaté, artistic sponsor of the Wara Tour 2021, whom I particularly thank for carrying with us the fight against child labor.
Our friends from the group Magic System who, in addition to being our famous ambassadors of Ivorian music abroad, is also very committed ambassadors for the well-being of our children.
My sister Aicha Koné, who is our national diva and whom we have great pleasure in seeing again.
Madame Were Were Liking, a great lady of Ivorian culture who trains many young artists.
Our talented actors: Michel Gohou, Akissi Delta, Maï la Bombe and Bleu Brigitte who make us proud.
Thanks also to Antoinette Konan, Affou Keita, Mawa Traoré, Bomou Mamadouand Nash who enchant us with their beautiful melodies.
I finish with our actors and filmmakers present among us:
DIALLO TICOUAHI VINCENT,
GBI DE FER,
Our plastic artists
Joseph BAFFROU and Hélène BEKET
And finally, our writers
And Placide KONAN.
I cannot quote you all because, to my great joy, you are very numerous at this ceremony. But know that I have for each of you a great affection and I thank you for your presence.
I ask that we applaud them loudly.
Finally, I greet our traditional and religious leaders, who surround us with their blessings and prayers, without forgetting our friends from the press.
Thank you all for having responded favourably to our invitation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
When I was asked to be the godmother of the 5th edition of the Wara Tour caravan, I agreed without hesitation, because the theme chosen this year “No to child labor in cocoa farming” resonates with my personal commitment against child labor.
As you know, since 1998, I have been working with my Children of Africa Foundation for the well-being of vulnerable women and children.
With the National Monitoring Committee against Child Labor, created in 2011, we are fighting with all our strength against the scourge of child exploitation.
We are committed to this fight with the support of our partners, so that our children, those who are our future, live a happy childhood free of any form of exploitation.
This collective commitment has made it possible to achieve significant results both nationally and internationally, as you will see during this seminar.
But the challenge is still persisting as it depends on other external parameters that we must solve. Such as:
- illegal immigration,
- the fight against poverty and
- the income of the planters.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Child labor in general is a problem that concerns us all and against which we can act, each at his level.
That’s why the WARA TOUR 2021 caravan, whose theme is No to child labor, meets my full approval as it echoes our fight against child labor.
Dear Abou Nidal, I would like to thank you for your commitment to our children through your various awareness caravans.
This year, you have decided to say no to child labor in cocoa farming.
I would like to congratulate you and all the artists who accompanied you for this citizens' initiative that honors your corporation.
In order to reach your objective of sensitizing the populations to the fight against child labor, the present artists today will receive a training on the fight against child labor in our Country.
Furthermore, as sponsor of the Wara tour 2021, I am contributing 10 million CFA francs to help you travel within the country.
I also offer the sum of 15 million F CFA to all artists who came to participate in the training seminar on child labor.
Dear artist friends,
The training that will be given to you today, will allow you to better understand the problem of child labor, as well as the efforts made by Côte d'Ivoire and its partners to remedy it.
You have the gift to make us dream, to transport us and to make us feel the most vivid emotions.
You also have the power to educate us and awaken our consciousness through your art.
Do not hesitate to take up this fight through your respective artistic works, in order to preserve our children against these harmful practices.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am proud to note that our artists are increasingly mobilizing for causes such as the schooling of children or the defence of their rights and I am very happy about this.
I therefore encourage all initiatives that aim to support and help the most disadvantaged because it is with love and active solidarity that we will succeed in building a united, strong and prosperous nation.
While wishing you an enriching training and a beautiful caravan, I declare the opening of the training seminar for artists, marking the launch of the 5th edition of the Wara tour to say no to child labor in cocoa farming.