Ivorian envoy commends Ghana for hospitality, Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Cote d’Ivoire Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Bernard Ehui-Koutoua, has expressed appreciation to Ghana for its hospitality to the numerous Ivorians who fled that country’s recent political crisis to live in Ghana.

According to the Cote d’Ivoire Embassy figures, out of the nearly 300,000 people who went into exile, over 250,000 have returned home.

Out of the 16,000 Ivorian exiles registered in 2011,  those resident in Ghana were 9,631  according to last month’s statistics.

The ambassador, who was speaking at the 54th independence anniversary celebrations of his country in Accra, reiterated calls for all Ivoirians living in exile to return home and contribute their quota to national development.

“There is nothing justifying their exile. Conditions for their safe return, as well as their economic reintegration, are guaranteed,” he added.

In the speech that also centred on economic growth, security, latest political developments and relations between the two countries, the ambassador said the mutual trust and brotherhood had strengthened the co-operation between them in defence and security. 

“The trust and brotherhood have gone a long way to guide us in the negotiations pertaining to the delimitation of the maritime boundary which should soon lead to a subsequent demarcation of such boundary in equity and peace,” he said.

The Ivorian journey
On August 7, 1960, Cote d’Ivoire gained independence from France, after being a colony for more than 120 years.

August 7 is, therefore, packed with cultural activities and parties. Military parades and processions are also held in the capital, Yamoussoukro.

In the years after independence in 1960, the country became known as a sanctuary of peace and prosperity in an otherwise turbulent West African region.

The country blossomed on cocoa wealth. Investment flowed in and the Ivorian miracle became the envy of the continent.

But a coup in 1999, a bloody civil war in 2002 and a post-election violence in 2010/2011 turned the dream into a nightmare.

But speaking on the glitzy night of music, food, drinks and speeches attended by members of the diplomatic corps, the Ivorian Ambassador said the country had picked up the pieces and was on a path of transformation.

“The crisis recently experienced by Côte d’Ivoire is now far behind us and Côte d'Ivoire is resolutely embarking on its emergence slated for 2020,” he assured.

He said as part of measures to stitch together the country after its political hiccup, the country was achieving reconciliation, post-crisis reconstruction and international repositioning as those factors were of paramount importance to that country.

He said the country, with the support of the international community, had rolled out an elaborate plan that would ensure that an estimated 74,000 ex-combatants were demobilised and integrated into the security services in addition to the acquisition of special police and gendamarie equipment for monitoring the country’s cities and roads. 

The Ivorian economy 

The Ivorian economy has had an impressive recovery after the country’s crisis. The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which was 8.1 per cent in 2012, rose to nine per cent in 2013 and is projected to hit 10 per cent in 2014 and a further marginal increase to 10.1 per cent in 2015. 

“The business environment in Côte d'Ivoire has witnessed great strides with the new investment code and the single-window office, thus making it possible to establish a business entity within 48 hours,” he added. 

Ghana responds
Ghana’s  Minister of Health, Dr Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, who led a delegation to the event, commended Cote d’Ivoire for its giant strides under the leadership of President Alassane Ouattara.
Tuesday, 12 August 2014

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