Côte d’Ivoire - Youth, entrepreneurship, exchanges and more: An update on the Ouagadougou commitments


In Côte d’Ivoire, many projects are proof that the commitments the President made in his speech in November 2017 are being implemented. They concern all areas of Ivorians’ daily lives including sport and sustainable cities, health, security and the fight against terrorism as well as support for young African businesses.

Education as a priority

Fighting for education is the best response to all forms of obscurantism and totalitarianism. It is the only sustainable response to the global demographic challenge. And we will therefore fight at length against inequalities, especially those between men and women.*

The French-Ivorian hub for education groups together education programmes leading to qualifications and degrees granted jointly by French and Ivorian institutions. It brings together 90 education partnerships and is set to offer more than 100 programmes in 2020.

This education hub has a main objective of enabling Ivorian students to enrol in programmes offered by French institutions without having to move to France. It helps diversify and improve the quality of Ivorian higher education in key areas in line with the needs of the local job market. The most prestigious Ivorian universities, such as the Université Alassane Ouattara in Bouaké and Institut National Polytechnique Felix Houphouët-Boigny in Yamoussoukro, and French institutions, such as the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers and Ecole Polytechnique, are involved in these programmes.

One of the unique features is the involvement of French businesses. For example, a large agrifood group is taking part in courses on food science and technology given by the Institut National de Formation Professionnelle Agricole.

Innovative infrastructures devoted to youth

Young Africans must have infrastructure enabling them to train for the Olympics, but in this time period open to us we must have a genuine shared strategy to develop this economic sector and this creation of wealth.*

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© PISCAA/Ambassade de France en Côte d’Ivoire

Koumassi Agora in Abidjan

Agora is an innovative project in the working class neighbourhood of Koumassi in Abidjan and is jointly funded by France and Côte d’Ivoire. This leading community and sports complex will be inaugurated by the President of the French Republic and the Vice President of Côte d’Ivoire.

This community sports complex simultaneously serves as a social incubator bringing together local entrepreneurs and young people from the neighbourhood and provides a space for health services and business activities. Powered by solar panels and designed to generate income for the local residents, this project has a new way of approaching sustainable cities in Africa and in Europe.

12 projects to make sport accessible to everyone

France supports 12 projects focused on development through sport benefiting from €650,000 (“Sport and Development” PISCCA Fund). These projects, selected with Côte d’Ivoire in a call for projects, enable young people, women and vulnerable populations such as disabled people and prison inmates to find their place in society.

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© EC ECHO Anouk Delafortrie

A partnership working to improve the health of populations

What Africa needs is funding to open healthcare structures where these doctors can practice with the best technologies. We need to develop (…) key infrastructure.*

In the area of health, France is one of Côte d’Ivoire’s main partners whether directly or via the Global Fund, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and UNITAID.
France supports Ivorian public policies at various levels including hospital reform and regulation of the pharmaceutical sector, securing of the medicine supply and even improvement of health infrastructure.

Training and education of healthcare providers are also part of the policies France supports.

Côte d’Ivoire still has to deal with a number of major health issues, including the lack of quality human resources throughout the country, maternal mortality and the still high number of HIV cases. That is why France also provides significant support to Côte d’Ivoire through several multilateral funds, including:

  • The Global Fund (to which it is the second highest contributing country),
  • GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and

A partnership between the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will strengthen the health system and access to primary care for the Ivorian people. It will also help the central medicine purchasing agency to provide access across Africa to quality and affordable medicines.

Africa, a partner for our collective security

The second imperative is combating terrorism. I say that because we share this tragic destiny. Both our countries have been shaken and struck by terrorism in recent years.*

Terrorism is a growing challenge for many African and European countries. Training centres should be established so as to better fight this shared threat. In 2017, the Presidents of France and Côte d’Ivoire decided to create an International Counter-Terrorism Academy in Abidjan to train people from all African countries. The Academy will train senior officers in the fight against terrorism, from intelligence, judicial treatment to action by special forces. The first training courses began in 2019 and about 140 people participated, from nine African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Togo and Senegal).

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© GCC/Ataub/NGE

The Academy has met the wish of many African countries to share and develop a wide range of counter-terrorism tools. The unique thing about the Academy is that it has a comprehensive approach by including an officers’ school, a boot camp and a strategic research institute. The Academy is to be built by mid-2020 in Jacqueville, which is near Abidjan.

“Choose Africa”: Unprecedented support for African SMEs

The second revolution we can spearhead together, the revolution that will give a boost to young people, is innovation and, with it, entrepreneurship. It is the only revolution that can create the 450 million jobs Africa will need by 2050.*

Developing innovative start-ups and SMEs is vital to the African economy. With Choose Africa, the AFD and its local partners provide financial tools to African start-ups, very small enterprises and SMEs at the various statges of their development.

The Social & Inclusive Business Camp is a business accelerator programme in Africa, which accompanies the development of start-ups making the most social impact. In 2018, eight entrepreneurs out of the 60 in the programme were from Côte d’Ivoire.

The first Social & Business Camp in Côte d’Ivoire was held on 10 October 2019 and some 100 participants attended. This event, which brought together all start-ups from Côte d’Ivoire, identified common problems and came up with some ideas for solutions. Three winners were named who would receive coaching on how to develop their business. This meeting was held ahead of an event scheduled for 2020 in Abidjan for SMEs and start-ups from the social and inclusive entrepreneurship sector from all the neighbouring countries.

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© Agence Française de Développement

The Abidjan metro: Working for a sustainable city and transport system

The first project, and I am very proud of it, as are you, is not just the Abidjan metro (…). It is a project that will change the lives of the inhabitants and will help develop economic activity. It is in line with your climate commitments because it will help reduce people’s travelling on their own**

Built by a consortium of French companies, the Abidjan metro will provide transportation on a daily basis to some 500,000 passengers over 38 km, from north to south of the city, between the municipalities of Port-Bouët and Anyama, through around 20 metro stops. Ultimately, inhabitants will save valuable travel time between their homes and work. The metro will change the lives of inhabitants because it will improve transport and the quality of life and develop economic activity. It will also be consistent with the climate commitments since it will reduce the number of people travelling on their own. This metro project is entirely financed by France. It is the biggest financial investment that France has ever made for building urban transport outside of France.

Sustainable development will be the central theme of the Africa-France Summit to be held on 4, 5 and 6 June 2020 in France.

* Emmanuel Macron, speech at the Ki-Zerbo University of Ouagadougou on 28 November 2017.
** Emmanuel Macron, speech in Abidjan when work on Line 1 was launched on 30 November 2017.