Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian is visiting Côte d’Ivoire on October 17 and 18 for discussions with Ivorian authorities, especially on regional and international issues, and to follow up on the French-Ivorian roadmap signed in 2017.
This visit, which will take him to Abidjan and Yamoussoukro, will include a meeting with the President of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, and an opportunity to observe the progress that has been made on cooperative projects in several priority areas.
In the area of education, Mr. Le Drian will officially inaugurate the French-Ivorian educational hub at the Institut National Polytechnique Houphouët Boigny in Yamoussoukro, together with Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly. The Ivorian minister of higher education will also be in attendance, as well as several representatives of French institutions of higher learning (the Conference of University Presidents, Ecole Polytechnique, Union des Grandes Ecoles Indépendantes, CNAM, etc.). This hub enables Ivorian students to earn French university diplomas in Côte d’Ivoire.
Together with Ivorian Defense Minister Hamed Bakayoko, the Minister will unveil the Académie Internationale de Lutte contre le Terrorisme (National Counterterrorism Academy), a project that will be regional and international in scope, and which was announced by Presidents Macron and Ouattara in November 2017. Lastly, the Minister will meet with representatives of the French community to discuss our economic diplomacy.
Jean-Yves Le Drian will be in Ouagadougou on October 18-19, a little more than six months after his last visit. He will be hosted by President Roch Kaboré, with whom he will discuss boosting cooperation on counterterrorism as well as our partnership for development.
In that connection, he will inaugurate the Maison de l’Innovation et de la Jeunesse (Center for Innovation and Youth) in the presence of his Burkinabé counterpart, Alpha Barry. Known as “La Ruche” (“The Hive”), this center should serve as a catalyst for interactions between young talents, digital startups and opportunities in French higher education. A first for the French diplomatic network, this innovative facility fulfills one of the commitments made by President Macron in his Ouagadougou speech of November 2017; its high-speed Internet access and equipment are provided courtesy of the [French telecom] company Orange.
A working lunch with government officials will provide an opportunity to discuss support for the country’s northern and eastern regions, which are receiving €130 million for current development projects, with an additional €125 million slated for 2019.
The Minister will also meet with representatives of the French community and will review the security measures taken after attacks on French interests and the Burkinabé army headquarters on March 2.