News / Africa

Ivory Coast PM: ‘We Can Astonish the World’

FILE - Ivorian Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan (R) is seen meeting with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
FILE - Ivorian Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan (R) is seen meeting with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
Margaret Besheer
Ivory Coast’s prime minister says his country is on track to reach double digit economic growth this year and become an emerging market by 2020.  In an interview with VOA, Daniel Kablan Duncan said the government has worked hard to restore security and investor confidence following 2010’s post-election violence that killed 3,000 people.

Prime Minister Duncan said Ivory Coast has a favorable business climate and is a gateway to western Africa.  He said the country has an ambitious development plan that aims to generate enough growth to double national revenue and make it an emerging market in the next six years.
 
“We are on the way and we can reach the target.  Cote d’Ivoire is changing quickly.  You can see by the highways, the roads, even the agriculture sector is changing,” said Duncan.
 
Ivory Coast - or Cote d’Ivoire as it is known in French - is best known as the world’s largest producer of cocoa beans, but it also is a major producer of coffee beans, cashew nuts, palm oil and rubber.   And it is working to expand its mining, oil and gas sectors.
 
On Monday, Duncan addressed potential financiers at a conference in New York City on investing in Ivory Coast.  Afterwards, he held hours of one-on-one meetings with representatives of a wide array of international companies interested in working in the West African nation.
 
The prime minister said he knows that if the country is to have strong sustained economic growth, it needs peace and security on the ground, which includes national reconciliation and accountability for crimes committed in the post-election period.
 
Serving justice

In November 2010, Ivory Coast had contested presidential elections that led to months of violence.  At least 3,000 people were killed during the crisis as armed forces loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo and newly elected President Alassane Ouattara committed what human rights groups say were war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.  Today, Gbagbo is in custody at The Hague awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court.
 
Gbagbo’s wife, Simone, is in Ivory Coast and authorities say they will try her in the national courts.  Last month, the Ouattara government handed over to the ICC Charles Blé Goudé, another Gbagbo ally who is charged with committing crimes against humanity during the post-election violence.
 
Critics of the Ouattara government have accused it of only holding its rivals accountable, but not its loyalists.  Duncan dismissed that, saying justice in a country like his takes time.
 
“You cannot ask a country like Cote d’Ivoire, with the number of judges we have, to make these kind of things work quickly.  Tomorrow we will say that it’s not justice, it is banana justice.  So let the justice do his work.  And we will see finally that the people will have fair justice on both sides,” said Duncan.
 
The prime minister said the country is rebuilding the court system and training judges to deal with charges such as crimes against humanity - something with which they have no prior experience.
 
Despite challenges, Duncan said Ivory Coast is on its way to becoming an African “showcase” on the political, economic, social and cultural levels.

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs