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

Official: S. Sudan President, Rebel Leader to Meet in Tanzania

Talks part of effort to end conflict in country that has left more than 10,000 people dead, displaced more than 1.5 million others More

Dutch Deny Link to Mystery Submarine off Sweden

Netherlands denies Russian claim that 'foreign vessel' photographed in waters off Sweden could be Dutch More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid