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

AU Takes Action on Boko Haram, Defers on S. Sudan

African Union is moving forward with a request for a military force to stop the spread of Boko Haram insurgency in West Africa; Ban Ki-moon welcomes decision to form a five-nation force More

Mass Protests Held for 58 Killed in Pakistani Shi'ite Mosque Bombing

Thousands of Shi'ite Muslims took to the streets across Pakistan Saturday to protest a powerful bomb blast at a mosque in Sindh province during Friday prayers, killing dozens of people More

Williams Wins Australian Open with Straight-Set Victory over Sharapova

The win is Serena Williams' sixth in Australia, and her 19th overall Grand Slam title More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid