News / Africa

Ouattara Asks African Development Bank to Return HQ to Abidjan

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara (File Photo)
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara (File Photo)

The president of Ivory Coast says it is time for the headquarters of the African Development Bank to return to Abidjan after eight years in Tunisia.  It is part of the president's push to restore Ivory Coast's standing after this year's political crisis.

The African Development Bank left Abidjan in 2003 during riots over a controversial peace plan between Ivorian rebels and then-president Laurent Gbagbo.

Bank staff left for Tunisia, from where they watched Mr. Gbagbo postpone 2005 elections and refuse to admit defeat in 2010 elections.  The political crisis that followed last year's vote killed at least 3,000 people. Rebels captured Mr. Gbagbo, and the winner of the vote - former prime minister Alassane Ouattara - was installed as president in May.

With that crisis behind it, Mr. Ouattara says Ivory Coast is ready for the African Development Bank to come back to Abidjan, where it was based since its founding in 1963. "My argument was very simple with the president of the African Bank. I said, 'Well look. We have gone through a process of getting a constitution, making elections, having a post-election crisis and having a legitimate president," he said.

President Ouattara says that stability is not a given in Tunisia, where street protests toppled the long-time president in January and a coalition caretaker government is in place to organize new elections. "I like Tunisia. Tunisians are my brothers and my friends. But it would make sense as a manager to go to a place that is already safe rather than staying in a place which may not be," he said.

President Ouattara spoke at a session of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where he shared the stage with Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma.  President Koroma says Tunis today is reminiscent of the turmoil in Abidjan eight years ago. "The reasons that influenced the movement of the ADB from Abidjan are now very visible where it is now presently domiciled," he said.

President Koroma says West African leaders are joining President Ouattara's push to get the Bank back in Abidjan. "I think we all look forward to the relocation of the ADB again where they already have established infrastructures of their own. It is not a question of leasing properties but they have established infrastructure of their own. It will be a lot cheaper now economically to run it. And also the political risk has been considerably minimized," he said.

African Development Bank chief Donald Kaberuka has discussed the move with President Ouattara. Bank statues mandate an “orderly return” with governors sufficiently confident in Abidjan's security to make the decision, then waiting another year to ensure that the situation is right.

President Ouattara wants the Bank back in Abidjan next year and is pushing for an accelerated return.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid