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

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid