News / Africa

Ouattara Says Nationalizing Ivory Coast’s Cocoa Sector is ‘Stealing’

Ivory Coast's internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara  (R) chats with Koen Vervaeke, EU's Ambassador to the African Union during his meeting with around 30 diplomats on March 11, 2011 in Addis Ababa
Ivory Coast's internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara (R) chats with Koen Vervaeke, EU's Ambassador to the African Union during his meeting with around 30 diplomats on March 11, 2011 in Addis Ababa

Ivory Coast’s internationally recognized president-elect has described the nationalization of the country’s cocoa industry as ‘stealing’ and promised to reverse a period of economic decline.

A day after receiving a vote of confidence from the African Union, Alasanne Ouattara met with AU accredited diplomats to brief them on his plans as Ivory Coast’s next president. There was no immediate word on when he might be sworn in, though the AU Peace and Security Council ordered the head of Ivory Coast’s Constitutional Court to conduct the ceremony promptly.

Speaking to reporters Friday, the United Nations certified winner of last November's presidential elections said he would immediately undo incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo’s move to nationalize the cocoa sector. He said the takeover of an industry that produces more than 1/3 of the country’s revenue amounts to theft.

"It’s not nationalization. It’s stealing. Because clearly as they did with the banks, now they are trying to rob people, businesses, both Ivorians and foreigners. Obviously they’re not looking for the welfare of the people of Cote d’Ivoire but that will change in a few days," he said.

Ouattara’s comments echoed reaction of the United States and other countries that have condemned Gbagbo’s nationalization move. Experts, however, say the government takeover is unlikely to have much effect, since a ban was imposed on Ivory Coast’s cocoa imports after Gbagbo refused to recognize the results of the presidential runoff vote.

Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest cocoa producer, was once one of Africa’s economic giants. But the cocoa export ban is contributing to an overall economic decline during the Gbagbo years.

Reuters news agency this week quoted a high-ranking French diplomat as saying the loss of cocoa revenue and other international sanctions were contributing to a weakening of Gbagbo’s grip on power.

Ouattara, a U.S. trained economist and former deputy director of the International Monetary Fund, says his most difficult challenge as president will be healing the wounds that threaten to push Ivory Coast back to civil war. But he expressed confidence his economic experience would help restore the country to fiscal health.

"For the economy, my compatriots trust me. They know what I’ve done in the past. They know what I’ve done elsewhere in Africa and the world, when I was deputy managing director of the IMF (International Monetary Fund), and I have great plans for Cote d’Ivoire and I am confident that in a few years, the economy will be running at a very high level," he said.

But before he can tackle Ivory Coast’s economic and political crises, one of Ouattara’s first challenges will be getting home. After he flew to Addis Ababa this week, Gbagbo’s government announced a ban on flights from United Nations and French planes in an apparent attempt to block his return.

Ouattara’s camp, however, noted that the U.N. recognized president elect would be stopping in Nigeria on his trip westward for talks with President Goodluck Jonathan. They suggested he might return to Abidjan by another means. They did not elaborate.



You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
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 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 Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
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 Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
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.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid