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Ivory Coast gets financing for 37.5 MW solar plant
4 October 2018 - Germany's development bank, KfW signed two contracts yesterday (3 October) with the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Ivory Coast for the financing of a 37.5 MW PV project in Boundiali Department, in the northwestern part of the Ivory Coast. Although this is the first big solar park to secure financing in the country, the first PV project being developed there is a 25 MW facility planned for the town of Benguebougou, in the Korhogo department. The project, which secured government approval in May, and is scheduled for completion by the end of this year. (more)

Ivory Coast's economy to grow by 7.4 pct 2017-2020 - IMF
28 May 2016 - Ivory Coast's economy, French-speaking West Africa's largest, is expected to grow by an average of 7.4 percent between 2017 and 2020 after reaching 8.5 percent this year, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday. (more)

Ivory Coast forecasts 2015 GDP growth of 9.4 pct - finance minister
12 June 2015 - Ivory Coast is forecasting GDP growth of 9.4 percent and an inflation rate of 1.7 percent this year as it continues its post-war economic revival. Ivory Coast -- French-speaking West Africa's largest economy -- recorded growth of 8.5 percent last year, according to the government. It is now seen as one of Africa's fastest growing economies along with countries including Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Chad. (more)

Ivory Coast tries ecotourism to save chimpanzees
3 May 2014 - Chimpanzees normally resent humans, but scientists in Tai National Park have spent decades 'habituating' them so they could be studied. Now, conservationists and the Ivorian government hope to take advantage of the fact that chimps in Tai park are relatively comfortable around humans by launching eco-tourism projects designed to stem the chimpanzee population's precipitous decline. 'Through ecotourism, local people gain something. They see the value of the forest ... and they will preserve it,' said Christophe Boesch, director of West Africa's Wild Chimpanzee Foundation who has spent 35 years studying Ivory Coast's chimps. (more)

UN lifts ban on diamond imports from Ivory Coast
29 April 2014 - The UN Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to lift a ban on importing rough diamonds from Ivory Coast. A resolution adopted by the council immediately terminates sanctions imposed in 2005 on diamond imports from the west African nation. The council noted that the Kimberley Process, the international initiative that regulates the diamond trade, recognized last November that Ivory Coast had fulfilled its diamond certification scheme's minimum requirements. (more)

UN Security Council removes ban on Ivory Coast diamond exports
29 April 2014 - The UN Security Council on Tuesday partially eased a decade-long arms embargo on Ivory Coast and removed a ban on diamond exports, a measure UN experts claimed failed to stop illicit trafficking of rough diamonds. The West African country, emerging from a decade-long crisis that culminated in a brief war in 2011, has been pressing the Security Council to end the diamond embargo that was put in place in 2005 the wake of an initial 2002-2003 civil war. (more)

Ivory Coast reopens for business
9 February 2014 - Ivory Coast is re-emerging as the prime investment destination in French-speaking West Africa after a decade of political turmoil but President Alassane Ouattara must weed out corruption and promote reconciliation to keep cash flowing in. 'Ivory Coast could become one of the motors of economic growth in Africa again,' IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told a conference in Abidjan last week that drew 4,000 delegates and more than $800 million in investment pledges. (more)

Ivory Coast pilots novel elephant rescue
24 January 2014 - After being tranquilized and loaded onto trucks with cranes, elephants that have been squeezed out of their traditional habitat in Ivory Coast are being relocated by conservationists in what is reportedly the first such operation attempted in Africa's forests. 'This relocation solves a major conservation problem by contributing to the safety and well-being of both the animals and humans,' said Celine Sissler-Bienvenu, International Fund for Animal Welfare's director for Francophone Africa. (more)

Organic pioneers in Ivory Coast
26 December 2012 - Four years ago, Biotropic began campaigning for organic pineapple to be grown in Ivory Coast. The German company worked with the local cooperative Ivoire Organics. 'We only had a few earlier attempts in a few other countries such as Cameron, where it didn't work out,' explained Kuemkwong Siemefo, head of Africa operations at Biotronic. 'Then we went to Ivory Coast where the infrastructure was excellent. We were lucky that the farmers we worked with have a long tradition of growing pineapple,' Siemefo added. (more)

Ivorian reggae singers bury rivalry for peace tour
6 November 2012 - Long-divided musicians are coming together, hoping to use their influence, so destructive for so long, to help Ivory Coast heal its deep wounds, and the country's leading rival reggae artists, Alpha Blondy and Tiken Jah Fakoly, are showing the way by uniting for peace concerts. The musicians hope that a meeting with President Ouattara and release of prisoners will start a dialogue toward lasting peace. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Maharishi's technologies offer a vision of national unity and harmony for African countries
6 February 2012 - The tour of Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management, celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes in Africa, began in late January with visits to four West African countries. Following the success of his stay in Ghana, Dr Morris went on to Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, and Senegal. (more)

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Rising cashew demand fuels smuggling from Ivory Coast
21 March 2017 - Rising demand for cashew nuts has fueled smuggling from Ivory Coast to Ghana and other countries, damaging the quality of exports from the world's top producer, farmers, and exporters said on Tuesday, 21 March. Ivory Coast is on track to produce a record 715,000 tonnes of raw cashews this year thanks to good weather, but exporters estimate that about 100,000 tonnes, including the best-quality nuts, could be smuggled out of the country. (more)

Ivory Coast forest clearances threaten cocoa exports, human rights
2 July 2013 - The Ivory Coast is clearing tens of thousands of cocoa farmers from protected forests, threatening exports from the world's top grower and leading to complaints about human rights abuses. Cocoa represents about 10 per cent of the former French colony's economic output but the environmental costs of the industry's growth have been high. The European Union estimates three-quarters of the West African country's forests, have disappeared in the past five decades, mainly due to farming including cocoa plantations. President Alassane Ouattara's government says it is prepared to pay the economic price of phasing agriculture out to save the dwindling tropical forest and the security services have started flattening houses and forcefully removing the farmers. (more)

Côte d'Ivoire awash in weapons
16 April 2013 - Cote d'Ivoire's recent turbulence -- including the ouster of president Henri Konan Bedie' in 1999, a long-running insurgency and deadly poll unrest in 2011 -- has left the country awash in arms, which have contributed to human rights abuses, widespread crime and persistent insecurity. Angola, China, Belarus, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Israel sold weapons to the Ivoirian government between 2002 and 2003, according to a recent Amnesty International report. A 2004 UN arms embargo did little to halt the flow of weapons into the country, according to Salvatore Sagues, Amnesty International's West Africa researcher. 'Arms continued to be delivered to pro-Gbagbo forces during the 2011 post-election crisis,' Sagues told IRIN. 'This shows that even a UN arms embargo is not enough to stop the illegal trade of weapons.' Arms acquisition by the New Forces rebels, who controlled Côte d'Ivoire's north between 2002 and 2009, is harder to trace, as most of their weapons are unregistered. Still, they are known to have used a range of Chinese, Polish and Russian assault rifles, Amnesty said. (more)

Border raids in Ivory Coast threaten security
8 December 2012 - Cross-border raids into western Ivory Coast have become more violent and better organized, and could have profound effects on security in the region near Liberia if they continue, a United Nations expert panel warned in a report. The UN experts said the attacks are believed to have been orchestrated by supporters of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to step down after losing the November 2010 election to now-President Alassane Ouattara. The months-long crisis sparked post election violence that claimed at least 3,000 lives. As of September, more than 60,000 Ivorians who fled the crisis remained in Liberia, including hundreds of pro-Gbagbo militiamen, according to UN figures. The attacks date back to July 2011 and include a raid in June 2012 that killed seven UN peacekeepers and at least 10 civilians. The most recent border strike came in August, at the height of a series of attacks on military installations throughout Ivory Coast that sparked fears of renewed unrest in the world's biggest cocoa producer. (more)

Army abuses a setback for Ivorian reconciliation - Human Rights Watch
18 November 2012 - Hundreds of civilians suspected of backing Ivory Coast's former president have been swept up in mass arrests and abused by the army, dealing a major setback to efforts to heal divisions after a decade of crisis, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. Years of political deadlock in Ivory Coast ended in a brief post-election civil war last year, caused by President Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to accept his defeat at the polls. Gbagbo is now in The Hague charged with crimes against humanity. But a wave of raids on security installations, has revived the spectre of violence and provoked a heavy-handed response from the army. The investigation by Human Rights Watch documented systematic mass round-ups in restaurants, at bus stops, and in private homes of young men from ethnic groups perceived to support Gbagbo. Detainees were often beaten, robbed, held in overcrowded cells in illegal detention facilities, given little to eat or drink, and deprived of contact with their families. 'In resorting to tactics that violate the rights of detainees, Ivorian security forces may be fuelling the ethnic and political divisions that are at the root of these attacks,' the report said. (more)

Gunmen attack border post in western Ivory Coast
13 August 2012 - Gunmen attacked a border post on Ivory Coast's volatile western frontier with Liberia on Monday, the latest in a series of raids on police and army installations, the United Nations mission in the country and local residents said. Authorities in the world's top cocoa grower have blamed militias still loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo for attacks in the capital Abidjan last week that killed at least 10 soldiers and heightened fears of renewed instability. More than 20 people, including seven UN peacekeepers, were killed in raids further south on the Ivorian side of the border in June. Ivory Coast blamed the attacks on pro-Gbagbo militias and mercenaries who fled into Liberia at the end of a brief civil war last year. Ouattara's government has said the continuing violence is the work of fighters trying to create insecurity and scare off investors, who are beginning to trickle into the country, once an economic motor of French-speaking West Africa. (more)

Hundreds executed by both sides in Ivorian war - report
10 August 2012 - Around two-thirds of those killed in Ivory Coast's civil war last year were summarily executed, many of them by fighters backing the current President, according to an inquiry commissioned by the government and seen by Reuters on Friday. The national commission of inquiry (CNE) investigated violence between October 2010 and May 2011 and catalogued crimes including murder, assault, torture, forced disappearances, and attacks on civilian populations. Both sides committed acts that likely constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, the report said. It did not specify whether the executions had targeted fighters or civilians. Though the findings do not have the force of a formal judicial investigation, the commission in its conclusions called for the 'opening of prosecutions against the suspected authors of violations without regard to their social status'. Analysts say attempts to prosecute FRCI officers, many of whom now occupy top positions in the military, would be a delicate process and could risk further destabilising the country's already deeply fractured army. (more)

Ivory Coast camp attack victims say UN failed to protect them
24 July 2012 - Victims of an attack on a camp for displaced civilians in Ivory Coast have accused armed UN peacekeepers of failing to protect them during a raid that killed seven and wounded more than 50. The United Nations and the government, which also had security forces at the camp during last week's attack, have traded blame over the incident, which highlighted simmering tensions in the west of the world's top cocoa grower. A crowd of about 300 people, many of them young men armed with clubs and machetes, stormed the Nahibly camp early on Friday, according to the United Nations, in an apparent revenge attack for an overnight robbery in the nearby town of Duekoue. 'They broke down the gate to get in ... they started to tear down the tents, then they said 'Send for gasoline. We're going to burn the tents',' Sidiki Kehi Dambele told Reuters at Duekoue's city hall, where hundreds of former camp residents have now taken refuge. 'The failure of the Ivorian security forces and UN. peacekeepers to protect those in the camp raises serious concerns,' said Matt Wells, West Africa researcher with Human Rights Watch. (more)

Ivory Coast: Stuck between refuge and risk
27 June 2012 - Intermittent violence and widespread insecurity have left thousands of villagers in western Côte d'Ivoire stuck between fleeing their villages for the greater safety of refuge with host families in bigger towns, and the risk of being attacked if they return to the farms where they earn their livelihood. 'It's the same thing every time. We hear gunfire, we take the kids with us, walk in the bush all night long to reach Tai [town]. Once there, after two or three days, we are told the situation has calmed down, so we go back -- and it starts again,' said Nathalie Kouakou. In early June she and her entire family fled from their home in Tiele-Oula village, around 20km from Tai town, which has been attacked at least six times in the past 10 months. 'I'm tired of it,' Kouakou told IRIN. Western Côte d'Ivoire has been plagued by insecurity and clashes, often fuelled by political tensions and ethnic rivalry between native communities and those from other regions, as well as disputes over land ownership. In early June at least 22 people were killed in separate attacks, one of them an ambush by gunmen in the western Tai area, that claimed the lives of seven UN peacekeepers, which the UN described as the worst attack on peacekeepers in Côte d'Ivoire since 2004. The Ivorian authorities blamed mercenaries from neighbouring Liberia and Ivoirians loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo. Up to 13,000 people fled their homes in the days following the attack, said Jocelyn Brousseau, a coordinator for the Danish Refugee Council in western Côte d'Ivoire. There are no camps set up for the displaced people, who have mostly taken refuge with relatives in the larger towns. Some families host up to 20 people. (more)

Seven peacekeepers killed in Ivory Coast
8 June 2012 - Seven United Nations peacekeepers were killed in an ambush in Ivory Coast on Friday while on patrol near the border with neighbouring Liberia, the UN mission said. The United Nations said the mission had only recently increased its presence in the area, near the towns of Para and Tai, to boost efforts to protect civilians. The troops came under attack just a few kilometres from the border with Liberia. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters in New York that he was 'saddened and outraged' by the attack. 'I understand that their colleagues are still in danger. Even tonight, after the attack, more than 40 peacekeepers remain with the villagers in this remote region to protect them from this armed group,' he said. The world's top cocoa grower is gradually recovering from months of violence last year that followed a 2010 election. (more)


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