Founder of the AICI property group, which has prosperous businesses both in France and Africa, the former assistant at the United Nations delegation in Abidjan began her ascension as soon as she arrived in Ivory Coast in the mid-1970s, creating a place for herself on the country's discreet but violent political scene.
Apart from her property business, Dominique Ouattara has developed the franchise business of French hair care chain Jacques Dessange in the United States, while, at the same time, directing the African activities of France's Radio Nostalgie. As the number one supporter of her husband's presidential ambitions, she is today reaping the benefits of several years of struggle. Her status as first lady has enabled her to speed up realisation of her various charity projects, including construction of a hospital in Bingerville in south east Ivory Coast, but has also benefited her entourage.
She has distanced herself from her business activities to avoid conflicts of interest with her role of first lady but has entrusted the management of her interests to her children. In this way, she is able to prepare them to succeed her and keep her property empire in the family.