Pathé vs Majestic: screen wars in Abidjan
Launched in July 2018 by Gaumont and the leading Ivorian
Few wives of African heads of state succeed like Dominique Ouattara in establishing themselves as champions of humanitarian aid and entrepreneurs without the help of their husbands. Through these two activities, Alassane Ouattara's wife has built up a highly varied contacts network which includes the Ivorian elite and the heads of top-ranking companies but also showbiz and media personalities.
Jean-Louis Billon is a case apart in Ivory Coast. He is heir to the leading private sector group, SIFCA, which was founded by his father, Pierre Billon, but is reputed to scorn networking in a country where co-option and the address book culture are generally considered essential.
Minister of the Interior Hamed Bakayoko has been building up his contacts throughout a career which has seen him serve for 10 years without a break at the highest level of the Ivorian executive. He is an influential member of the RDR party and loyal friend of Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara and his wife and is seen today as one of the most influential figures in Ouattara's entourage.
While he is huddled with his securocrats for secret meetings most nights, during the daytime President Alassane Ouattara has regular dealings with businesspeople on contracts that have not been delegated to his inner circle - Philippe Serey-Eiffel, Amadou Gon Coulibaly
Guillaume Soro has played numerous roles on his way up from student politics to rebel leader and then president of the National Assembly. In the space of less than a decade, he has been able to forge wide-ranging and varied contacts in the military, institutional and business spheres, making him a rare specimen in post-Félix Houphouët-Boigny Côte d'Ivoire.