Abidjan and Paris discuss AFCON 2024 security
When in Paris last week, Ivorian Prime Minister Patrick Achi discussed the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), which his country is to host in January 2024.
One of the flagship contracts of the 2016-2020 military budget, the construction of four military hospitals in Ivory Coast, is on the verge of being awarded to Casablanca-based TGCC. This is much to the dismay of its Ivorian rivals, who had been banking on home advantage, and Indian firms, which had secured the financing.
Defence Minister Téné Birahima Ouattara has been approached by the US-Israeli entrepreneur about a project to assemble armoured vehicles in Ivory Coast. Amar, who has no track record in the defence sector, was given his calling cards for Abidjan by the Ivorian ambassador and the defence attaché in Washington.
The Ivorian president has reprimanded his government over the slow pace of the reforms it is meant to be carrying out. He also pointedly noted that Prime Minister Patrick Achi must take precedence over the executive director of the ruling party, Adama Bictogo.
French construction company Bouygues Travaux Publics has decided to withdraw from the capital of Socoprim, the company managing and operating Abidjan's Henri Konan Bedie Bridge, the toll-paying structure also known as the Third Bridge.
At the end of June, new defence minister Téné Birahima Ouattara, who is the younger brother of head of state Alassane Ouattara and generally goes under the nickname of "Photocopie", cancelled a contract for the construction of 45 barracks for the gendarmerie.
The Burkinabe construction magnate Mahamadou Bonkoungou is keen to get official approval for the upgrading of the coastal road between Abidjan and San Pedro - a project that he had already floated to the government of the late Hamed Bakayoko.
A quiet technocrat who has worked at the presidency for more than 10 years, Fidèle Sarassro is standing in this week's parliamentary elections in his home town of Sinématiali. His campaign is getting strong behind-the-scenes backing from the Ivorian president, who is trying to foster the emergence of new political leaders in the Senufo-dominated north of the country.
Campaigning for a third term in office, Alassane Ouattara has made great play of the country's economic growth and its respect for the conditions set by the IMF. The economic indicators he is using, however, are still being processed and could turn out less favourable than the Ivorian president imagines.
Côte d'Ivoire Métrologie, the company of former minister Youssouf Soumahoro which has a monopoly on weights and measures throughout the country, has outraged farmers and the business community by sending its prices through the roof.
This summer, the International Monetary Fund conducted an audit of the cocoa sector. The upshot is that the Conseil Café Cacao has severed all ties with those close to power who have not settled outstanding debts from previous cocoa harvests.
Anticipating a rocky presidential election, Ivorian security forces are making numerous equipment orders, sparking intense competition among suppiers. Backed by Qatar and already well established in Chad, Sudan and Nigeria, Turkey's Barer is positioning itself to take a bite out of the Ivorian market.
In his efforts to secure his re-election, the Ivorian president, who is due in Yamoussoukro next month, hopes to win over the Akan people, who are traditionally more inclined to vote for his rival Henri Konan Bédié, by subsidising the price of cocoa beans, the main crop in Akan counties.
By appointing Hamed Bakayoko as minister of defence in the government reshuffle of 19 July, Alassane Ouattara has ratcheted up the tensions and divisions between his two putative heirs apparent, at the risk of sparking a political crisis.
Since the death of President Felix Houphouet-Boigny in 1993, the balance of power between Ivory Coast’s political parties has shifted. However President Alassane Ouattara’s Rassemblement des Republicains (RDR), the Parti Democratique de Cote d’Ivoire (PDCI), which was Ivory Coast’s sole