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Thu December 07 2023

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Côte d’Ivoire seeks funding for $5.8bn of tourism projects

3 May 19 The African Development Bank has been asked to support a plan aimed at turning Côte d’Ivoire into one of the continent’s top five tourism destinations.

Ivorian minister of tourism Siandou Fofana presented the bank with a strategy document that involves nine flagship projects and would require a US$5.8bn (£4.5bn) investment.

The document entitled 'Sublime Côte d’Ivoire' was presented to the Bank’s vice-president responsible for private sector, infrastructure and industrialisation, Pierre Guislain, at the headquarters in Abidjan.

"We have come to share this new vision for Côte d’Ivoire with the Bank and to secure your help and financial support,” said Fofana. “We need your help to pool resources to carry this project out.”

One of the projects is Abidjan Business City, which would be a central point for holding conventions in Côte d’Ivoire. “We do not currently have a conference centre and we do not have a hall with the capacity to accommodate 5,000 people,” said Fofana. “There is, therefore, a need to move quickly in that regard,” he said.

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Another plan involves creation of a ‘beautiful beach for all’, making use of 550km of coastline that has yet to be exploited. “In addition, we will build a 100-hectare leisure park to be a place of entertainment for the sub-region, and develop press trips and seven flagship tourist areas," Fofana added.

Projects envisaged under the strategy include strengthening of the tourism code, establishing additional tourist attractions with a land reserve of 6,000 hectares, the creation of a bank of tourism-sector projects and the redesign of a tourism ‘one-stop shop’. The government also plans to strengthen security and healthcare, develop the aviation sector and increase airport passenger flow to three million, and train and certify 230,000 sector professionals.

"All this will drive employment and our intention is to create 375,000 new jobs,” said Fofana. “From 2025, we plan to welcome four to five million tourists to make this sector the fourth economic pillar of the country and to make Côte d’Ivoire the fifth biggest tourism power on the continent and the joint leader in African business tourism.” There were 3.08 million tourists in 2016 and 3.47 million in 2017.

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