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    Posted February 11, 2014 by
    Abidjan, Ivory Coast

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    Africa is changing, especially the Ivory Coast


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     ChrisMorrow told me, 'I hope to be at the United States African summit and find out more about Africa. My eyes are opening on Africa being in Uganda with a charity and then the Ivory Coast with business.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    Some of the world’s fastest growing economies are now in Africa. Mobile phones have sparked a communications revolution and Africa has seen people’s revolutions throw out long-standing dictators.


    Two years since an internal conflict in the Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire) and the country is building bridges, extend the port terminal and repair roads. This is the first time since the 70's Cote d'Ivoire has begun to improve due to corruption.


    The 2014 ICI Forum, the Ivory Coast investment event held in Abidjan from 29 January to 1 February, has enjoyed considerable success. Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan presided over the opening ceremony yesterday at which a number of top officials appeared, including Mohamed Namadi Sambo, Vice President of Nigeria, Beyon Luc Adolphe Tiao, Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, and Makhtar Diop, Vice President of the World Bank's Africa region.

    “The train is in motion in the Ivory Coast – don’t forget to get off at the right stop,” said Mohamed Namadi Sambo, Vice President of Nigeria.


    Several major announcements were made that reflected the country’s success. The United Kingdom Foreign Office Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, noted the forthcoming visit of British experts regarding a partnership to transform the agro-industrial sector.


    Nearly 4,000 participants, investors and project developers from over 100 countries attended the Forum in Abidjan. More than 400 African and international journalists were in Abidjan to cover the event. The ICI Forum brings together more than 130 participants for lively discussions which focus on opportunities in different sectors of the Ivorian economy and regional integration.


    The Ivorian economy has been boosted by very strong growth: 9.8% in 2012. According to forecasts, the growth rate is expected to reach between 10% and 12% from 2013 on. With a population of nearly 22 million, a yearly gross national income per capita of more than $1,700 USD, unique infrastructures in West Africa, and an increasingly diverse economy, the Ivory Coast is the largest economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), accounting for 40% of GDP.


    Check out my video from the Invest in Cote d'Ivoire Forum and hear why the United States and other countries feel Cote d'Ivoire is the 'Hot Spot' of Africa.


    Video order of appearance

    Video 1 -

    - Ambassador Bisa Williams
    Deputy Assistant Secretary
    Bureau of African Affairs
    U.S. Department of State

    - David Meyers, Chairman

    - Edward Chan
    Hapaolim Securities

    - Mima Nedelcovych
    JML Investment Group & Schaffer International Services

    - Matt Essieh
    EAI Information Systems

    - Terrence McCulley, Ambassador
    U.S. to Cote D'Ivoire

    - Maximilien Lemaire
    European Chamber of Commerce

    - JEAN PHILIPPE PROSPER, VP Africa and Latin America
    IFC - International Finance Corporation

    - Mark Simmonds
    British Minister for Africa

    - Patrick Poirrier

    - Stephane Bacquaert

    - Pierre Karim
    GE Africa

    - Virginie Colaiuta
    Pinsent Masons

    - Jean-Louis EKRA
    African Export-Import Bank

    - Dominique Lafont, CEO
    Bollore - Abidjan Terminal

    - Thierry Tanoh

    - Lacina Kone
    IT Advisor, Cote D'Ivoire

    - Laure Beldou
    TEDx Abidjan

    - Esmel Emmanuel Essis


    Video 2 - Unedited interview
    Daniel Kablan Duncan
    Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire


    1. Daniel Kablan Duncan
    Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire

    2. Bacely Yorobi creates Social Spot and wins 4,000,000

    3. Christine Lagarde

    4. Mark Simmonds
    British Minister for Africa

    5. Ambassador Bisa Williams
    Deputy Assistant Secretary
    Bureau of African Affairs
    U.S. Department of State

    6. Inside the ICI2014 Forum.

    7. TEDx Abidjan

    8. Paul Sika - Ivory Coast photographer



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