Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, says Africa’s developmental aspirations can be actualised by deepening cooperation and collaboration with the rest of the world.Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday, said the vice president spoke at the opening session of a panel on the ongoing Africa CEO Forum holding in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.Osinbajo talked on the importance of collaboration between Africa and the rest of the world, saying there is the need for caution on the issue of economic sovereignty.The theme of the forum is, “Economic Sovereignty: From Ambition to Action.”The vice president who had arrived in Cote d’Ivoire on n Sunday night was welcomed at the Felix Houphouët-Boigny International Airport by the Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Patrick Achi.Other speakers at the panel were President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, the Managing Director of the International Finance Corporation, Mr Makhtar Diop, the Governor of the Kenyan Central Bank, Dr Patrick Njoroge, the CEO of Telcar Cocoa, Kate Kanyi Tometi-Fotso and CEO of Instadeep, Karim Beguir.“I think that we have to be a bit more careful with the concept of economic sovereignty because we really need to collaborate more and with the way that development is going, we need to watch some of these things.“For instance, if we look at the way that technology is going which is key for us in Nigeria, particularly issues of taxation of tech companies and all of that, it is evident that this is difficult and it is a major expression of sovereign power – the power to tax.“The way that the world and technology are structured today, there is no way that you can use the same basis – personal and territorial basis for taxation.“These are multinational enterprises that spread across countries and continents.“We have got to cooperate with the world and the international tax system to ensure that we are able to derive maximum benefit; we have got to take a seat at the table and ensure that all of the various initiatives on international taxation favour us in Africa.”According to him, while Africa is looking inwards, it has to be very careful to look outwards as well because a lot of money is obviously used by tech companies across the world and a lot of African countries are value creators for these companies.The vice president said there was a great need for Africa to look inwards and at the same time keep its eyes on the ball because it needed to recognizlse that the world had gone beyond brick and mortar.“The world is now more about intellectual capital. We have to think of how we can work with the world to achieve maximum benefit for our intellectual capacity,” he said.In an interaction with organisers of the forum, the CEO of BUA Group, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, spoke about the concept of economic sovereignty, urging Africa to look inwards as a way of fast-tracking development on the continent.He cited leveraging opportunities provided by the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and improving infrastructure as some of the key areas that leaders in the continent must focus on.Earlier at the opening ceremony of the forum, President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire commended the initiative of the organisers to bring together public and private sector leaders across the continent and beyond to discuss and develop new paths aimed at boosting the transformation of economies across Africa.He said that though the COVID-19 pandemic might have negatively impacted growth projections in the continent, the vision of the forum and similar efforts were geared towards fruitful collaborations, “building new partnerships between the public and private sectors, especially providing opportunities for young Africans with particular focus on green economy.”On his part, the President and Founder of the Africa CEO Forum, Amir Yahmed, commended leaders across the continent for their efforts despite the disruptions in the global economy occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.He said that economic sovereignty, green economy and industrial transformation, among others, are new paths to Africa’s prosperity.Yahmed added that the projected impact of the AfCFTA on economies across the continent is premised on a viable and productive economy.Osinbajo is also billed to hold bilateral meetings with the Managing Director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mr Makhtar Diop, and the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advocate on Inclusive Finance for Development, Queen Maxima of Netherlands.
Ivory Coast president names largely unchanged but slimmer govt.
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara addresses the joint session of the country’s parliament in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, April 19, 2022. Ange Servais Mahouena-Ivory Coast Presidency via REUTERS.
Abidjan, April 21, 2022 Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has appointed a slimmed-down government of 32 ministers, down from 41.
According to a statement, Ouattara has kept the same men at the head of the defence, finance, and foreign affairs ministries but named a new mines minister.
Ouattara promised to reduce the size of the West African country’s Cabinet after Prime Minister Patrick Achi tabled his resignation and that of his government on April 13.
Achi was reappointed days later. His return was announced as Ouattara named West African central bank Governor Tiemoko Meyliet Kone as his vice president.
Most of Ouattara’s key ministers have kept their positions in the re-shuffled Cabinet, the presidency statement showed, including his brother Tene Birahima Ouattara as head of defence.
The minister of mines and energy was replaced with former agriculture minister Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly.
Other changes include the ministers of culture and private sector investment.
The nine ministries that no longer feature on the new government list have been integrated into other offices.
Ouattara is expected to step down at the end of his third term in 2025, when presidential elections will be held.
Kone’s appointment as vice president, a position that has been vacant since 2020, suggests Ouattara could have him in mind as a potential successor.
The 80-year-old Ouattara came to power in 2011.
Critics say he violated the constitution when he ran for a third term in 2020.
Ivory Coast is the world’s top cocoa producer and one of West Africa’s largest economies. Ethnic and regional rivalries have lingered in the mainly peaceful country since a brief civil war in 2011.
Source Credit: NAN
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, led by Mr. Luca Antonio Ricci, conducted the 2022 Article IV consultation talks with the authorities from April 5 to 15.
At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Ricci made the following statement:
“Côte d'Ivoire's economy has remained resilient in the face of the pandemic due to the rapid and well-designed response policies of the Ivorian authorities. COVID-related deaths have been low by international standards, while vaccination efforts continue and about half of the target population have received a first dose so far.
“After a 2 percent slowdown in 2020, economic growth is expected to rebound strongly to an estimated 7 percent in 2021, driven by a pick-up in consumption and investment. Price inflation reached 5.6% in December 2021, mainly reflecting an increase in world prices, before falling slightly to 4.5% in March. The overall fiscal deficit reached 5.1 percent of GDP in 2021, ½ percent of GDP below the budget forecast, mainly due to gains from strengthening the tax administration and ongoing digitization efforts, which in turn offset higher spending on security.
“The deteriorating external environment related to the war in Ukraine is expected to influence the macroeconomic outlook in 2022. IMF staff forecast growth to slow to 6% this year due to subdued global demand, deteriorating terms of trade and greater uncertainty. The authorities have taken a series of temporary measures to contain the effects of the war in Ukraine and preserve food security, including maximum prices for various food products, subsidies for petroleum products and export permit requirements for some staple foods.
“The macroeconomic outlook is favourable, but Côte d'Ivoire still faces external downside risks. These risks stem primarily from the global fallout from the war in Ukraine, tighter monetary policy in advanced countries and the associated rise in the cost of borrowing, as well as continued instability in some neighboring countries. The country also faces upside risks, in particular the recent substantial discovery of oil and gas and a determined implementation of reforms under the National Development Plan (NDP) 2021-25 could help boost the medium-term outlook.
“The staff encouraged the authorities to closely assess the impact of the measures that have been taken so far to mitigate the effects of the war in Ukraine and to ensure that such measures do not create market distortions, remain temporary and are well targeted. to the most vulnerable. and remain in line with medium-term fiscal sustainability objectives.
“Staff emphasized the importance of preserving macroeconomic and debt sustainability by properly anchoring expectations. The staff anticipates that, to the extent that the external situation improves, it will remain feasible to achieve the WAEMU convergence criterion of a 3% fiscal deficit target by 2024. Over time, it will also be essential to rebuild the buffers.
“Côte d'Ivoire authorities and IMF staff agreed that continuing to strengthen domestic revenue mobilization is crucial to financing critical spending and improving macroeconomic resilience. Despite recent efforts, tax revenues remain relatively low by international standards. Staff noted the need to continue mobilizing additional domestic resources for priority spending to promote social convergence, as well as to finance critical infrastructure and public services.
“IMF staff welcomed the National Development Plan (NDP) 2021-25 approved in December 2021, which aims to accelerate economic and social transformation. It emphasizes improving the role of the private sector, industrialization, human capital, productivity, and governance. The authorities must continue to improve the business environment and infrastructure, safeguarding property rights, promoting access to credit, and encouraging export diversification. It is also crucial to continue developing sustainable policies for adaptation to climate change and mitigation of associated risks.
“Continuing to improve the provision of public services and deepening social convergence remains essential to support more inclusive and sustainable growth. The authorities made significant efforts under the government social program PSGouv 2019-2020, in particular, expanding access to electricity, drinking water and education throughout the country. However, efforts must continue to improve both the efficiency of spending and access to more efficient public services. In this regard, ongoing efforts to improve access to health care, expand training for health professionals, and strengthen vocational training programs are welcome.
"The IMF team would like to express its appreciation to the authorities and other stakeholders for the open and constructive discussions."
The IMF team met with Prime Minister Patrick Achi; the Minister and Secretary General of the Presidency Abdourahmane Cissé; the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Adama Coulibaly; the Minister of Budget and State Assets, Moussa Sanogo; the Minister of Planning and Development, Nialé Kaba; the Minister of Public Services and Modernization of the Administration, Anne Désirée Ouloto; the Minister of Public Health, Sanitation and Universal Health Coverage, Pierre Dimba; the Minister of Mining, Oil and Energy Thomas Camara; Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development Jean-Luc Assi, Minister for Trade and Industry Souleymane Diarrassouba, Minister for Technical and Vocational Training Koffi N'Guessan, National Director of BCEAO Chalouho Coulibaly; and other senior government and BCEAO officials, as well as representatives from the business and donor communities.
Côte d'Ivoire's prime minister resigned on Wednesday and a new "simplified" government will take shape next week, President Alassane Ouattara announced.
Speaking at the opening of outgoing Prime Minister Patrick Achi's latest cabinet meeting, Ouattara said he had accepted the government's resignation and that "starting next week he will appoint a new prime minister who will come to me to propose a simplified government." ".
"I have decided to reduce the number of government ministers in order to strengthen the effectiveness of the government and taking into account the current global economic situation," he said.
“It is crucial to reduce state spending and direct it towards security and social resilience.”
Ouattara paid tribute to the outgoing prime minister.
"Throughout the past year, despite the exceptional conditions resulting from the pandemic as well as the complex regional security environment, you have shown commitment and determination," he said.
Achi was appointed in April after his predecessor, Hamed Bakayoko, died of cancer the previous month.
Bakayoko himself succeeded Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who passed away suddenly in July 2020.
The Government of the Republic of Ivory Coast signed on Friday the agreement to host the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023), which officially confers it as the venue for IATF2023.
The agreement that took place in Abidjan was between Côte d'Ivoire, the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union (AU) and the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Nigerian News Agency reports that IATF2023 will be the third edition of the main trade and investment event on the African continent.
This follows the highly successful second edition held in November 2021 in Durban, South Africa, and achieved over $42.1 billion in trade and investment deals, with 1,501 exhibitors and over 32,500 attendees from 128 countries across Africa and beyond.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Afreximbank, said: “The IATF has become a platform to update the vision of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
“It is opening up new trade routes, rapidly expanding understanding of the continents' trading environment, and exposing our cultural heritage to our distant markets and consumers.
“The combined $75 billion in deals sealed during the Durban and Cairo trade fairs are reminders of the abundant potential for intra-African trade and investment.
"They represent notable trade and investment deals that would not have seen the light of day were it not for the trade show."The Government of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union (AU) and the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), on Friday, March 25, 2022 in Abidjan, sign a hosting agreement for the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023), which will officially award Côte d'Ivoire as the venue for IATF2023.
Citing examples of some of the successes as a result of the IATF, he said: “For example, the Government of Malawi has expanded the market for its agricultural products to South Sudan and other African markets.
“Thanks to the bilateral government-to-government trade agreements signed during the 2021 trade show.
“It was at the 2018 inter-African trade fair that the $2.9 billion Rufiji dam project was signed between the Tanzanian government and Egyptian contractors, making it the largest intra-African EPC contract in history.
“We are happy that this project is going smoothly.
“When the curtain fell on Durban, new trade relationships were forged, governments found new sources of food, capital goods and other items. African banks found new opportunities for regional expansion.
“Fashion designers found new markets where the African creative industry found a new platform called Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX)”.
According to Oramah, the IATF train left the South African base where it was a few months ago and arrived in West Africa to build on the successes.
“When you arrive in Abidjan in November 2023, you will be stopping in familiar territory, in a country that also values continental integration and has been at the forefront of driving Africa's collective self-sufficiency since the early 1960s.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors and Management of Afreximbank, I thank HIS Excellency, President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d'Ivoire.
“I thank His Excellency Prime Minister Patrick Achi, as well as the entire Government and People of Côte d'Ivoire for agreeing to host the third edition of the trade fair.
“It is a responsibility that Côte d'Ivoire has voluntarily assumed and that we sincerely appreciate and applaud,” he said.
Prime Minister Patrick Achi, who represented President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d'Ivoire, commended the IATF2023 Advisory Council for its resilience, commitment and efforts to develop the African economy.
He said that the country was committed to ensuring a successful organization of IATF2023.
“This is an honor bestowed on Côte d'Ivoire and the country's leadership for economic development and strengthening trade development on the African continent.
"It is evident that this will consolidate the business and economic intensity of the continent."
Likewise, His Excellency Souleymane Diarrassouba, Minister of Commerce and Industry of Côte d'Ivoire, affirmed that the IATF has helped promote the economic development of the African continent.
According to him, IATF2023 serves as an opportunity to showcase, exhibit and encourage trade and joint ventures, among others.
He assured that the event, as part of the vision of the development plan of the Government of Côte d'Ivoire, would overcome the impact of COVID-19 and generate a fruitful and collaborative engagement. (www.enews.ng)
The IMF staff and the Ivorian authorities agreed that a key and pressing political priority remains the need to improve domestic revenue mobilization.WASHINGTON DC, United States of America, February 5, 2022/APO Group/ --
The Omicron variant has had limited effects in Côte d'Ivoire and authorities are intensifying their vaccination efforts; The economy of Côte d'Ivoire continues to show signs of resilience in the face of the impact of the pandemic. Inflation has risen recently, largely due to food prices; Côte d'Ivoire's next Article IV consultation is expected to take place in April 2022.
A team of International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff led by Luca Antonio Ricci conducted a virtual staff visit to the Ivory Coast authorities from January 25 to February 3, 2022 to discuss recent economic developments and economic prospects.
Concluding the IMF staff's virtual visit, Mr. Ricci issued the following statement:
“The IMF staff team notes that despite the spread of the Omicron variant, the increase in new cases was short-lived and increases in severe cases and hospitalizations remained limited. In this way, the authorities were able to avoid the introduction of disruptive containment measures in the implementation of the national strategy to combat COVID-19. On the vaccination front, progress has been made, with more than 8 million doses administered by the end of January. The authorities plan to accelerate the vaccination campaign to administer another 5 million doses before the end of February 2022.
“Ivory Coast's economy continues to show signs of resilience to the pandemic and sustained recovery in 2021. Inflation increased significantly in 2021, in line with international inflationary pressures and largely due to food price inflation. . As noted at the time of the 2021 Article IV consultation, economic growth is expected to remain strong in 2022 and beyond.
“Regarding risks, on the positive side, the medium-term outlook could benefit from both the implementation of a strong reform agenda in the context of the National Development Plan and the discovery in 2021 of additional oil and gas reserves. At the same time, the economy is subject to downside risks, such as the emergence of new variants of COVID-19, disruptions in global supply chains, international geopolitical tensions, and tightening global financial market conditions with adverse consequences for investors. capital flows to emerging markets. and developing economies.
“The IMF staff and the Ivorian authorities agreed that a key and pressing political priority remains the need to improve domestic revenue mobilization. This would help finance productive and social spending to support strong and inclusive growth, while preserving macroeconomic and debt sustainability and enhancing macroeconomic resilience.
“The 2022 Article IV consultation mission is tentatively planned for April 2022 and will provide an opportunity to discuss economic prospects and policy developments in greater detail.
"The IMF staff wishes to express its appreciation to the Ivorian authorities and other stakeholders for productive and fruitful discussions."
IMF staff held virtual meetings with Prime Minister Patrick Achi; the Minister and Secretary General of the Presidency Abdourahmane Cissé; the Minister of Economy and Finance Adama Coulibaly; the Minister of Budget and State Assets, Moussa Sanogo; the Minister of Planning and Development, Nialé Kaba; Minister for Governance Promotion, Capacity Building and Anti-Corruption Epiphane Zoro Bi Ballo; other senior government and BCEAO officials, private sector representatives and development partners from Côte d'Ivoire.
A case of the Ebola virus has been detected in Abidjan, in an 18-year-old woman of Guinean nationality, Cote d’Ivoire’s Health Ministry has announced.
The Pasteur Institute of Cote d’Ivoire examined the woman’s blood sample taken on Friday, and informed local health authorities on Saturday of the positive case, Health Minister Pierre Dimba said in a press release.
The patient had left the Guinean city of Labe by road, and arrived in Abidjan on Wednesday, Dimba said, adding she was “diagnosed and taken care of immediately” on Thursday by health services.
“This is an isolated and imported case,” the minister said, adding that the patient is currently in quarantine at the epidemic disease treatment center of the University Hospital Center of Treichville in Abidjan.
The government ensured its citizens that “all measures that have been successfully tested in the past are (being) taken for the control of the disease,” Dimba said.
The government will promote the vaccination of front-line health workers, immediate contacts of the patient, and security forces at points of entry, Dimba added.
During an emergency interministerial meeting held Saturday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Patrick Achi, the participants decided to reactivate community event-based surveillance for Ebola, and strengthen cross-border collaboration with Guinea.
On Feb. 14, Guinea declared a new outbreak of Ebola in Gouecke, a sub-prefecture in its Nzerekore Prefecture. There have also been fresh cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo in its North Kivu province.
The 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola virus outbreak, which mainly hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, claimed over 11,300 lives, with more than 28,600 cases recorded. (Xinhua/NAN)
For Hortense Koné, the manager of a small restaurant in Abobo Belleville, north of the economic capital of Côte d'Ivoire, Abidjan, paying her water and electricity bills has become a headache last year. when Covid-19 lockdown restrictions hit his business.
But a decision by the Ivorian government to cover the water and electricity bills of households in the lowest income brackets finally brought him some relief.
“With the lockdown, the curfew and the ban on opening bars and nightclubs to counter the coronavirus, frankly, I had no income. So nothing to survive in this situation. I couldn't pay my water and electricity bills, ”recalls Hortense. "When the state announced its decision to pay for me, it took a big thorn from my side."
Stanislas Kouassi, cabinetmaker in Attecoubé, in the district of Abidjan, has an electric meter with card reader. "Thanks to the social program set up during the pandemic, I received a recharge of 5,000 CFA francs (7.6 euros), or 63 kWh of energy," he said. "It gave me continuous electricity for two months ... The program really helped me."
Hortense and Stanislas are among the many beneficiaries of a social program implemented by the government of Côte d'Ivoire to protect the population from the effects of the health crisis and strengthen the resilience of the economy. Côte d'Ivoire has benefited from financial support from the African Development Bank, whose board of directors approved last June a loan of 75 million euros in the form of budget support under the program of support for the Covid-19 response.
At the start of the coronavirus crisis, few people really believed in its existence on the streets of Abidjan and in the interior of the country. Even after the first case was registered on March 11, 2020, residents did not take precautionary health measures. But ultimately, an increase in the number of infected people forced the government to declare a state of health emergency and adopt drastic measures. These included introducing a curfew, isolating Abidjan from the inside, wearing a compulsory mask on public transport and closing nightclubs and bars.
These measures disrupted the daily life of Ivorians. Students were forced to take vacations, while workers were asked to either work from home or work part-time. Large companies as well as small and medium-sized businesses were no longer operating at full capacity. When the burden of costs became a concern, the State stepped in to support entrepreneurs and low-income people, helped by financing from the Bank.
“Budget support was fully disbursed in August 2020 and has helped control the spread of the pandemic through the effective implementation of the health response. The social and economic effects were mitigated through the use of various funds to support poor households and the private sector, ”explains Amadou Ibrahim, governance officer at the African Development Bank, in charge of the project.
Amara Kanté, a rice trader and semi-wholesaler in the same district of Attecoubé, was worried about the payment of wages and taxes due to the slowdown in his activity linked to Covid-19. “My concern was how to pay taxes and salaries for my two employees and other expenses when orders fell sharply. State aid has been helpful ... but I think there is more it can do, ”says Amara.
The main objectives of the program were to extend cash transfers to more than 117,000 newly vulnerable households at a cost of CFAF 75,000 each (around € 114), to cover the water and electricity bills of one million households. - or 40% of electricity subscribers - and feed two million children with dry food rations until the end of 2020.
The development objective of the Bank's support was to foster the conditions for a rapid economic recovery after the health crisis by maintaining the production capacity of at least 90% of the country's small and medium-sized enterprises and by granting tax breaks for 3,500 companies.
The Ivorian government has suspended, for three months, taxes on profits, the payment of patent rights, the synthetic insurance tax for consumers, the employers' contribution, flat-rate taxes for small traders and artisans, taxes. on debts and taxes. in the tourism industry.
Likewise, general accounting controls and spot checks were suspended for three months for tax and customs purposes. For companies facing cash flow difficulties or expenses related to the coronavirus, expenses incurred during the period will be deducted from their income taxes.
To stem the pandemic, Côte d'Ivoire opened 13 screening sites in the main towns of Abidjan, raised awareness of physical distancing and increased hospital capacity by 600 beds. After a drop in infections towards the end of 2020, coronavirus cases started to rise again in early 2021. In early April, the country launched its Covid-19 vaccination campaign. Military, health workers, and people aged 18 and over are eligible.
“Today, I am vaccinated against Covid-19. It's very fast! It's about protecting ourselves and our people. It is to protect the Ivory Coast and allow us to relive as before. The vaccine will be available to all who need it, ”Prime Minister Patrick Achi said on national television as he received his first dose of the vaccine.
As of April 13, 2021, Côte d'Ivoire had recorded 45,227 cases of Covid-19, 44,683 people having recovered and 268 deaths.
Learn more about the Bank's Covid-19 response (https://bit.ly/3nuWsWL).