These are two « good friends » linked by « sincerity and mutual trust ». For Chinese ambassador Tang Weibin in Côte d’Ivoire, this is the secret of « mutually beneficial » cooperation.
President Alassane Ouattara is expected at the end of August in China for signing several large contracts. This year, Côte d’Ivoire and China are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Indeed, on March 2, 1983, « Côte d’Ivoire and China have united despite the long distance that separates them thanks to the far-sighted vision of their respective leaders, » welcomed the Chinese ambassador in Côte d ‘Ivoire. Ivory, Tang Weibin, at a festive reception on March 3rd.
And the results of these strategic partnerships between Côte d’Ivoire and China are convincing. As recalled by Tang, China has financially supported some of the largest infrastructure projects in the West African country. The Soubré dam, the Abidjan-Bassam highway or the extension of the port and water supply in Abidjan. Not to mention the granting of financing of 460 billion CFA francs for the rehabilitation and reinforcement of 2,000 km of the Ivorian electricity grid.
A stable and prosperous country
The Chinese government has also contributed to the development of important social projects in Côte d’Ivoire, including the Abidjan Palace of Culture, the Gagnoa Hospital, the House of Deputies in Yamoussoukro, the Malaria Control Center and Anyama High School of Excellence.
After recurrent economic and political crises, which led to the humanitarian tragedy that followed the presidential election of 2010, Côte d’Ivoire is now a politically stable and economically prosperous country.
China has partly accompanied this development, becoming in 2017 « the third trading partner of Côte d’Ivoire with a trade volume of 1.85 billion dollars, » according to the Chinese ambassador.
The two countries have also strengthened their military cooperation. In December, China donated a second generation patrol boat to Côte d’Ivoire. With an estimated value of 2 billion CFA francs, the new vessel is expected to increase the capacity of the Ivorian Navy to fight against maritime piracy and to secure the Gulf of Guinea.
Cooperation expected to strengthen
While 90 Ivorian military trainees participated in training in China in 2016 and 2017, the Asian country has declared its intention to « maintain this good bilateral military cooperation and raise it to an even higher level », according to Colonel Superior Song Feng.
« But the best is probably coming, » as Le 360 Afrique believes. The media mentions in particular « the construction of industrial zones, the rehabilitation of 1,500 km of roads, the construction of six interchanges in Abidjan, the dry port of Ferkessédougou (in the north of the country) and the hydroelectric dams of Gribo Popoli and of Boutoubré « .
Thus, the achievements of the last 35 years could only be the beginning of a long series. « The Sino-Ivorian relations are a model of South-South cooperation based on the spirit of mutual gains and solidarity among peoples, » said Ivorian Foreign Minister Marcel Amon-Tanoh in March. For the minister, as probably for all Ivorians, bilateral cooperation remains « promising ».