During an official visit to Côte d'Ivoire, the Director-General was received upon her arrival by H.E. Mr Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.
The meeting highlighted significant progress made by the country in the economic and social fields, particularly in education and security. These achievements will be supported to promote wealth creation and improve the well-being of the population. Irina Bokova and Alassane Ouattara highlighted, in particular, the importance of training and the reintegration of young former combatants and out-of-school youth among the major challenges to be faced, emphasizing the role of education for skills acquisition, employment and citizenship.
With the prospect of Côte d’Ivoire becoming an emerging country by 2020, the President recalled the country’s strong potential in oil, energy and gold resources. He stressed the importance of education and training as a foundation for sustainable development. In that connection, he welcomed the action of the Director-General and the key role of UNESCO. He also expressed satisfaction at the establishment of the UNESCO Office in Abidjan, officially opened by the Director-General and the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire on 13 September.
The Director-General also met H.E. Mr Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime-Minister of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, who, in his speech delivered at the official dinner hosted by the Government in honour of the Director-General, focused on the major role that UNESCO is expected to play in the social and cultural development of the country.
“UNESCO and Côte d’Ivoire share a strong history and have maintained a privileged relationship for many years. My presence here today and the inauguration of the UNESCO Office in Abidjan tomorrow reflect UNESCO’s commitment to redouble efforts and take its place alongside other agencies, all the partners of Côte d’Ivoire, in working for peace and development”, said the Director-General.