Africa > West Africa > Cote d'Ivoire > Interview: Georges Philippe Ezaley

Côte d'Ivoire: Interview: Georges Philippe Ezaley

2017/03/14

Which sectors offer the majority potential for economic increase in Grand-Bassam?

GEORGES PHILIPPE EZALEY: As the major tourist destination in Côte d’ Ivoire for both the local and international community, Grand-Bassam offers an array of tourism attractions.

Given its proximity and relieve of access to the economic capital and airport, Grand-Bassam plays a key role as a destination for day trips outside of Abidjan with family or friends. Given its role as the initial capital of Côte d’ Ivoire and as the cradle of the emancipation movement, the city boasts historical infrastructure dating back to colonial times, which led to it being added to the UN World Heritage Inventory in 2012, heightening the city’s visibility worldwide. Its historical importance attracts students and delegations, who come to learn about the city’s role in the development of the country.

During the colonial era, Grand-Bassam experienced high levels of immigration from nations such as Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal, resulting in a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, thus developing a vivid cultural atmosphere propitious to the development of the arts. The city is presently home to a lot of craftspeople and artists. The city is as well home to a number of cultural celebrations, such as the Abissa festival, organised by the N’Zima tribe. In recent years Grand-Bassam has as well become an attractive destination for events, although the limited capacity to host major gatherings in terms of hotels or conference rooms has become a challenge to the development of the industry. Indeed, the city still lacks major multinational hotel branches within its portfolio, such as those found in Abidjan. In our view, Grand-Bassam can quickly become the destination of choice for tourism and leisure in the country.

Moving away from tourism, Grand-Bassam is as well an significant university city, with the International University of Grand-Bassam playing a significant role in its development. However, the next is undeniably the Village of Data Technology and Biotechnology. With a strong focus on new technologies, this business-free zone provides operators with the basic requirements, such as electricity and water, inclunding fiscal incentives to grow their operations, not only in Côte d’Ivoire but as well around the region. Authorities are currently setting the groundwork for a further 150 ha of commercial real estate in an effort to provide additional room for companies looking to establish themselves in the area. The development of this zone falls in line with our sustainable development goals. In this regard, in collaboration with the National Bureau of Technical Studies and Development, the city has embarked on an ambitious project to become the initial city in the region to adopt the UN’s sustainable development action plan Schedule 21 by the beginning of 2017.

Given recent plans to open the estuary, the fishing industry in Grand-Bassam will any minute at this time experience a boost. By creating an opening to the sea, the lagoon will be cleaned, encouraging additional fish into our waters. In this regard, the city will any minute at this time need investments in the production, processing and distribution of fish products.

What were the effects of the terrorist attacks in Grand-Bassam in May 2016?

EZALEY: As seen around the world, these asymmetric warfare tactics are of an unpredictable nature. These events had a psychological impact on both local and foreign communities. However, during these events the city received an unprecedented all of support from local communities and authorities. Two days next the attacks, a ministerial conference was held in Grand-Bassam and the government spearheaded a CFA250m (€375,000) investment plan to support local hotels, craftspeople and logistical companies. On the side of the locals, normal activities resumed very quickly. The tourism sector was additional negatively impacted but normal activities had resumed by September. With the help of the National Guard, we have increased security at tourist sites, particularly on weekends, and some private firms have as well heightened security measures.

Related Articles
  • Top 10 Most Attractive Investment Destinations In Africa

    2017/08/20 Africa’s feverish increase has decelerated in recent years and a lot of nations have buckled under the pressure of falling resource prices, security disruptions, fiscal imprudence and adverse weather conditions.
  • Africa's Relationship With China Is Ancient History

    2017/07/02 In 2002 South Africa's Parliament unveiled a digital reproduction of a map - of China, the Middle East and Africa - that some speculated could be the initial map of the African continent. The Da Ming Hun Yi Tu - the Comprehensive Map of the Great Ming Empire - was drawn up around 1389 during the Ming Dynasty, according to historian Hyunhee Park.
  • Africa: Making Things Happen at the Bank - 'Not a Talk Shop' - Akin Adesina

    2017/07/02 Dr. Akinwumi Adesina is focusing on five areas to achieve the African and world goals for a prosperous continent since becoming president of the African Development Bank - Africa's major public financial institution in September 2015. He was a keynote speaker at this month's Corporate Council on Africa's U.S.- Africa Business Summit in Washington D.C. and moderated a lively panel with five African government ministers. He as well received the Gene White Lifetime Succcess Award from the World Child Nutrition Foundation. This week, he was named the 2017 recipient of the World Food Prize, a prestigious honor that includes a $250,000 award. In an interview in Washington, DC, Adesina discussed the Development Bank's ambitious schedule and his vision for attracting the increase capital Africa needs. Posting questions for AllAfrica was Noluthando Crockett-Ntonga.
  • Côte d'Ivoire Economic Overview Political Overview

    2017/05/14 Côte d'Ivoire Global leader in cocoa production
  • Climate change laws around the world

    2017/05/14 There has been a 20-fold increase in the number of global climate change laws since 1997, according to the most comprehensive database of relevant policy and legislation. The database, produced by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Sabin Center on Climate Change Law, includes more than 1,200 relevant policies across 164 countries, which account for 95% of global greenhouse gas emissions.