Pretoria - The Cote d'Ivoire government, buoyed by President Alassane Ouattara’s win at the polls securing a third term in office, is to implement a raft of measures to fight corruption and strengthen the competitiveness of the world's largest exporter of cocoa beans, the Cote d’Ivoire embassy in South Africa said on Sunday.
Ouattara’s government has developed an economic blueprint that will focus on four primary areas, namely continuing policy reforms to attract investment; fighting corruption; championing intra-regional trade; and harnessing the transformative power of ICT, the embassy’s first secretary for economic and commercial affairs Sakaria Kone said.
“Going forward, the new administration plans to strengthen the competitiveness of the country through a series of measures aimed at infrastructure, human resources, and entrepreneurship. We believe that over the past 10 years we have put [in place] the solid foundations that will enable Côte d’Ivoire to be a beacon of hope in the troubled region.
“There has been steady improvement in governance under the government of President Alassane Ouattara [from 2010 to the present], which is reflected in improved scores on international governance and corruption perception indices,” Kone said.
He pointed out that Côte d’Ivoire’s scores on international corruption and governance indices had improved over the past five years, although the indices suggest corruption remains a pervasive issue.
“In Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index, Côte d’Ivoire scored 36 out of 100. While the government has come under criticism for the perceived slow progress with its anti-corruption efforts, we are emboldened by the steady progress we are making on achieving good governance.
“We are mindful of the relationship between good governance and inflow of foreign direct investment and, to that end, we are emboldened by the mandate we have received from the electorate to buttress the achievements we have achieved thus far and build on the past achievements,” Kone said.
Ouattara has been in power since his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo was forcibly removed from office after refusing to accept Ouattara's internationally recognised victory in the November 2010 presidential election. In 2015, Ouattara won a second five-year term with nearly 84 percent of the vote in an election described as credible by US observers.
This month, the Ivorian electoral commission provisionally announced that Ouattara had won a third term in office with 94.27 percent of the October 31 vote after a bitter election that sparked deadly violence and was boycotted by opposition voters.
According to the election officials, turnout was 53.9 percent, but the opposition maintains only 10 percent of Ivorian voters took part.
“While waiting for the country’s highest court to confirm this result, it is clear that the majority of Ivorians have confidence in the leadership of President Ouattara,” Kone said.
African News Agency (ANA)