“Côte d’Ivoire, through its media and other communication tools, is ready to accompany the return of the AfDB to Côte d’Ivoire and make this move a success.” This was the statement made on July 23 by the Ivoirian Minister of Communication, on receiving the communication and change management mission of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abidjan from July 22 to 26.
In the words of Minister Affoussiata Bamba-Lamine, assistant spokesperson of the Government, Ivoirian media in collaboration with the External Relations and Communications Unit team of the AfDB led by Communications Chief Magatte Wade, the Ivoirian people will do everything possible to facilitate the institution’s return to its headquarters. In this regard, Minister Bamba-Lamine promised to use the services of the Ivoirian Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation, the Ivoirian Press Agency as well as the government daily, Fraternité Matin.
For the Minister, the fact that “Côte d’Ivoire is ready to expand the AfDB message on its return stands to reason as the AfDB has always been a leading actor in the development of Côte d’Ivoire.” She expressed her country’s complete satisfaction in its excellent partnership with the AfDB at present and during the crisis period, as well as the assistance provided by the Bank in infrastructure projects such as the construction of the Henri Konan Bédié Bridge and the Azito thermal power station.
Dispatched on July 22, the AfDB mission is conducted by Nono Matondo-Fundani, Director in charge of the AfDB Return to Abidjan. The delegation comprises experts in communication and change management. The object of the mission is to appraise the communications since the institution’s departure in 2003, observe and collect the opinions and suggestions of Ivoirian counterparts. .
To this end, the mission held discussions with Government, the Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation , the Ivoirian Press Agency , the Government Information Centre, the daily newspaper Fraternité Matin, printers, the network of communication experts in the different ministries and professional associations. Members of the delegation also visited private press and media houses ready to support AfDB communication with special initiatives and suggestions in addition to information processing.
The AfDB mission also heard the advice and suggestions from the Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, Théophile Ahoua N’Doli, and that of the Minister of State for Planning and Development, Albert Toikeusse Mabri. During these discussions, Magatte Wade, explained to the Ivoirian officials that the communication approach should be strategic, in that this return is taking place under new circumstances both from the AfDB side as that of the host country.
“On its departure in 2003, the number of staff was around 900 employees. Today, this number is about 2,000, excluding family members. In addition, about 80 per cent of staff members were recruited in Tunis and therefore have never lived in Côte d’Ivoire before. On the other hand, 10 years on, the socio-economic situation in this country is totally different,” said Wade.
The mission also visited the site of the AfDB headquarters, as well as school buildings.