The Ivory Coast is intent on securing major investment to see the country become Africa’s fifth biggest tourism destination by 2025.
Minister of Tourism Siandou Fofana last month sent a strategy document to the African Development Bank, seeking its support to implement a US$5.8bn plan.
The document, entitled ‘Sublime Côte d’Ivoire’, was presented to the Bank’s Vice-President responsible for Private sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation, Pierre Guislain, at the headquarters in Abidjan.
“We have come to share this new vision for Côte d’Ivoire with the Bank and to secure your help and financial support. We need your help to pool resources to carry this project out,” Minister Fofana said, adding that the strategy will rest on nine new flagship projects and would require a $5.8bn investment.
One of the projects is the Abidjan Business City, a scheme to create a central point for holding conventions in the country, where there is currently no major conference able to accommodate 5,000 people. “There is, therefore, a need to move quickly in that regard,” the minister said.
Other projects include a leisure park and plans to develop the aviation sector and increase airport passenger flow to three million.
“All this will drive employment and our intention is to create 375,000 new jobs. From 2025, we plan to welcome four to five million tourists, to make this sector the fourth economic pillar of the country and to make Ivory Coast the fifth biggest tourism power on the continent and the joint leader in African business tourism,” Fofana said.
Guislain commended the country’s progress in the tourism sector, saying it was essential for investors.
“The Bank finances many infrastructure projects (energy and roads) that are essential to the development of tourism. We also financed the expansion of Air Côte d’Ivoire, whose development is essential for tourism to flourish in the country,” he added.