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The following is a summary of major developments in Cote d’Ivoire as reported in Ivoirian traditional and social media on 24 April. The report focused on the return of President Alassane Ouattara to Abidjan, the government 2021 roadmap, government counter-terrorism efforts, and updates on COVID-19. The report also focused on social media discourse on patriotism and contained editorial notes aimed at providing context to the major pieces of information.

POLITICS

President Returns to Abidjan

President Alassane Ouattara returned to Abidjan on 24 April after visiting France and the Republic of the Congo. (Source: Abidjan.net)

Note: On 9 April, President Ouattara left for France, later for the Republic of the Congo to attend the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Denis Sassou-Nguesso.

Government Unveils 2021 Roadmap

The Ivoirian Government unveiled its roadmap following a 23 April seminar held in Abidjan. The following decisions emerged among others:

    • Security: Reinforcing internal security and fighting cross-border terrorism.
  • Infrastructure: Increasing the production of drinking water; beginning works to improve the Abidjan-Grand Bereby road in preparation of the 2023 African Cup of nations; intensifying fight against illegal gold mining; increasing gas production for electricity.
    (Source: https://news.abidjan.net/h/691245.html) 

COUNTER-TERRORISM

Government To Hold Donor Conference To Help Fund Counter-Terrorism Academy

The country will organize a donor conference in June with a goal to fund the International Counter-Terrorism Academy of Jacqueville (located at 60 kilometers west of Abidjan).
(Source: https://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20210423-c%C3%B4te-d-ivoire-la-question-terroriste-au-c%C5%93ur-de-plusieurs-s%C3%A9minaires-%C3%A0-abidjan)

Note: Suspected jihadists have targeted Cote d’Ivoire in less than a year. In June 2020 and March 2021, unidentified gunmen attacked Ivoirian Army bases in the northern town of Kafolo at the border with Burkina Faso. On 1 and 12 April, two improvised explosive devices exploded around Kafolo. 

 HEALTH

COVID-19 Cases Reach 45,765 as of 23 April

The Ministry of Health said that the country recorded 50 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 45,765 as of 23 April. To date, 45,311 people recovered, 279 others died, and there are 175 active cases.

The Ministry also said that as of 22 April, 4,147 people received COVID-19 vaccines, bringing the total number of immunized people to 113,224.
(Source: https://news.abidjan.net/h/691241.html)

Note: The COVID-19 vaccine is free in Cote d’Ivoire, but the country is facing a lack of demand, due in part, to conspiracy theory over the efficacy of the vaccine. News of the AstraZeneca suspension in Europe also slowed down the process in the country.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Netizens Speculate on Sense of ‘Patriotism’ of Ruling Party Supporters

A post on Observatoire Démocratique et Libre d’Abidjan (ODLA), a discussion forum with more than 24,600 members, wondering whether one should consider supporters of the Rally of Republicans (RDR) as “patriots,” generated 91 comments, generally saying that the ruling party supporters lack a sense of “patriotism.

Screenshot of post (Source: ODLA, 24 April)

Note: In July 2018, the RDR merged with other political parties to become the Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) and designated Alassane Ouattara as its candidate for the 31 October 2020 presidential election. On social media, people who are critical of the ruling party continue to refer to the party as RDR because the other parties within the alliance are minor parties. 

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