The following report highlights major news developments in politics, health, and security in Cote d’Ivoire as of 18 November. This edition focuses on government’s plans to audit state-owned companies, COVID-19 update, the approved budget for the Defense Ministry for the year 2022, and popular reaction to the destruction of houses in the Koumassi ward of Abidjan. The report includes background information to add context to the news items.

ECONOMY

Government Announces Plans To Audit State-Owned Companies

Speaking at the National Assembly on 17 November, Budget Minister Moussa Sanogo declared among other issues that “from now on, no state-owned company can go more than three years without being audited.” The Minister also said that public companies are compelled to report their financial status every three months.

Background: Recent cases of embezzlement of funds in state-owned companies prompted president Alassane Ouattara to launch a “clean hands” operation, which resulted in the dismissal of some managing directors.

HEALTH

COVID-19 Update as of 17 November

New cases: 13 positives of 2,193 samples (0.6 percent)

Total cases: 61,536

New recoveries: 29

Total recoveries: 60,475

New deaths: 0

Total deaths: 702

Active cases: 359

New vaccination doses: 55,290

Total vaccination doses: 3,962,628

Source: Ministry of Health

SECURITY

Defense Ministry Gets $653-Million Budget To Help Contain Terrorism Threat

Media reported that the Ministry of Defense obtained a budget amounting to approximately $653 million for the year 2022 to deal with terrorist threats in the north of the country. Defense Minister Tene Birahima Ouattara spoke before the MPs of the Committee on Economic and Financial Affairs of the National Assembly on 16 November. The Minister obtained, unanimously, the vote of the credits of its Program-Budget contained in the Bill of Finance of the state.

Background: Recent terrorist attacks targeted the north of Cote d’Ivoire, notably the towns of Tehini, Tougbo, and Kafolo, near the border with Burkina Faso.

TRENDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Netizens Criticize Mayor’s Destruction of Houses in the Koumassi Ward of Abidjan

Blaise Lasm, a pro-Gbagbo activist, on 17 November posted on his Facebook page with 10,000 followers a text criticizing Minister Ibrahima Cisse, aka Bacongo, Mayor of the Municipality of Koumassi (southeastern Abidjan), for demolishing an entire quarter of his constituency in a middle of an academic year. Lasm said that “the fight against poverty should not amount to a fight against the poor.” The post generated 365 likes, 161 comments, and 32 shares. Reactions were mixed between fierce supporters of the mayor who argued that you “cannot make an omelet without smashing eggs,” meaning that there is a price to pay if we want development. Other netizens severely criticized the mayor for being “heartless” or the authorities for “having a fence around their hearts.”

Background: Koumassi Mayor Ibrahima Bacongo Cisse on 5 November received the Prize of Best Mayor at the national level from President Alassane Ouattara. Since his rise at the helm of the municipality of Koumassi in 2018, Bacongo Cisse has engaged forceful destructions of buildings and shops allegedly aimed at cleaning and modernizing the township.

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