The following report highlights major news developments in politics, health, and security in Cote d’Ivoire as of 6 December. This edition focuses on Cote d’Ivoire refusal to close its borders to flights from Southern African countries, speculations on the name of President Alassane Ouattara’s potential successor, the launch of the second phase of a Japan-funded bridge, and COVID-19 update. The report includes background information to add context to the news items.

POLITICS

Cote d’Ivoire Refuses To Close Borders to Flights From Southern Africa

Media reported that following a recent state visit by South African President to Abidjan, the Ivoirian Government said it will not close its borders to flights coming from Southern African countries. Travelers from those countries are, however, required to undergo a PCR test upon arrival and are subject to a mandatory five-day quarantine.

Background: During his 1-3 December visit to Cote d’Ivoire, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa lamented the emergence of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus and the decision by countries including the United States, Israel, and Canada, to close their borders to flights from Southern Africa.

Pro-Opposition Newspaper Speculates on President Ouattara’s Potential Successor

A pro-opposition newspaper speculated that President Alassane Ouattara will pick Defense Minister Tene Birahima Ouattara (his brother) as his successor in the 2025 presidential election. The newspaper also criticized the formation of the Union of the Greater North (Union du Grand Nord, UGN in French) association, saying that it aims to ensure that Ouattara’s potential successor assume power in 2025.

Background: Since its creation, several political stakeholders criticized the UGN, describing it as a “tribalist structure.” The leaders of the UGN, however, said that the association aims to promote the development of the north of Cote d’Ivoire.

ECONOMY

Prime Minister Launches Second Phase of Japan-Funded Bridge

Media reported that Prime Minister Patrick Achi on 4 December laid the foundation stone for the second phase of construction of a bridge referred to as the Ivoirian-Japanese Friendship Interchange in Abidjan. Japan will fully fund the project which amounts to approximately $86 million. According to Achi, the bridge, whose completion is scheduled in August 2023, will “enable greater mobility and traffic flow” in Abidjan.

Background: Under the Ivoirian-Japanese cooperation, Japan completed the first phase of the bridge in December 2019. Japan also supported Cote d’Ivoire in infrastructures, agriculture, health, and governance, among other sectors.

HEALTH

COVID-19 Update as of 4 December

New cases: 23 positive of 2,182 samples (1 percent)

Total cases: 61,817

New recoveries: 12

Total recoveries: 60,844

New deaths: 0

Total deaths: 705

Active cases: 262

New vaccination doses: 29,024

Total vaccination doses: 4,615,127

Source: Ministry of Health

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