His Majesty King Mohammed VI, accompanied by His Highness Prince Moulay Ismail and the President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire Alassane Dramane Ouattara, chaired, on Monday in Abidjan, the ceremony to present the progress of the Cocody Bay Protection and Development Project.
During the ceremony, chairman of the Marchica Med's board of directors (company managing the project) Said Zarrou, gave a speech before the two heads of states in which he said that the project's first phase, which has reached a very advanced level, involves site cleaning up and landscaping, protection against floods, construction of hydraulic infrastructure, road development, and building a viaduct, symbol of an emerging Côte d'Ivoire.
He added that the project's second phase, which concerns the Bay's development and upgrading, is aimed at improving the citizens' living conditions and turning Abidjan into a hot tourist destination, underlining that the project costs overall around 450 million dollars.
Thanks to the help of Marchica Med and in coordination with Ivorian authorities, the financing of this investment was completed. The financial engineering enabled to optimize funding capacities by associating several international donors.
Up to 20% of the investment will be covered through a bridging loan by the Ivorian government and via commercial banks. The remaining funding is guaranteed, under a concessional loan, by the main Arab funds as the Islamic Development Bank and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa.
On this occasion, HM the King and the Ivorian leader presided over the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the new phase of the Bay's development and upgrading. Inked by Ivorian economic infrastructure minister Amédé Kouakou Koffi and Said Zarrou, this MoU sets the terms for the implementation of a program on the upgrading and development of the "Rive Plateau", the Cocody Urban Park and the "Coulée verte" of Banco.
Concerning the "Rive Plateau", a "Maison Ivoire" (Ivory House) will be set up and will comprise hotels, a trade center, a convention center, and facilities to promote the Ivorian culture. It will also include facilities for recreational, leisure and catering activities near the Abidjan marina.
As for the Cocody bank, it will house a future urban park with three main components, namely a sports plain, a zone for aquatic activities and a site for adventures and discovery.
The Coulée verte" of Banco project provides for the cleaning, reforestation and urban development of a 3,000 ha corridor between the Banco forest and the Cocody Bay. It also provides for the setting up of community-based infrastructure for populations living in adjacent neighborhoods, as well as the construction of thematic houses: the Cacao House, the Coffee House, the Wood House....
The MoU touches also on the extension of the partnership touching on the urban and port development of the Grand Bassam.
The ceremony to present the progress of the Cocody Bay Protection and Development Project was attended by Ivorian vice-minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, members of the official delegation accompanying HM the King in his friendship and working visit to Côte d'Ivoire, and several members of the Ivorian government.