On Friday, February 28, 2020, the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research (FHB Foundation), headed by its Secretary General, Professor Jean-Noël LOUCOU, handed over 2 million CFA francs to the Mié-N’Gou Centre for Functional Rehabilitation in Yamoussoukro, thanks to the financial support of the National Lottery of Côte d’Ivoire (LONACI). This grant will enable the center, established by President Félix Houphouët-Boigny in 1978, to carry out the most urgent rehabilitation work on its buildings. This social action aims to perpetuate the work of the Apostle of Peace.
On November 28 and 29, 2019, a training workshop was held on the theme: “Youth contribution to the promotion of the culture of peace, non-violence and the prevention of religious extremism” organized by the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research (FHB Foundation) in cooperation with the Institut Afrique Monde (IAM).
This workshop brought together forty young leaders from seventeen faith-based organizations and associations and academics. Its objective was to equip participants with adequate tools for the promotion of peace and social cohesion in Côte d’Ivoire.
The Secretary General of the FHB Foundation warmly welcomed the participants.
Mrs. Liliane DOUKOURÉ, representative of the Africa World Institute, addressed words of gratitude to the FHB Foundation. It should be mentioned that the IAM was created in Paris, France in 2013. It is an apolitical institute whose main mission is to defend Africa and its values throughout the world by making its potential and dynamism known.
As for the representative of the Prefect of Yamoussoukro, Mr. Serge KOUTOUAN, Sub-Prefect of Kossou, he expressed his joy to observe a youth committed to a peaceful Côte d’Ivoire.
A total of ten (10) papers were presented. The workshops focused successively on the testimony and sharing of experiences recounted by Imam Youssouf KONATÉ and Pastor Lucien KAHA GRIVAZ and on the elaboration of the action plan and recommendations of the workshop.
The workshop ended with the reading of the general report, the action plan, the recommendations of the workshop and the motion of thanks. All participants received certificates of attendance.
The West African Network to Fight Against Clandestine Immigration (REALIC) celebrated the 2020 edition of World Radio Day in Yamoussoukro, on 12 and 13 February 2020, under the theme: “the contribution of young people and local media in the fight against illegal immigration”.
In collaboration with the Organisation du Conseil des Jeunes de l’Entente (OCJE), the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research (FHB Foundation), REALIC organised a round table with youth leaders and local media actors. The headquarters of the FHB Foundation in Yamoussoukro hosted, on Thursday 13 February, this round table on two themes: “Youth and irregular migration in Côte d’Ivoire, the role of radio in the struggle” and “Youth and the promotion of a culture of peace during the electoral period”.
This exchange platform recorded by the FHB Foundation’s radio station, Radio de la Paix, gave the floor to youth leaders from Yamoussoukro to gather their opinions on the level of contribution of young people in the fight against illegal immigration and to provide solutions for peaceful and violence-free elections.
Regarding the fight against illegal immigration, Mrs. Florentine DJIRO, President of REALIC, said she could count on young people, local media actors and civil society to curb the scourge. “For us, it is necessary to take action. The media is the 4th power. We must therefore use this power to move the lines and bring young people to change their mentality and above all to make the right choice,” she said.
The representatives of the organizations associated with this event also animated the panels. They are : Dr. Diénéba DOUMBIA, Director of the Peace Research Department at the FHB Foundation, Mr. Séraphin KONAN, representing the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Mr. Ousmane KANTÉ, Editor-in-Chief of Radio de la Paix and Mr. Romaric NDRIKO, representative of the Organisation of the Youth Council of the Entente (OCJE).
As part of its outreach activities in the field, the West African Network to Fight against Clandestine Immigration (REALIC), in collaboration with the Organisation du Conseil des Jeunes de l’Entente (OCJE), the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research (FHB Foundation), organised the celebration of the 2020 edition of World Radio Day. This celebration took place on 12 and 13 February in Yamoussoukro, the political capital of Côte d’Ivoire. It focused on two themes, namely: “Youth and irregular migration in Côte d’Ivoire, the role of radio in the struggle” and “Youth and the promotion of the culture of peace during the electoral period”.
A public broadcast was recorded on Wednesday 12 February 2020 at the Yamoussoukro Scientific High School and broadcast live by the FHB Foundation radio station, Radio de la Paix. It saw the participation of students from the said high school and students from other higher education institutions in the city of Yamoussoukro. Spectators and listeners were made aware of the risks linked to illegal immigration through debates and games based on questions and answers.
According to Mrs. Florentine DJIRO, President of REALIC, the aim of this activity was to highlight the impact of radio in the fight against illegal immigration on the ground. For her, the aim was to show and strengthen the role of radio in awareness-raising campaigns aimed at pupils and students on the risks linked to illegal immigration, and to popularise reliable information and legal channels concerning the immigration chosen.
It should be noted that this programme saw the participation of Mrs. Diénéba DOUMBIA, Director of the Peace Research Department of the FHB Foundation and Mr. Ousmane KANTÉ, Editor-in-Chief of Radio de la Paix.
At the end of the exchanges, one could retain the important role played by the radio in raising awareness among young people on migration issues. The participants suggested radio programs that focus on accurate information about immigration and made a commitment to raise awareness among other young people about the risks associated with this scourge. It should be recalled that REALIC is a non-governmental organization (NGO) created in 2017 in Daloa to contribute to the resolution of the problems undermining Ivorian youth. Several prevention and awareness-raising activities have been carried out by this NGO to curb the migratory flows of young people in search of the Eldorado.
On Saturday, January 25, 2020 at its headquarters in Yamoussoukro, the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research held its traditional New Year’s greeting ceremony for its first leader, Professor Jean-Noël LOUCOU.
The Chief of Staff, Mr. Christophe Kadjané ASSOH, wished, on behalf of all the staff members of the institution, to express the best wishes for the year 2020 to the Secretary General of the institution.
Taking the floor, the Secretary General drew up the assessment of the activities of the year 2019 and the list of the major projects of the FHB Foundation for the year 2020. These major projects are :
- The rehabilitation works of the headquarters buildings with the benevolent solicitude of the President of the Republic HEM Alassane OUATTARA,
- the launching of the activities of the Pan-African School of Peace (EPAP) whose texts relating to its organization and functioning have already been drawn up,
- and the Peace Museum, for which design is in progress.
Following the speeches, the Secretary-General received greetings from all his staff present at the ceremony, which ended with a family photo and a cocktail.
On Saturday, November 30, 2019, a study day was held in Yamoussoukro in tribute to President Auguste Denise. Organized by the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research (FHB Foundation), this scientific meeting which brought together politicians, academics, students and civil society personalities with the notable presence of President Auguste Denise’s family celebrated. It was an opportunity to perpetuate the memory of this Ivorian statesman and companion of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny. This celebration is part of an overall policy of immortalizing the former collaborators of the first President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, whose merits are not sufficiently highlighted.
The opening ceremony was punctuated by three speeches. Opening the series of speeches, Mr Wilson BEUGRÉ, representing the Mayor of the commune of Yamoussoukro, after words of welcome, welcomed the choice of Yamoussoukro for the celebration of the illustrious companion of Houphouët-Boigny through the many scientific contributions. Speaking after Mr Wilson BEUGRé, Professor Jean-Noël LOUCOU, Secretary General of the FHB Foundation, welcomed all the participants for their presence, before situating the challenge of this scientific meeting: to introduce Auguste Denise, former companion of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny, and to reflect on the place of the historical figure, of the individual in history, which has been and still is subject to debate within French and world historiography. Closing the series of speeches, Me Stéphane RICHMOND, representing the Auguste Denise family, expressed his gratitude and that of his family to the FHB Foundation, and more particularly to the Secretary General of the Foundation and his collaborators, for having devoted this study day to the work of President Auguste Denise. At the end of these speeches, Mr. Marius NIANGORAN, representing the Prefect of Yamoussoukro, opened the study day.
The work was carried out in two panels which dealt with the following themes:
- Panel 1: “Auguste Denise, the politician”.
- Panel 2: “The Government of Auguste Denise facing the economic and social challenge (1957-1959)”.
14 papers were delivered as follows: 6 papers for panel 1 and 8 papers for panel 2.
This study day allowed us to understand a little more about the personality of one of the most illustrious companions of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny. “Auguste Denise, the efficient politician”; “Auguste Denise, the actor of the economic and social promotion of Côte d’Ivoire”; “Auguste Denise, the discreet man with a high sense of sacrifice for the well-being of all and a devotion devoid of any spirit of revenge” are all facets of the man that the various papers have helped to discover. The Secretary General of the Foundation said about this icon: “In the pantheon of our national heroes, Auguste Denise must have the rightful place he deserves through his successful political commitment, his nationalism and patriotism, his virtues as a man of goodness and honour”.
This scientific meeting ended with the presentation of certificates of participation to all those who presented papers.
A training and exchange workshop on interreligious and intercultural dialogue in Côte d’Ivoire was held in Yamoussoukro from November 26 to 27, 2019, organized by the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research (FHB Foundation) in partnership with the Institut Afrique Monde (IAM) for religious leaders. It brought together some 40 Christian and Muslim leaders on the theme: “Contribution of religious leaders to the promotion of the culture of peace, non-violence and the prevention of religious extremism in Côte d’Ivoire“.
The workshop had the following objectives:
- to pacify inter-religious relations in Côte d’Ivoire by cultivating non-violence, tolerance and acceptance of cultural diversity;
- to prevent religious extremism in Côte d’Ivoire;
- to get religious people involved in the consolidation of peace and social cohesion;
- and to create the platform of religious leaders in Côte d’Ivoire.
It should be noted that the first constitutive meeting of the platform of religious leaders of Côte d’Ivoire was held on November 25, 2019. That meeting was a follow-up to the recommendations, plan of action and the Yamoussoukro Declaration resulting from the National Symposium of Religious Leaders, Kings and Traditional Leaders organized by the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research and UNDP-CI on the theme: “Contribution of Religious Leaders, Kings and Traditional Leaders to the Promotion of the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence in Côte d’Ivoire”.
The Secretary General of the FHB Foundation warmly welcomed the participants and thanked the Institut Afrique Monde chaired by Her Excellency Denise Houphouët-Boigny, Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire to UNESCO for its commitment to this training. He also indicated that President Félix Houphouët-Boigny had left Côte d’Ivoire peace, which is a continuous quest. In presenting the context of this activity, he hoped that traditional religions would be integrated into the platform for a broader consensus in interreligious dialogue in Côte d’Ivoire.
As for Mr. Serge KOUTOUAN, Deputy Prefect of Kossou, representing the Prefect of Yamoussoukro, he welcomed the opportunity presented by this workshop on the eve of the presidential elections, before proceeding to the official opening of the training workshop.
During the proceedings, seven (7) presentations and two (2) workshops were recorded.
The communications showed that extremism and terrorism are rejected by all revealed religions and that, on the contrary, religions encourage dialogue between them. Thus, religious leaders have equipped themselves to play their role as promoters of tolerance and the values of the culture of peace.
Furthermore, the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research and the Africa World Institute were encouraged to continue to play their role in the field of peace.
The workshop concluded with the presentation of diplomas of participation.
On November 25, 2019, the opening of the photographic exhibition on the theme: “The train from Abidjan to Ouagadougou: 1898-1958” took place at the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Research Foundation (FHB Foundation). This exhibition was organized by the association “Images et Mémoires” in partnership with the FHB Foundation, the History Department of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny University and the Institute of African History, Art and Archaeology (IHAAA). It aimed at raising awareness of the active participation of Côte d’Ivoire in the implementation of the railway from 1898 to 1958. Photographs illustrating the vision of the railway, the engineering railway school, the earthworks, the completion and laying of the track marked this exhibition.
In his opening speech, the Secretary General of the FHB Foundation congratulated the two curators of the exhibition, namely Dr. Evelyne Lodugnon Kalou and Dr. Mathias Savadogo. He added that this exhibition was part of the noble mission of the institution he directs, namely to be a place of meetings and exchanges. For him, people need to know their history which is the memory of their identity. He concluded by affirming that the railway has been a factor in bringing together the peoples of Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire.
Following him, Dr. Evelyne LODUGNON KALOU took the floor to present this exhibition of 200 photographs grouped in 61 panels. She said that the association “Images et Mémoires” which created this iconographic wealth is a non-governmental organization founded in 1995 and is present in 18 countries around the world. This association promotes ancient images of sub-Saharan Africa and encourages their return to their countries of origin.
After the cutting of the symbolic ribbon by the personalities present, the visit of the exhibition was led by Dr. Evelyne LODUGNON KALOU and Dr. Mathias SAVADOGO.
The exhibition ended on November 30, 2019.
The 1st edition of the “African Foundations Awards” (AFA), organized by the Africa Event agency, took place on Saturday 16 November 2019, at the CRRAE-UMOA conference room in Abidjan-Plateau.
Doudou Stevens Cissé, Executive Director of Africa Event, took the opportunity to explain the motivations of this event: “For a long time, foundations and associations have been confused because both are dedicated to the general non-profit interest. Today their characteristics are very different. While an association is the grouping of several people with the will to act together around a common objective, a foundation exists by the irrevocable allocation of assets for the realization of a work of general interest. A foundation is private money made available to a public cause. If both are necessarily non-profit-making, the association can defend the interests of an organized group: former students of a school, defenders of the environment, while the foundation is an association dedicated to the general interest. The State’s supervision is there as a guarantor of the public utility. The association disappears with the dispersion of its members while the foundation can survive. Governance is very different. An association is by nature democratic in nature, decisions are taken by the general assembly during which each member has one vote, while the foundation has a governance based on a board of directors that takes decisions”.
16 award-winning foundations plus 3 special prizes
This ceremony was also the occasion to award 16 foundations for their numerous efforts to improve the daily lives of the population. Among others, the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research, which was awarded the AFA Super Prize and the Peace Prize, the Magic System Foundation, which was awarded the Education Prize and the Amadou Hampâté Ba Foundation, which left with the African Cultural Heritage Prize. In addition to these awards, special prizes were also awarded to the Children of Africa foundations (led by the First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire, Dominique Ouattara), Congo Assistance and Servir le Sénégal.
According to the president of the jury, Makani Diaby, 1st vice-president of the Senate, these Awards were awarded according to the following criteria: “To be a foundation. Have at least 3 years of existence on January 30, 2019. Be active on the African continent or in the African diaspora. Have a functional website, have already carried out quality actions in the field, having a lasting impact on beneficiaries. Be proposed by the organizing committee, associations, the media or a third person as a foundation”.
Leading the inaugural conference of the 1st edition of the Africa Foundations Awards on the theme: “African Foundations, Perspectives and Impacts on the African Continent”, Professor Aliou Mané, President of the Atlantic University, underlined the “imperative” need to legislate only for foundations. For him, the need to create a specific legal framework for foundations lies in the role they play in the socio-economic development of countries.
“Many schools and health facilities that we encounter in isolated areas have been built and are the subject of sustained attention from foundations in general. If the foundations did not exist, they would have had to be invented. Fortunately, like their counterparts in the northern hemisphere, many African and African-based foundations continue to support public action. Whether it is a question of creating banking institutions, oil companies, electricity companies, cellular telephone companies, initiated by public or private personalities, foundations act” he argued.
For him, the challenges of development, the specificity of the problems according to the regions and sectors of the population concerned, require that NGOs and associations take charge of the training of management staff and the management of daily activities. “Managers and foundation execution staff must be supervised to ensure that the destination of the funds made available to them is an effective destination and that the money does not disappear along the way. The qualification of the agents responsible for identifying, identifying, evaluating and carrying out material and financial support tasks is the essential basis for the success of their actions”. According to the academic, this will avoid the losses observed in the management of the administration of foundations and in the identification of the destinations of contributions in equipment and finance. The second conference was moderated by Diabaté Fatoumata, Deputy Executive Secretary, DG Lonaci Advisor on the theme: “Theme: Foundations, social actions and the well-being of African populations”.
Source: Intelligent d’Abidjan on November 19, 2019. (in french)