The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for the Search for Peace (FHB Foundation) commemorates, throughout 2018, the twenty-fifth anniversary of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny‘s death. This celebration called “The Felix Houphouet-Boigny Year” revolves around scientific, festive, religious and sports activities.
To this end, the official launch of this year dedicated to the “father of the Ivorian nation” and the immensity of his work took place on January 27, 2018 in Yamoussoukro. The highlights of this event were:
- the laying of a wreath at the vault of the Houphouët-Boigny family,
- the solemn ceremony of launching the “Félix Houphouët-Boigny Year”,
- and the inaugural conference on “Peace and Regional Integration Policy of Félix Houphouët-Boigny” delivered by HE Jean Marie KACOU GERVAIS, former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Vice-President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire HE Mr. Daniel KABLAN DUNCAN who represented President Alassane Ouattara, enhanced his presence in all stages of this launch. He was accompanied by several personalities and former companions of the first Ivorian President, in this case; the Grand Chancellor of the National Order, Pr Henriette DAGRI DIABATÉ, the President of the Supreme Court, Mr. René APHING-KOUASSI, Prime Ministers Jeannot AHOUSSOU-KOUADIO and Charles KONAN-BANNY representing the President Henri KONAN BEDIÉ, the Ambassador from the Islamic Republic of Iran to Côte d’Ivoire, HE Mansour SHAKIB MEHR, members of the HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY family and a very strong delegation of the Rassemblement des Houphouétistes for Democracy and Peace (RHDP).
The first step was the deposit of a wreath on the tomb of the “Apostle of Peace” in the vault of the Houphouet-Boigny family. As usual, the guests of the day took a moment of recollection on the tomb of the “Sage of Africa” in the presence of the administrative and customary authorities of the region of Aries.
In the second part, the 2,500-seat large amphitheater of the FHB Foundation was the venue chosen for the solemn launch ceremony with performances by artists and the screening of a film excerpt on President Houphouët-Boigny. It should be noted that the majority of women, students and students from the city of Yamoussoukro came to attend the launch. In terms of speeches, the first head of the FHB Foundation, Prof. Jean-Noël LOUCOU, expressed the interest of all Ivorians to learn from their past, the evolution of the country and their present through a duty to inventory, a duty of repentance, and a duty of remembrance. For him, President Félix Houphouët-Boigny has transmitted as legacy to current and future generations tangible and intangible assets. The material component is made up of many remarkable economic, social and cultural achievements. At the intangible level, values such as peace, dialogue, tolerance and solidarity that he has cultivated all his life are living testimonies. In turn, personalities have succeeded to address the assistance. We can quote HE Charles KONAN BANNY and Pr Henriette DAGRI DIABATE. Closing the series of speeches, HE Mr. Daniel KABLAN DUNCAN who presided over this ceremony, recalled that “the founder of modern Ivory Coast” was a great man who led the fight for African dignity through his works and his speeches. He urged all Ivorians to ignore the attitudes contrary to the values advocated by President Houphouet-Boigny, in order to preserve the enormous gains that he left to Côte d’Ivoire. This launching ceremony ended with a visit to the photographic exhibition on Félix Houphouët-Boigny and his political work.
This day ended with the inaugural conference on the theme: “Félix Houphouët-Boigny’s Peace and Regional Integration Policy” delivered by HE Mr. Jean-Marie KAKOU GERVAIS, former Ivorian Minister of Foreign Affairs. This conference was attended by many political and academic personalities.
In his presentation, the speaker focused on showing the positive impact of Houphouët-Boigny’s integration policy at the national level and then analyzing the obstacles and successes encountered during the implementation of the project. this integration and finally to discuss better prospects for sub-regional integration, taking the example of the positive development of the economic community of West African States (ECOWAS). Also, he recalled that “the father of Ivorian Nation” was the architect of integration in Africa and remains an inexhaustible source to which every Ivorian must drink. This presentation ended with a series of contributions and questions to which Minister KAKOU GERVAIS responded with pertinent arguments.
A Mass of Thanksgiving in memory of the “Sage of Africa” was celebrated on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro in the presence of Vice President Daniel KABLAN DUCAN.