An international conference was held from October 18 to 20, 2018 at the headquarters of the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Foundation for the Search for Peace (FHB Foundation) in Yamoussoukro. Organized on the occasion of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Year marking the 25th anniversary of the disappearance of the “Apostle of Peace”, this symposium was devoted to the theme: “The Peace Work of Félix Houphouët-Boigny”. registered 115 participants including 23 from Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and France. This scientific meeting also mobilized national public university institutions and various international organizations such as: Joseph Ki Zerbo Foundation, UNESCO, Academy of Arts Sciences, African Cultures and African Diasporas (ASCAD), National Archives of France and the Center for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies (CEDS) of Paris.
It involved participants including academics from diverse backgrounds, politicians, the prefectural body, traditional leaders, religious leaders, youth leaders and women leaders, civil society leaders, men and women of culture interested in the life and ideals of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny to lead the reflection on his work for peace. This colloquium was a forum for exchange, participative and constructive debate to decipher the actions for peace of “Sage Africa” and to draw lessons for the present and the future.
The opening ceremony took place in the presence of the Vice-President of the Republic, HE Mr. Daniel Kablan DUNCAN, representing HE Mr. Alassane OUATTARA, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Amoikon EDJAMPAN TIÉMÉLÉ, representing HE Mr. Henri Konan BÉDIÉ, President of the PDCI-RDA, Mr. Jeannot KOUADIO AHOUSSOU, President of the Senate, and administrative and customary authorities of the city of Yamoussoukro, traditional religious leaders, teachers and researchers, public and private media professionals, and students and students.
Professor Jean-Noël LOUCOU, General Secretary of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research, thanked all the personalities and participants for their presence. It is, he said, from the specific case of Felix Houphouet-Boigny, to open new lines of research on the ways and means of effectively establishing peace in Africa and the belligerent world. ‘today. Following him, Professor Daniel Youzan BAHA BI, President of the scientific committee of the conference, located the stakes of this scientific meeting. For him, beyond the numerous written and oral documents, exceptional testimonies about Félix Houphouët-Boigny, it is important to continue research, through scientific foundations, to exploit the smallest constructions of the moral and intangible building. what is Felix Houphouet-Boigny, this man of our common history. Mr. TIÉMÉLÉ delivered the message of President BÉDIÉ in which he stressed that the memory of the “Father of the Ivorian Nation” must be that permanent yeast that vivifies Ivory Coast every time Ivorians are swept away by the passion for division and clan postures.
To close the series of speeches, HE Mr. Daniel Kablan DUNCAN welcomed the initiative of this conference which allows the experts to decipher the ideology of peace of the “Yamoussoukro Aries” in order to come out of it the tools necessary for the consolidation of the peace and social cohesion in Ivory Coast and all over the world. Before declaring the opening of the conference, he affirmed that today’s Côte d’Ivoire believes in the cardinal values with which “Nanan Boigny” traced the paths of development and built the prosperity of the Côte d ‘Ivoire. Ivory. The other highlight was the awarding of prizes to the winners of the first edition of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Prize for research by the Vice-President. Thus, have been awarded, Miss BROU Hada Stéphanie Débora, for his master thesis on the subject: “Educational Policies of Houphouët-Boigny and national integration in Côte d’Ivoire”; and Mr. LÉOBLÉ Baka Célestin, for his doctoral thesis entitled: “Félix Houphouët-Boigny and the question of communism in Africa from 1946 to 1989”.
The work took place in plenary and workshop. Plenaries focused on testimonials and orientation conferences, while workshops gave rise to papers. At the level of the testimonies, personalities who rubbed shoulders with President Félix Houphouët-Boigny expressed themselves and shared their experiences alongside him. They are Mr. Jeannot KOUADIO AHOUSSOU, President of the Senate, Mr. Maurice KACOU GUIKAHUÉ, Executive Secretary of the PDCI-RDA, represented by Mr. Brahima KAMAGATÉ, Executive Secretary in charge of Youth in the Executive Secretariat of the PDCI-RDA, HE Mr. Jean KAKOU -GERVAIS, Ambassador, Pr. Constant ROUX, Associate Professor of Medicine and Mrs. Rokhiatou HAMPATE BA, daughter of Amadou HAMPATE BA.
In total, four orientation conferences were delivered by leading figures in research:
- Professor Danielle DOMERGUE-CLOAREC of France with the theme: “The path of independence 1958-1960: between pragmatism and disappointment”,
- Professor Niamkey Koffi with the theme: “The question of ideologies in the political action of Houphouët-Boigny”,
- Professor Simon Pierre EKANZA on the theme: “Houphouët-Boigny, model of man of peace”,
- and Professor Jean Marc Palm DOMBA from Burkina Faso on the theme: “Youth education for peace, a valuable tool for conflict resolution in Africa”.
During the debates that followed these various conferences, the speakers emphasized the exceptional role of President Houphouët-Boigny in the process of decolonization, his qualities of statesman and man of peace. In total, the work recorded 55 papers divided into five thematic areas, namely:
- the peaceful struggle for independence,
- external peace: diplomacy, cooperation, conflict reduction and mediation in Africa and the world,
- civil peace: rule of law and democratic culture, defense policy, national integration,
- religious peace: secularism, religious tolerance, interreligious dialogue,
- and economic peace: economic institutions, major works, development strategies.
This congress was also the occasion of laying the foundation stone of the giant statue of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny in the presence of many personalities. This artwork will be erected
in the gardens of the FHB Foundation. This congress ended during a sumptuous gala dinner during which certificates were given to participants.