On October 18, 2019, there was a thanksgiving Mass in Saint Augustine Church in Yamoussoukro in memory of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny. It was officiated by Monsignor Alexis Touably. The latter wished that “the founder of modern Côte d’Ivoire” and his “immense work” be permanently in the spirit of the people of Côte d’Ivoire to whom he always advised to make peace their second religion. “Let us not speak of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny in the past tense, for a man of such greatness of soul can neither be of the past nor outdated. It is up to us to walk together on the paths he has traced out for us as the founding father of our nation,” he advised. He also stressed that “it is true that peace is a gift from God, but peace will not come to us from Heaven as a finished product, for peace is like a loincloth that we must weave together”.
Thursday, October 17, 2019 marked the beginning of the commemoration of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny’s birth day with a study day that was furnished by two panels on the themes: “Félix Houphouët-Boigny, the man of culture” and “Félix Houphouët-Boigny, the pan-Africanist”. This opportunity enabled many young students from the political and administrative capital, as well as the populations in their political and socio-professional diversity, to revisit the actions carried out by the “Apostle of Peace”.
The Secretary General of the FHB Foundation, in turn, said that in addition to the celebration of the 114th anniversary of the birth of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny, his institution was celebrating two major events in 2019. Namely the thirtieth anniversaries of the Congress on Peace in the Minds of Men held in Yamoussoukro which gave birth to the concept of culture of peace and the creation of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny-UNESCO Prize for Peace Research which this year distinguished the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy AHMED ALI before he received the Nobel Peace Prize 2019.
Ms Anne LEMAISTRE, representative of the UNESCO Office in Abidjan, for her part, wished that the year 2020 be proclaimed “the year of the culture of peace” in Côte d’Ivoire.
Professor Robert NIAMKEY KOFFI, President of the Scientific Committee of this day indicated that the exemplary life of Houphouët-Boigny appears as a symbol. For, the immense works of the “father of the Ivorian nation” are landmarks for Côte d’Ivoire. Addressing the themes of the day, the academic told his audience that Félix Houphouët-Boigny was both a man of culture but also a pan-Africanist, contrary to the image of Epinal that we wanted to stick to him, calling him a gravedigger of African unity, one of the artisans of the balkanization of African states. For him, this is essentially erroneous. He also pointed out the extent of the knowledge of the modern world, of the ancient history of this great statesman.
A total of eleven (11) communications were delivered during this scientific day by academics.
It should be noted that the Chief Executive Secretary of the PDCI-GDR, Professor Maurice KAKOU GUIKAHUÉ enhanced with his presence the opening of this study day.
On Saturday, June 15, 2019, a conference was held at the headquarters of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research in Yamoussoukro on the theme: “The New Silk Roads, Opportunities for Africa: The Case of Côte d’Ivoire”. This conference, organized by the Association pour la Sauvegarde et la Promotion de la Pensée d’El Hadj-Boubacar Gamby Sakho (ASPP-BGS) in partnership with the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research, brought together about four hundred students, mainly from the Institut National Polytechnique Houphouët-Boigny de Yamoussoukro. The objectives were: to improve China’s knowledge and visibility in Côte d’Ivoire, to present the Chinese development model, with particular emphasis on the crucial role played by the “Silk Road”; to lay the foundations for the bilateral partnership between Côte d’Ivoire and China, between Chinese and Ivorian industrialists, between Chinese and Ivorian researchers and to raise the impact of Chinese culture on the harmonious development of Côte d’Ivoire.
The series of speeches began with that of Professor Jean-Noël LOUCOU, Secretary General of the FHB Foundation. He expressed his institution’s pleasure in hosting this meeting and the great personalities. He did not fail to greet the ASPP-BGS association by highlighting the qualities of the one whose name it bears, the Confucius Institute which helps to promote the Chinese language and culture and the eminent speakers.
As for Mr Boubacar FOFANA, President of the ASPP-BGS Association, he thanked the personalities present and all the audience before indicating the values embodied by the one whose name the association bears, namely the rapprochement between men, cultures and civilizations.
The series of speeches ended with that of Mr Liu YUNSHENG, Director of the Confucius Institute, whose speech focused on the theme: “Equity is a thought of sustainable development for the objective of living together”.
Two conferences were given on the following themes: “Presentation of the new Silk Roads: opportunities for Africa, the case of Côte d’Ivoire” and “Africa and the new Silk Roads: cultural and strategic approach”.
The first lecture was given by Mr. Sébastien PÉRIMONY of the Schiller Institute. The speaker first presented the purpose of the project, which is to put an end to centuries of conflict, war and colonialism. The aim is to put an end to a conception of the economy that favours the strongest and move on to a world of mutual development, co-development and dialogue between cultures. He then described the history of the New Silk Roads Project.
The second lecture was delivered by Mr Pierre FAYARD, Professor Emeritus at the University of Poitiers. The speaker developed the theme: “Africa and the new silk routes: a cultural and strategic approach” around culture, the economy and the strategy of conquest. He concluded by justifying the project for the new Silk Roads with the strategic argument that only those who see far can win.
After the series of questions to the speakers by the audience, the conference ended with a visit to an image exhibition presented by the Confucius Institute.
On April 24, 2019, the President of the Republic, H.E. Mr Alassane OUATTARA, presided over a Council of Ministers at the headquarters of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research (FHB Foundation) in Yamoussoukro.
At this council, several decisions were taken, including a project to support the governance of the coffee and cocoa sector to increase producers’ incomes and improve access to electricity in rural areas to enable the installation of 2027 km of overhead power lines, 23,549 connections and 22,960 public lighting households.
The Council also adopted two decrees to finance the project for roads to open up cross-border areas – Phase 1 – Bondoukou section – Soko Ghana border. This project includes, in particular, the development and asphalting of cross-border roads, as well as the remediation and development of several kilometres of runways.
The Minister of Health and Public Hygiene, Dr. Eugène Aka Aka AOUÉLÉ, presided over the ceremony to launch the 2019 edition of the national campaign for the promotion of maternal, newborn and child health on April 5, 2019 at the headquarters of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research in Yamoussoukro. This ceremony was organized by the National Health and Children’s Programme in the presence of representatives of partner organizations such as WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA.
Dr. Aouélé said that there are many obstacles to the momentum towards reducing maternal, newborn and child mortality in Côte d’Ivoire, including the predominance of medical causes, which account for 80% of obstacles such as bleeding and dystocias. According to him, frequent breakdowns of blood products and essential drugs and the deterioration in the quality of services in maternity hospitals, mainly attributed to health personnel, are among the obstacles to reducing maternal and child mortality rates. The Chief Health Officer in Côte d’Ivoire reported that 52 per cent of referral facilities do not offer blood transfusion and caesarean section is not performed in 34 referral facilities. For him, this campaign is therefore an action of his ministry to demonstrate his willingness to promote local exchanges to bring stakeholders together and allow a better distribution of resources to effectively contribute to curbing maternal, newborn and child mortality in Côte d’Ivoire.
Finally, the Minister of Health and Public Hygiene handed over a roadmap to regional prefects for the successful conduct of the campaign throughout Côte d’Ivoire.