Testimonies from former heads of state and government who knew President Félix Houphouët-Boigny

Head of State and Government
Abdou Diouf


President of the Republic of Senegal

"There is no real conflict, says a Wolof proverb, there is no dialogue. I always thought, in the face of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny's continuing step, that no one better than he had been able to bet on the truth of this optimistic discourse."
Boutros Boutros-Ghali

(1922 – 2016)

UN Secretary-General

"When I was Minister of State in charge of foreign affairs in Egypt, I met with President Houphouët-Boigny an immense understanding, especially at the initiative of President Sadat to go to Jerusalem. As soon as he was informed, Félix Houphouët-Boigny immediately encouraged this initiative."
Itzhak Rabin

(1922 – 1995)

Prime Minister of the State of Israel
(1984-1990, 1992-1995)

"President Félix Houphouët-Boigny has entered the political arena of history as an African leader, but soon became one of the most gifted and remarkable leaders in the history of this century."
"In Israel, too, we feel this loss painfully, and we regret that he is not with us to see the fruit of that peace in the Middle East to which he aspired so much, and for which he had done so much."
Charles de Gaulle

(1890 – 1970)

President of the French Republic

"A first-rate political brain, on a level with all the issues that concern not only his country, but also Africa and the whole world ...."
Moktar Ould Daddah

(1924 – 2003)

President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

"Felix Houphouët-Boigny, in cultivating the virtues of dialogue, tolerance and solidarity, in a world where violence, intolerance and selfishness too often prevail, will have marked with an indelible seal this 20th century Ending, leaving to future generations both a legacy that must remain a reference, and a message of fraternity of hope. "
"He knew how to listen, he always struggled to understand, he often succeeded in convincing."
Shimon Pérès

(1923 – 2016)

President of the State of Israel

"Of all the names given to him during his long life -" Father of the Nation "," Aries of Yamoussoukro "," Sage of Africa ", the" Old "- the one he preferred was" The Man of Peace. "
"A man of peace, he really was, and that's how I'll always keep him in my memory."
Yasser Arafat

(1929 – 2004)

President of the Palestinian National Authority

"I have not forgotten that in 1962 he used an official visit to Israel to advocate dialogue for the solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He was one of the very first heads of state in Considering the problem from this angle, and it required a great deal of courage and lucidity to declare, as he had done at the time: There is no problem so difficult, however arduous, that it can not be Settled through negotiation. "
"The" Sage of Africa "had just seen ! May his example continue to inspire our action for the advent of a peaceful and reconciled Middle East."
Frederik W. De Klerk


President of the Republic of South Africa

"A tireless apostle of dialogue as an instrument of peace, he has sometimes preached in the desert, but today the magnitude of the victory won by his wisdom is an encouragement for us."
"President Houphouët-Boigny has played an important role in the history of my country by taking the initiative to encourage dialogue between South Africa and the rest of the African continent."
Henri Konan Bédié


President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire

"Houphouët will always be a model and an example for us. He was the guide, he is dead, he remains our source of inspiration."
Jacques Chirac


President of the French Republic

"Houphouët-Boigny is one of those exceptional men whom providence instils sparingly over the centuries."
"Above all, I admired in him the clever intelligence with which he had happily combined the respect for the tradition in which he had been brought up and the contribution of new values inspired by the rules of life of the industrialized nations to whose concert he wished Have his country admitted."
Nelson Mandela

(1918 – 2013)

President of the Republic of South Africa

"Félix Houphouët-Boigny refused to respond to violence by violence, and the path he had chosen was patience and perseverance towards justice, freedom and tolerance towards the convictions of others, and why not , As he has often said, towards love. "
"The great age he had reached had brought him not only in African affairs but in those of all mankind, an experience and wisdom perceived by all who approached him."

Testimonies from former US presidents who met Félix-Houphouët-Boigny

US PresidentSpeeches (links)

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Message to Prime Minister Houphouet- Boigny on the Occasion of the Independence of the Republic of the Ivory Coast.

August 7, 1960

John F. Kennedy

Toasts of the President and President Houphouet-Boigny

Remarks of Welcome to President and Mrs. Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast at the Washington National Airport

May 22, 1962

Lyndon B. Johnson

Toasts of the President and President Houphouet-Boigny

August 17, 1967

Richard M. Nixon

Remarks of Welcome to President Felix Houphouet- Boigny of the Republic of Ivory Coast

Toasts of the President and President Houphouet-Boigny

October 9, 1973

Ronald Reagan

Toasts of the President and President Houphouet-Boigny

Remarks at the Welcoming Ceremony for President Felix Houphouet-Boigny of Ivory Coast

June 7, 1983