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4 die in Ivory Coast building collapse

4 die in Ivory Coast building collapse

AT least six people, including two children, died when an apartment block collapsed in Ivory Coast's commercial capital of Abidjan overnight, the fire brigade said. Rescuers used torches to search through the mounds of broken concrete and carried out 36 people alive, officials said. One firefighter cradled a baby in the back of an ambulance. "Everything was trembling," said survivor Ladji Doumbia, who lived on the fourth floor. "I was stumbling from left to right and then, at the last minute, I heard a loud noise." Prime Minister Patrick Achi visited the site and promised an investigation into the cause…
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Ivory Coast President to name slimmed-down govt

Ivory Coast President to name slimmed-down govt

IVORY COAST Prime Minister Patrick Achi tabled his resignation and that of his government as President Alassane Ouattara plans to slim down the size of the cabinet, Ouattara said. Ouattara said he would reduce the government to around 30 ministers from the current 41, with new appointments to be made next week to govern the world's top cocoa producer. The president is expected to address a joint session of the West African country's parliament on April 19, a government spokesman told Reuters. Alassane Ouattara. PIcture: Flickr "It is imperative to reduce state spending and re-focus on social and security resilience,"…
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Ivory Coast starts vaccination drive

Ivory Coast starts vaccination drive

LOUCOUMANE COULIBALY  IVORY Coast yesterday launched the world's first COVID-19 inoculation drive with doses imported from the COVAX sharing facility, a milestone in the race to extend vaccine access to poorer countries. Patrick Achi, the secretary-general at the presidency, was the first to be vaccinated at a sports complex in the commercial capital Abidjan. Onlookers cheered as a health worker in a white coat and pink scrubs delivered the injection. Medical personnel, teachers and security forces members were also being vaccinated in the first phase of the campaign targeting 3% of the population. "The vaccines offer us the hope of…
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Ivory Coast to become regional medicine hub with $300 million IFC loan, PM says

Ivory Coast to become regional medicine hub with $300 million IFC loan, PM says

ANGE ABOA A World Bank programme to help medical clinics in Ivory Coast procure equipment from General Electric and Philips could spur the cocoa-producing country's development into a regional medical hub, according to Prime Minister Patrick Achi. As in other African countries, many smaller clinics in Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa producer, struggle to obtain the bank loans necessary to buy or rent essential medical equipment. A $300 million financing agreement signed on Friday by Ivory Coast and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) aims to remedy that situation by providing credit to clinics hoping to get supplies…
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Ivory Coast to audit dozens of state-owned firms to tackle graft

Ivory Coast to audit dozens of state-owned firms to tackle graft

ANGE ABOA IVORY Coast has launched audits of around 40 state-owned enterprises to crackdown on corruption and improve efficiency, Prime Minister Patrick Achi said. The government also wants the companies to reduce their reliance on state funds, which could instead be spent helping the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Achi told reporters. The audits come just weeks after the director-general of the Land Management Agency was arrested for alleged embezzlement and money laundering. He has not commented publicly on the allegations. "The fight against corruption and the improvement of good governance is a major focus for Ivory Coast for…
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Ivory Coast Prime Minister in hospital

Ivory Coast Prime Minister in hospital

ANGE ABOA  IVORY Coast Prime Minister Patrick Achi, 65, has been admitted to hospital in Paris for medical tests, two sources close to him said. Achi, a close confidant of President Alassane Ouattara, was named prime minister in March following the death of the West African cocoa producer's second premier in less than eight months. The sources said Achi was being treated for "severe fatigue" suffered since his appointment in March. Achi replaced Hamed Bakayoko, who died of cancer at 56. Bakayoko had replaced Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who died following cardiac issues last July. A government spokesman was not immediately…
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