Abidjan: Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo on 16 March laid the foundation stone for a multi-million-dollar technology park, part-financed by China and India, which it is hoped will create 20,000 jobs.
“We are going to build the biggest IT centre in Africa,” said Gbagbo, at the official ceremony in the southern coastal town of Grand Bassam, east of the economic capital Abidjan.
The new venture, on a 500-hectare (1,235-acre) site will cost $402 million, two thirds of which will be paid by China and India.
Project director Vincent Kragbe Gadour said they are hopeful that the project will create 20,000 jobs and generate export receipts of 2,000 billion CFA francs within ten years.
“We will diversify our revenue sources through the new technologies,” Gbagbo said.
The former French colony, one of the world’s largest cocoa exporters, was once a byword for prosperity and stability in Africa, but its economy has been crippled by a coup attempt against Gbagbo in 2002 which left the country divided.
A peace deal signed earlier this month between Gbagbo and the rebels’ leader has raised hopes of reunification and lasting peace in the west African country.