Juillet 2003

No101 - CÔTE D'IVOIRE BACK TO NORMALITY ... by Beatrice Grandcolas

18 Juillet 2003

Africa Travel Magazine :http://www.africa-ata.org
Sponsored by the Africa Travel Association

Summer 2003:

The country first concluded a peace accord in January, and has been progressively doing better and considerably better for more than two months now: the cease fire signed on May 3 has held well, war zones have disappeared, the curfew has been raised and the very notion of it has vanished, the western region has been pacified and people have returned to their home, mode and schedule of demobilization and disarmament have been agreed upon and are due to start as of August 1st. Cars, buses & trucks traffic from Abidjan to landlocked Mali has resumed. The road and railway to Burkina Faso will reopen this July 15th. Both armed Forces have formally announced the end of the war. The Communications Minister also Secretary General of the New Forces Group has followed suit. Popular districts in Abidjan and youth all over the country have immediately started celebrating this highly symbolic proclamation.

The reconciliation government has been working and working quickly & efficiently. The Minister in charge of Tourism lives up to his reputation: active and personally committed to building up Cote d'Ivoire Tourism which eventually will contribute to the sustainable and peaceful development of the country and its people.

Cote d'Ivoire's MASA Drama and Dance Festival 2003
will be held from August 30 to September 2 in Abidjan.

Day to day life is back to normal; Blaise Pascal School, the American School and other foreign schools have closed for summer break and are getting ready for the next school year; programs and long-term plans are under way. Funding and foreign aid are back: the construction of a motorway has been approved by the Islamic Bank of development on June 22nd; in the central lakes area (north of the political capital Yamoussoukro) the rural fishing development program has been launched; likewise, the Chinese group Tianshi (health) has elected Cote d'Ivoire as its main regional base. Cote d'Ivoire Telecom monopoly has been abolished. Late June, 26 Ivorian corporations attended the Corporate Council on Africa Summit in Washington, D.C. thus the first delegation of African private operators at it.

Furthermore, basic utilities are still there (and most of them have remained undisrupted throughout the crisis), electric lamps are still lit; water still flows from the taps, cellular phones, mail services are still operating. Buildings and plants are intact; almost nothing has been destroyed or damaged.

And more importantly, good people are still there; determination, vivacity and hope are there. And even more, Cote d'Ivoire and its people have recovered their true face: welcoming and tolerant, genuinely kind and smiling, joyful and humorous, courteous and harmonious, friendly and charming.

The region:

Sassandra region is and has continually been a small haven, all peace and luxuriance. Now clear of potholes and roadblocks, the main East-West road mirror any modern tar road, but for goats, chickens or wild dog and pigs still ignoring pedestrian crossings. Best of Africa 12 km dirt road has been widened and leveled.100 km east of Dagbego, manganese, a non polluting ore, is due to be extracted soon.

Air transport & diverse:

Air France daily nonstop flights towards France has continued, Air Ivoire soon in Paris, SN Brussels has increased its weekly flights to 3, Air Senegal in addition to RAM, Pan African (Euralair), West African Airlines and Corsair have resumed or started flying as well as Kenyan Airlines, Ethiopian, South African· Moreover, there are talks about Air Afrique starting up again. Club Med as usual is opening at fall (on October 5, 2 003). As usual, we are not closing, furthermore benefiting from an exceptionally mild and sunny July.

Best of Africa:

Work, maintenance and investments have been resumed and include: 2 additional air-conditioned bungalows. Consequently, 12 out of 14 bungalows, including the 2 large ones designated as “Family” and “Youth” bungalows are now provided with air-conditioning. The roofs of the office and of the beach bar have been replaced; all other roofs have been checked and mended & consolidated when needed. Settees and armchairs have been equipped with a foam of the highest quality, fabrics have been changed, etc.

If a lot has yet to be done, if economy is still very weak and unemployment very high, if financial resources are crucially lacking, and therefore foreign aid & international assistance are mandatory to get Cote d'Ivoire, the Sassandra region, the tourism & hotel industries, and Best of Africa back on track, the right signals are there.

A few shadows:

Travel Advice Websites, especially the French one, do not reflect this new reality and tend to make some confusion between the risks incurred by a wealthy resident or deemed as such and those which a mundane tourist is facing; Media who fancy appalling information and stereotyped prejudice has not yet turned this dark page of beautiful and amicable Cote d'Ivoire history.
Thank You
Beatrice

Best of Africa

A three-hour drive from Abidjan, the privately owned and managed hotel restaurant

A fantastic remote hideaway. Best of Africa provides a complete escape from day to day city life and radiates a charmingly elegant atmosphere in a unique natural setting.

Located in 6 hectares of flowery, lush tropical grounds,

Surrounded by a private white-sand beach lined with coconut trees, a magnificent lagoon, and a rain forest.

Family owned and managed hotel
Gourmet restaurant
Charming atmosphere
Seclusion and tranquillity
Excursions and on-site activities.
Dagbego - Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Tel : +225 34 72 06 06

Beatrice Grandcolas
Dagbego - Cote d'Ivoire

Website: www.bestofafrica.org
E-Mail : mailto:best@bestofafrica.org

Long-standing and frequent travelers, professionals of the tourism industry and more generally our guests all agree that Best of Africa is one of the top places they have ever visited, thanks to the beauty and the diversity of its immediate environment (Atlantic Ocean and rocks; rain forest ; tropical birds ; lagoon and river ; tropical flowers, including multihued bougainvillea, hibiscus and flame trees ; coffee, cocoa, pineapple, and citrus plantations ; traditional villages ; buildings exquisitely merged into nature ; a fantastic place to catch rare big fishes).

At our home, vacationers, especially just married and families, enjoy peace, seclusion and romance, rest and relaxation. This ambiance is also valued by business people whether they are attending or presiding board meetings, training programs, including brainstorming sessions, or whether they are rewarding their most valuable performers or treating their best customers.

your dream place