Category Archives: Ivory Coast

AfDB 2020 annual meetings

The abbreviated annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group ended this week after just three days, a slimmed-down virtual event, compared to the meetings last year in Malabo.

The Governors of the bank, representing 54 African and 27 non-regional member countries, dealt with statutory matters and approved the accounts of the bank for 2019, and reviewed its performance and the auditor reports. The Governors also commended the bank for its measures to work through COVID and while also providing flexible support to countries through the COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility of up to $10 billion.

During the year there will be a focus on infrastructure finance and quality health care and collaboration with the African Union and regional economic blocs to fast-track the African Continental Free Trade Area which was postponed from July this year, and will now kick off on January 1, 2021. Another initiative that will be supported will be the G-20 debt relief effort, recognizing that many African countries will go in to recession for the first time in twenty-five years as they tackle lockdowns, weaker tax revenue, and increased emergency health expenses.

Annual Meeting - 2020: Best of Day 2.

The main highlight of the AfDB meetings was the election of the President, which saw Dr. Akinwumi Adesina re-elected for a second term with 100% of the delegate votes. The USA appears to have been the main opponent of his re-election, and their comments calling for the bank to ensure cost-effective management, review its use of resources and strengthen oversight & governance were contained in the final communiqué released by the Bank at the end of the meetings.

The next AfDB Annual Meetings are planned to take place in May 2021 in Accra Ghana. They will be hosted by the new Chairperson of the Bank, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s Minister for Finance who took over from Ms Niale Kaba, the Côte d’Ivoire Minister of Planning & Development after she stepped down at the end of her term this week.

Swearing in Ceremony of President, Akinwumi Adesina elect.

EDIT September 1: Dr. Akinwumi Adesina was sworn in to start his second term as President of the African Development Bank Group.

Kenya Airways and Delta Codeshare

EDIT: 11 April 2019: Kenya Airways has activated its codeshare with Delta Airlines that will enable connectivity to 11 US cities (Chicago, Houston, Denver, Orlando, Miami, Raleigh, Phoenix Philadelphia, Charlotte, Columbus, and Kansas City) and 4 Canadian cities (Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton). It also announced a switch from five to seven weekly flights to New York from June to serve the 2019 summer season.

EDIT 15 August 2018  Delta Air Lines entered into a codeshare partnership with Kenya Airways. Effective August 15, Delta’s code will be placed on Kenya Airways’ flights from Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Accra to Nairobi, enhancing connectivity and providing customers with a one-stop seamless travel experience from the United States. In addition, Delta will place its code on Kenya Airways’ services to more than 10 key cities across Africa, including Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Lilongwe, Malawi; Maputo, Mozambique; Johannesburg, South Africa and Djibouti City, Djibouti.

May 10 2018 Delta Air Lines and Kenya Airways have applied to the US Department of Transportation with an expedited request for the two airlines to be expeditiously granted reciprocal codeshare rights for each others’ flights.

The application (PDF) dated 7th May, applies to Delta and Delta Connection flights in North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean to carry the Kenya Airways (KQ) code, while the Kenya Airways will immediately place Delta’s code (DL) on flights between Nairobi to/from Johannesburg (South Africa), Lilongwe, (Malawi), Djibouti (Rep. of Djibouti) and Maputo, (Mozambique).

Delta routes will be part of the codeshare.

Delta which reaches 325 destinations, currently has services to Dakar (Senegal), Lagos, Accra, and Johannesburg, while Kenya Airways is scheduled to start flights to New York in October 2018. There is no mention of Air France/KLM, who have been Kenya Airways long-term joint-venture partner for two decades, in the new US codeshare application.

The new codeshare arrangement which covers “persons, property, and mail,” is an expansion of a previously approved reciprocal codeshare arrangement between Northwest Airlines and Kenya Airways for flights originating in Kenya and North America. Northwest merged with Delta in 2009. The new codeshare will also extend to all Delta Connection regional affiliate airlines (namely Compass Airlines, Endeavor Air, ExpressJet Airlines, GoJet Airlines, Republic Airline and SkyWest Airlines).

Aside from Kenya, Ethiopian Airlines, which flies to several American destinations of Washington (DC), Newark, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto (Canada), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Rio de Janeiro & São Paulo (Brazil) is also expanding its American network via routes in West Africa. The airline is reported to have secured rights to fly passengers to Houston via Accra, while it also confirmed that it had entered a codeshare with Air Côte d’Ivoire for flights to Newark via Abidjan.

Guide to Abidjan

Guest post about a visit to the largest city in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), but not  capital which is called Yamoussoukro.
Getting There: One can fly direct with Kenya Airways from Nairobi on a six hour flight for about $1,800 – $2,000. Alternative fares include flying Ethiopian Air via Addis or Emirates via Dubai for about $1,500 but with the additional stop over and a couple of hours extra.
Since Kenya is not part of the ECOWAS bloc, Kenyans have to to get visa’s before they arrive at Port Bouet Airport (a.k.a the Felix Houphouet Boigny International Airport)
Visas are to be obtained from the embassies of other West African countries since there is no CIV embassy in Kenya, but this is not easy as others like Mali does not issue visa’s in Nairobi. In some cases, and with the right introduction letter, you might be able to get the $50 visa on arrival. 
A unique feature here is there are no forms to fill on arrival or departure at the airport, however Yellow fever cards are mandatory for travel, and white coated officials check for the cards on arrival.
Getting Around: The city traffic is very organized and while you might encounter traffic, there are several good highways (with two or four lanes), that encompass many parts of the city with an orderliness that put Kenya’s sole Thika Highway to shame. There are lots of Peugeot and Renault on the road, while Toyota cars are rare. There are no matatus here, but you can find plenty of orange or yellow coloured taxis.
The city is a mix of French and English, but most of Abidjan is Catholic and many people speak English, which they learn in high school so it’s easy to find your way around. Security is ok, with many people walking around at night.
Where to stay: Hotels including Novotel, and another one in Plateau. Many hotels don’t include breakfast in their pricing, but have small kitchenette’s where you can make small breakfasts.
The climate is hot and wet and it remains hot even in thunderstorms and so the air conditioning is always on in many places. 
The local currency is the West African CFA and it exchanges for about 450 – 500 to the US$ at hotels or malls.
Communications: Buy a local MTN SIM card 

Food: is in plenty and with lot’s of variety. They include alocco (fried plantain), ocean fish (poisson), chicken, cassava, couscous, guinea fowl, mongoose and other more exotic foods like animal skin and leather. Most meals are accompanied a couple of starches and legumes, while fruits like mango’s are huge. Meals cost about 5000 CFA while a breakfast of black tea and a croissant is about1000CFA. There are also some familiar restaurant sights like Steers for those not too adventurous.
Shopping & Sight-Seeing:  There are lot’s of skyscrapers in the town, but a sight to see is the St. Paul Cathedral in Abidjan. However this is not to be confused with the world famous Basilica that is located in Yamoussoukro, 200 kilometers away.
What to buy: wood carvings, clothing items
  • The city infrastructure & buildings are unscathed and intact despite the election turmoil in 2010-11.
  • Though Abidjan is a large port city, there are few trucks on the highway.
  • Didier Drogba is not very popular in this city (Note: this visit was before the 2012 Champions League final)
  • There are few Chinese in the country. More common are Lebanese and Vietnamese nationals and their restaurants.