France & EU Gives Away $840M
Traders gained hope on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 as France and the European Union announced a joint plan to grant $840M to the Ivory Coast to help restore their economy after the going through a post-election crisis.
Majority of the donation is from France, Ivory Coast’s former colonial power, who gave $540M of the total grant.
Ivory Coast went through a political crisis during the last four months because of former President Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to relinquish his position after the country’s election late last year. To force him out and to limit his access to cash, the EU, United States, United Nations and West Africa’s central bank slapped sanctions on the country to ban trade in the area.
On Monday, April 11, 2011, Gbagbo was finally captured in a presidential bunker after which President Alassane Ouattara was put to power.
After the ban’s success, the EU started lifting some of its sanctions such as those on the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro, on an oil company and on the regulators of the country’s vital cocoa and coffee industries. The remaining will be withdrawn when deemed appropriate by Ouattara’s government.
There are also reports that shipments are to move soon.
The aid from France will be used to make overdue payments to international institutions, to finance emergency spending on the population and to restart essential public services. The EU aid, on the other hand, will be used to clear Ivory Coast’s debt accumulated vis-a-vis the European Investment Bank and to ensure basic social needs, such as health, water and sanitation,and the agriculture sector.
The new president assured his citizens on state television last night that they are at the dawn of a new era of hope.