Embassy of India
India – Cote d’Ivoire Relations
India and Cote d’Ivoire have traditionally enjoyed cordial relations. While India established the Embassy in Abidjan in 1979, Cote d’Ivoire [also called as Ivory Coast in English] opened its Resident Mission in New Delhi in September 2004. After a decade of political instability and armed conflicts, Mr. Alassane Ouattara was inaugurated as the President of Cote d’Ivoire [CI] in May 2011. His government has been desirous of strengthening bilateral relations with India and therefore, declared India as a focus country with emphasis on cooperation in the fields of ICT, Agriculture, Mining and Infrastructure.
2. The high level bilateral visits have been less than desirable. Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan accompanied by Ministers of Trade and Mines & Industry visited India from 3-7 November 2014 to participate in India Economic Summit in New Delhi. He met EAM Smt. Sushma Swaraj and also held separate business interactions with CII and FICCI.
3. PM Duncan had earlier visited India from 17-19 March 2013 and addressed the 9th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave. He was accompanied by five Cabinet Ministers of Industry, Agriculture, Health, Economic Infrastructure and Information & Communication Technology. He met with PM Dr. Manmohan Singh.
4. The then Foreign Minister Youssouf Bakayoko visited India in August 2006, leading a delegation to attend the 2nd meeting of Indo-Ivorian Joint Trade Committee (JTC) in Delhi. The delegation, inter alia, included two Ministers – Mines and Energy; and Environment, Water Resources and Forests. An MOU for bilateral Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) was signed during the visit. Earlier, Foreign Minister Simeon Aka had participated in the NAM Summit in Delhi in March 1983.
5. There have been visits to India of Ivorian Ministers from time to time to attend international conferences in India. Some of these are the then Minister of Industry and Promotion of Private Sector, Ms. Amah Marie Tehoua in 2007, and again in 2008 to participate in the CII-EXIM Bank Partnership Conclave; the then Minister of New Technologies and Information Communication, Mr. Gohrey Jackues Houga Bi, accompanied by the President of the CI Telecommunications Agency (ATCI) and several other high-ranking telecom officers, to participate in the ITU World Telecom Development Conference held in Hyderabad in May / June 2010.
6. From the Indian side, the Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Shri Ram Kripal Yadav visited Abidjan from 13-16 July 2015 as Special Envoy of the Prime Minister to personally handover the invitation for the third India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi. He called on President Ouattara, PM Duncan and also met with Foreign Minister Diby.
7. CMD of Exim Bank visited CI from 26-28 May 2015 for the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meetings. He also called on the President and the Prime Minister. Additional Secretary, DEA Dinesh Sharma also visited from 24-29 May 2015 to attend AfDB meetings.
8. MOS External Affairs Mrs. Preneet Kaur visited Abidjan from 22-24 January 2014. During the visit, she called on the President and Prime Minister and held bilateral talks with Foreign Minister Charles Koffi Diby. Two agreements were signed during the visit; the establishment of Joint Commission between the two Foreign Ministries and an MOU on Cooperation between the Foreign Service Institutes of the two countries. She, along with PM Duncan, launched the Mahatma Gandhi Technology Park at Grand Bassam on 24 January, for which India has committed a Line of Credit of US$ 20 million.
9. Earlier major visits from India include the visit of the then MOS External Affairs Shri Anand Sharma from 14-15 January 2009. This bilateral visit from India took place after a long gap of 17 years, lending momentum to the bilateral relationship.
Cooperation in Electoral Matters
10. A Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in electoral matters was signed on 10 September 2004 at New Delhi during the visit of then president of Ivorian Independent Electoral Commission, Camille Hoguie.
Capacity Building and Human Resource Development
11. India has been providing significant number of training slots to CI under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme; 80 in the current year 2015-16. Government of India through Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) have also given 11 fully paid scholarships to Ivorian youth to pursue undergraduate and post graduate studies in India. Apart from this, several Ivorian students have also undergone training courses under the IAFS mechanism.
12. India is fast becoming an important learning center for Ivorian students, particularly for ICT studies besides Commerce and Management degrees. Over 500 Ivorian students went to India for studies on self-financing basis in the last three years.
13. Indian tele-serials, dubbed in French, have been immensely popular in CI, including Vaidahi and Saloni. An Ivorian band SOTEKA participated at the 29th "International Surajkund Crafts Mela," held in India in February 2015.
14. There are estimated over 1500 Indian nationals residing in CI. Most of them are engaged in mining, manufacturing, trading and general merchandise business. Eight (8) Indian Army officers are working with the UN Operations in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI). There are also 17 Indians working with African Development Bank which returned to Abidjan in 2014.
15. ISKCON and Geeta Ashram have their setup in Abidjan.