Côte d'Ivoire receives US$149 million EU grant

Economic growth has been spurred by the resumption of cocoa production. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)Côte d'Ivoire has been awarded a US$149mn grant by the EU to support efforts to bring stability back to the country

According to Ventures Africa, chairman of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, signed the agreement for budgetary support on a recent visit to the capital, Abidjan.

The agreement is expected to be the first of many designed to assist the West African country.

Fighting broke out in Côte d'Ivoire following disputed presidential elections in 2010 and over 3,000 people were killed. Out-going president, Laurent Gbagbo, was arrested in March 2011 and current president, Alassane Ouattara, took leadership of the country.

Barroso, who met Ouattara at the meeting in Abidjan, told attendees, “The European Union will remain beside Côte d'Ivoire to help it quickly become once again a pillar of stability and growth in West Africa.”

The country’s economy is predicted to grow by 8.6 per cent in 2012, compared to a 4.7 per cent decline in 2011, fuelled by the recent resumption of cocoa production.

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