Cocody Bay Rehabilitation Project: Exemplary Partnership Between Morocco And Ivory Coast – OpEd

Back in June 2016, King Mohammed VI and the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara chaired in Abidjan, the presentation ceremony of the management plan of Cocody Bay which will provide innovative mechanisms in urban planning, and aims to create a new dynamic of global development, balanced sustainable and able to ensure the success of this structuring project. Today the two heads of states presided over a new ceremony in Abidjan to present the progress of this ambitious project.

The Moroccan Press Agency reported that the chairman of the Marchica Med’s board of directors (company managing the project) Said Zarrou, gave a speech before the two heads of states in which he outlined the project’s first phase, that has reached a very advanced level, involves site cleaning up and landscaping, protection against floods, construction of hydraulic infrastructure, road development, and building a viaduct, symbol of an emerging Côte d’Ivoire.

He added that the project’s second phase, which concerns the Bay’s development and upgrading, is aimed at improving the citizens’ living conditions and turning Abidjan into a hot tourist destination, underlining that the project costs overall around 450 million dollars.

Thanks to the help of Marchica Med and in coordination with Ivorian authorities, the financing of this investment was completed. The financial engineering enabled to optimize funding capacities by associating several international donors.

Up to 20% of the investment will be covered through a bridging loan by the Ivorian government and via commercial banks. The remaining funding is guaranteed, under a concessional loan, by the main Arab funds as the Islamic Development Bank and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa.

On this occasion, HM the King and the Ivorian leader presided over the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the new phase of the Bay’s development and upgrading. Inked by Ivorian economic infrastructure minister Amédé Kouakou Koffi and Said Zarrou, this MoU sets the terms for the implementation of a program on the upgrading and development of the “Rive Plateau”, the Cocody Urban Park and the “Coulée verte” of Banco.

Concerning the “Rive Plateau”, a “Maison Ivoire” (Ivory House) will be set up and will comprise hotels, a trade center, a convention center, and facilities to promote the Ivorian culture. It will also include facilities for recreational, leisure and catering activities near the Abidjan marina.

As for the Cocody bank, it will house a future urban park with three main components, namely a sports plain, a zone for aquatic activities and a site for adventures and discovery.

The Coulée verte” of Banco project provides for the cleaning, reforestation and urban development of a 3,000 ha corridor between the Banco forest and the Cocody Bay. It also provides for the setting up of community-based infrastructure for populations living in adjacent neighborhoods, as well as the construction of thematic houses: the Cacao House, the Coffee House, the Wood House….

The MoU touches also on the extension of the partnership touching on the urban and port development of the Grand Bassam.

This major project will also provide for the development of an ambitious program of sports, cultural activities, entertainment and commercial facilities. This significant environmental project will ensure and maintain sustainably of its position as a leading regional tourist destination.

This participatory approach in designing this ambitious project is a clear example of the values of sustainable development that it embodies, and the innovative operational arrangements agreed upon to ensure its fulfillment will undoubtedly result in an exemplary partnership between the two Nations.
Marchica Med, a Moroccan State-owned company, is a subsidiary of the Agence pour l’Aménagement du Site de la Lagune de Marchica. Established in 2008, Marchica Med’s mission was to depollute the Marchica lagoon in Nador (Northern Morocco) and transforming the town along with its metropolitan area into a centre of competence, competitiveness and sustainable development.


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Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant, who follows events in his country and across North Africa. He is a member of Washington Press Club.

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