France, Cote d'Ivoire sign financial agreements

Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) -- Paris and Abidjan have signed four cooperation agreements totalling 5.
1 billion CFA francs intended to fund programmes in health, agriculture and social development.
French minister of the economy and finance, Laurent Fabius and Charles Josselin, minister of state in charge of cooperation and francophonie, signed the agreements late Tuesday with Ivorian minister of the economy and finance, Bohoun Bouabre.
Fabius and Josselin are visiting Abidjan to attend the 11th meeting of finance ministers of the franc zone.
Paris suspended cooperation with Abidjan following the 24 December 1999 military coup of Gen.
Robert Guei, which overthrew President Henri Konan Bedie's civilian government.
The first agreement, which covers four years and worth 1.
8 billion francs will fund a project supporting the Ivorian Health System (PASSI).
The project has five components including "support to the fight against HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and Tuberculosis".
The second pact, which values 1 billion francs and covers three years, would support the Agricultural Sectoral Concertation (ACSA).
About 800 million francs of the total grant would be used over the next three years for the development of higher education in Cote d'Ivoire.
The balance of 1.
5 billion francs would be used in three years toward the country's poverty alleviation programme.
At the ceremony Josselin lamented the painful events Ivorians have gone through since the coup, and said that France resumed cooperation to assist in areas where the population was severely affected.

25 april 2001 20:54:00




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