Jeddah- Saudi Arabia (PANA) -- Muslims in Cote d'Ivoire would like for their country to join the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC),the chairman of the Ivorian Islamic Organisation said during a visit to Saudi Arabia.
El Hadj Fofana Karim told the daily "Saudi Gazette" that Cote d'Ivoire has nine million Muslims out of a population of 16 million.
He added that the number of Ivorian Muslim MPs was less than 50 per cent of Parliament's 200 seats, while only four of the country's 25 ministers were Muslims.
Fofana added that Ivorian Muslims believe strongly that relations with Saudi Arabia should be strengthened.
"For the past few years, Cote d'Ivoire has been attending OIC meetings as an observer.
It is high time Islamic countries convinced Ivorian authorities on the merits of Cote d'Ivoire's membership of the OIC," he entreated.
He said that Cote d'Ivoire's Muslims were wealthier than the minority governing that country.
Speaking about Ivorian pilgrims, he noted that their number was decreasing every year, from 4,000 in 1998 to 1,500 this year.
Fofana's organisation is active in Cote d'Ivoire, where it has members in 7,000 of the country's 11,000 villages.
The NGO has 23 branches across the country, and its work consists in teaching and disseminating the Holy Quran.
"In each town, an average 100 people join the religion every year," he concluded.