Emmanuel Macron will travel from December 20 to 22 in Ivory Coast to celebrate the holiday season with the forces stationed in the country and strengthen bilateral relations, said the Elysee. As often during trips, the presidential delegation is open to artists. For this trip, Macron invited the singer Vegedream whose popularity exploded in 2018 following his hit “bring the cup home”.
This invitation from the Elysée aims to highlight « the strength of cultural ties between France and Côte d’Ivoire ». The singer Mata Gabin and the writer Gauz are also invited, reports the Huffington Post. French president will meet footballer Didier Drogba for the inauguration of a sports area.
As he did in Niger in 2017, then in Chad in 2018, the Head of State will share a Christmas dinner on December 20 with the French forces present in Côte d’Ivoire in the Port-Bouët camp, near Abidjan.
With several hundred men, the French Forces in Côte d’Ivoire (FFCI) represent the second advanced operational base in Africa, with that of Djibouti. They took over from Operation Licorne, whose mission ended in January 2015.
On December 21 and 22, the presidential visit will be devoted to bilateral relations around the themes of regional security and the fight against terrorism, with the jihadist threat from the Sahel, economic partnership, health and youth, to following the speech given by Emmanuel Macron in November 2017 in Ouagadoudou, according to the Elysée Palace.
This visit will take place in the run-up to the 2020 Ivorian presidential election which promises to be tense, ten years after the post-electoral crisis of 2010-2011 which left 3,000 dead.
President Alassane Ouattara, 77, has repeatedly declared that a new political generation should assume power in Côte d’Ivoire, but he did not rule out representing himself in 2020 for a third term, if his historic rivals the ex-presidents Henri Konan Bédié, 85, and Laurent Gbagbo, 74, also represented themselves.