Ivory Coast’s Prime Minister said it will provide alternatives to violent extremism in its northern region by accelerating investment in schools, hospitals, and jobs.
“There are investments underway in the north to build more schools, hospitals, and industry and to occupy our youth to keep them away from the call of terrorists,” the Prime Minister said.
Islamist groups are active and have increasingly crossed the border to wage attacks in Northern Ivory Coast which is far from commercial centres and borders Mali and Burkina Faso.
Prime Minister Patrick Achi told journalists that recruitment of local youth is a growing concern, adding that the state will beef up border security along with its Western partners.
“Ivory Coast and its partners will be able to face the terrorist threat by strengthening security in the north.”
Achi said that more than $430 million has been invested in the creation of a dry port in Ferkessedougou, the main town near the northern border, as well as in an integrated agro-industrial centre.
The project is part of a series of large investments that will follow in 2022 to boost local processing of cotton and cashews, he said.