Cote D’Ivoire: Why Ouattara must not become the problem
In a matter of weeks, the people of Cote D’Ivoire would be heading to the polls to elect a president after two terms of an Alasane Ouattara presidency. It is important that the president take every step to ensure that he does not become the problem.
Indeed, as the days go by, this is increasingly becoming the critical challenge ahead of the country even as pre-election tensions are evidently rising.
While many an African election today would simply not pass for a tea party affair, the fact of the important place occupied by Cote D’Ivoire in regional and sub-regional affairs as well as the relatively impressive economic successes that have this far been achieved by Ouattara are critical reasons why the president must be even more circumspect at this time.
First is the challenge of ambiguity presented by recent constitutional reforms that technically do not exclude President Ouattara from running from a ‘third term’ in office. While the President has done fairly well, particularly as it has to do with the economy, the other side of the equation is that giving the demands of holding the country together and advancing its broader future growth prospects, many are hoping he would not take this third term bait that has been an all too familiar death kneed for many an African leader. This newspaper aligns with that view and hopes and prays that Mr Ouattara would be better guided.
Indeed, two recent events have come to exarcebate the already existing state of tension in the country. In the first, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly suddenly dropped and died and in the other former Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan turned in his resignation on personal grounds. Many are not fooled: a storm of sorts is brewing and national, regional and global initiatives are required now before the situation gets out of hand.
And then there are issues related to dispassionately managing the CFA-Eco currency transition, the continuing challenge of jihadist pressure in the sub-region and the imperative of preparing the nation for a new generation of leaders that would best guarantee its long term growth and prospects.
Let Ouattara take himself out of the picture today and work with others towards ensuring that the nation is helped further on the more beneficial trajectory of expanding on its longer, lasting prospects for growth and development.