The following text is a translation of an extract of the inaugural speech given by Alassane Ouattara in Yamoussoukro at the foundation Félix Houphouët-Boigny on 21st May 2011. The original French text can be found here.
Speech of HE Alassane Ouattara in Yamoussoukro
Your Excellencies, Honourable Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, allow me to ask everyone to observe a minute of silence for our martyrs, victims of the Ivorian crisis, who fell in their quest for democracy and peace in Ivory Coast.
Your Excellencies, Dear Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
Today, for us, the people of Ivory Coast, is a historic day.
Indeed, today is the beginning for every Ivorian of a new era marked by our common will to write a new page of the history of our country.
The serious crisis which took place in the aftermath of the presidential elections of 31st October and 28th November 2010 is now behind us. It was ended by the victory of democracy, that is to say by respect for the will of the Ivorian people.
It is a success for Ivory Coast and for the whole of Africa.
This ceremony to which you are invited, is more than a mere investiture, it is the return of Ivory Coast to the international and African scene that we are celebrating today.
For this reason, at the moment I reach the highest office, I would like to express my infinite gratitude to the Ivorian people who chose me to preside over their destinies […]
I piously think of an exceptional man who was a father to me. He has a special place in the heart of every single Ivorian man and woman. Of course, I am referring to Félix Houphouët-Boigny, great wise man and builder of modern Ivory Coast. Before the others, Mr. Félix Houphouët Boigny became certain that peace is not contingent but a veritable development strategy […]
Mr. Bedié, dear Elder,
I would like to pay homage to your high sense of duty, to your deep love for our country and your commitment to Peace. I thank you for your constant support and for your presence at my side […]
Allow me to particularly commend France who has been sharing historical links and a vision of the future with Ivory Coast.
Mr. Sarkozy, the Ivorian people would really like to thank you for your engagement in the resolution of the Ivorian crisis under the mandate of the United Nations. Your help saved numerous lives: we will be forever grateful.
We would like to encourage you in all your efforts in favour of the countries of the African continent within the G8 and G20.
Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, incumbent President of the ECOWAS, Mr. Blaise Compaoré, mediator of the Inter-Ivorian dialogue, Mr. Abdoulaye Wade, we are well aware of your support for Ivory Coast during these difficult years. Fraternally, I would like to thank you.
I salute Mr. Barack Obama whose frank and sincere support has been a determinant.
I salute the engagement of the United Nations represented today by its Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon. The latter found means to re-establish democracy and a sustainable peace in our country.
To the African Union, the ECOWAS, the European Union, I would like to express the gratitude of the Ivorian people for your presence in our difficult quest for peace […]
We would like to create a new syllabus for citizenship lessons in our schools so that our youth will learn the fundamental principles of life in a society. We will build a fairer and more just Nation with strong and independent institutions.
Bringing everyone together is also the role of every Ivorian man and woman. Let everyone open up to each other, let everyone trust and forgive each other. Let every Ivorian recreate the conditions of a sustainable peace in our cities, our villages, our fields and our courtyards. We will support everyone as we will support all citizens’ initiatives which will advocate union, reconciliation and national concord, as we ardently desire a unified Ivory Coast.
To every single one of my compatriots, I would like to renew today my commitment and my vouchsafe for a secular Ivory Coast as consecrated by our Constitution. I would like to renew my oath to become the President of all Ivoirians, the protector of the weakest ones and the defender of the rights of all our fellow Citizens regardless of their sex or origin.
With today’s ceremony, let us celebrate not the victory of one side over another one but our regained fraternity and a fresh and new beginning […]
We will especially pay attention to the deprived ones and we will support their employment-providing companies which suffered during the crisis.
We will give hope back to our unemployment-stricken youth by providing education and training and by creating jobs. We can only do this if we reform our economic policies in order to revive our economy and foster growth.
We will give the priority to women and we will raise their status in the balance of our society. This is one of our main concerns.
As for our farmer fathers who created wealth in our beautiful country, we will reorganise the lines of production of our agriculture so that their labour will earn them a fair remuneration.
We will make health services available to every single Ivorian on the whole of the national territory […]
Long live the Republic,
Long live Ivory Coast!