Parliament moves to hinterland capital

The new Ivorian parliament, elected in December, held its opening session on Wednesday in Yamoussoukro, 18 years after a law was passed transforming the hinterland town 200 km north of Abidjan into the nation’s capital.

It was the first time parliament had met in Yamoussoukro. State sources said the move was part of a decentralisation policy under which the government plans to transform a few key localities into major urban centres to promote development.

The move has economic and social implications as it would promote “a minimum of economic growth”, the minister in charge of parliamentary relations, Dano Djedje Sebastien, told the state-owned daily ‘Fraternite-Matin’. In the future, other governmental structures and institutions could locate to Yamoussoukro, Dano said.