Ambassador McCulley Launches New Initiatives to Support Bouaké

Img_2485_Amb_Bke_300x234BOUAKÉ– United States Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Terence McCulley made his first trip to Bouaké this week in order to launch several new initiatives in the country’s second largest city.

On Thursday, the Ambassador cut the ribbon at the American Corner Bouaké, located on Campus 2 of the University Alassane Ouattara.  American Corners serve as regional resource centers that highlight American culture, history, current events and government.  The American Corner in Bouaké has been operational since September 2013 and is already hosting discussion groups, digital video conferencing (DVCs), language groups and much more, all focused on a wide range of American topics.  The American Corner also features a variety of books, videos, DVDs, and CD-ROMs in addition to providing free internet access and educational materials.

On Friday, the Ambassador joined the Minister of Justice, Human Rights, and Public Liberties Gnénéma Coulibaly to inaugurate the expansion of the Bouaké Court of First Instance as well as the new Bouaké ProJustice Office.  The USAID-supported expansion of the Bouaké courthouse includes two new annex buildings with an area of almost 650 square meters.  The first building consists of 31 offices and two interview rooms, while the second structure comprises six specialized office spaces.  The project cost was CFA 293 million ($615,000)

Following the courthouse dedication, Ambassador McCulley and Minister Coulibaly led the grand opening of the Bouaké ProJustice office.  This program, funded by USAID and implemented by TetraTech DPK, will work to develop training and capacity-building for judicial leaders and expand access to the legal system through community-based education and access to public funds for legal defense.  The ProJustice office will work directly with the Bouaké courthouse.

“I am impressed with the progress that government officials, business leaders, and community members have made to return Bouaké to its standing as the symbol of the Ivoirian renaissance and Côte d’Ivoire’s capital of peace,” Ambassador McCulley said.  “The United States is committed to supporting the country’s efforts by strengthening the institutions that enable the government to provide key services to its people and attain their confidence.  This is critical for a democracy to flourish.”