It is a pleasure for me to be here to inaugurate the American Corner at the University Alassane Ouattara on my first trip to Bouaké. This Corner – the fourth and the newest in Côte d’Ivoire – is the result of strong cooperation between the university and the United States Embassy in Abidjan. Our American corners bring us closer to Ivoirian people across the country and that is especially true here in Bouaké. We are able to share with you resources, including books and computers. The American Corner Bouake showcases the partnership between the University and the Embassy and I am delighted to celebrate its opening.
Since my arrival late last year, I have been impressed by the air of optimism that permeates all walks of Ivoirian life. Côte d’Ivoire has achieved notable progress in multiple fields since the end of the post-electoral crisis in 2011. Côte d’Ivoire is on the move. Peace and stability have returned, new economic and commercial opportunities are increasing, and good governance is taking hold. The United States Government supports the all of these processes. Tomorrow, I will inaugurate the newly renovated courthouse that is part of our commitment to work with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to make improve the Ivoirian people’s access to a functioning justice sector.
One of our primary goals is to increase mutual understanding between the people of Côte d’Ivoire and those of the United States. One of the ways in which we support mutual understanding is by sponsoring exchange programs. Examples of participants in these programs include University President Lazare Poamé who visited several American universities last fall, and Professor Lawrence Jackson is currently teaching at your university.
We know that not everyone has the opportunity to travel to the United States. So, this Corner is your space to learn about American society and policy; meet American diplomats; discover American film and literature; improve your English language skills; and learn how to continue your studies in the United States. The information and opportunities provided here are truly limitless.
In conclusion, I would like to thank University President Lazare Poamé and his administration for their ongoing support, without which, this project would have never succeeded. I would also like to recognize the Corner’s manager and volunteers, who are here every day welcoming patrons, providing information on the United States, and leading activities. We cannot thank you enough for the many hours of work and support that you provide to this Corner.
This inauguration is only the start of what we hope will be a long, fruitful collaboration.