“ (...) We must therefore continue to meet the challenges still facing us, namely the fight against terrorist and criminal gangs in the sub-region, strengthening military cooperation with brotherly and friendly countries, assistance and protection of the population and their property, continuing to improve the living and working conditions of all defence personnel,” Ouattara said at a handover ceremony.
Mr Ouattara intends to pursue the objectives and strengthen the results through the values of discipline, dedication and commitment.
“We must always have a team spirit in order to be effective anywhere and anytime. I know I can count on you,” the new defence minister said.
Earlier in the ceremony, Ouattara praised the results achieved by his predecessor, the former Ivorian Prime Minister, the late Hamed Bakayoko, at the head of this ministry.
“For us who knew Hamed Bakayoko, I can testify that Hamed was an exceptional man. He always impressed us with his work qualities, his dedication, his loyalty,” Ouattara said.
Before him, Jean-Paul Malan, the Director of Cabinet of the Minister of Defence, explained to the new Minister the projects already completed, in progress or in the pipeline.
“The Ministry of Defence action focused on improving the living and working conditions of soldiers and gendarmes, by strengthening the operational capacity of units, the acquisition of communication equipment, tactical vehicles and the rehabilitation of many buildings,” said Mr. Malan.
Ouattara was appointed interim minister of defence on 8 March. He was confirmed as Minister of State, Minister of Defence last Tuesday in the first government of Prime Minister Patrick Achi.
The 2021 budget of the Ivorian Ministry of Defence amounts to 354 billion CFA francs, including 55 billion CFA francs of investments.