APA – Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) – The Vice-President of the Republic, Tiémoko Meyliet Koné, officially opened the Parc des Expositions on Monday July 17, 2023, three years after its launch.
Located in Port-Bouet, a seaside resort in the south of Abidjan, close to the Felix Houphouet-Boigny airport, the Abidjan Exhibition Centre is built on a 16-hectare site with over CFA75 billion of financing.
This architectural gem, the largest exhibition center in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa and West Africa, generated some 700 jobs during the construction phase.
The project, which was the dream of President Felix Houphouet-Boigny from Cote d’Ivoire Expo 1985, was completed under President Alassane Ouattara, revealed the Vice-President of the Republic, who inaugurated
the new facility.
This project, he said, will contribute to the economic structuring of Cote d’Ivoire as a showcase for Ivorian creative and productive genius. According to Mr. Meyliet Kone, the Abidjan Exhibition Centre will enable the private sector to fully play its role as a lever of economic growth.
He went on to say that this building will consolidate Cote d’Ivoire’s position as a driving force in the sub-regional economy, and constitute a regional hub that will enable the country to host major national and international economic events.
The vice-president pointed out that its operation will generate a number of direct and indirect jobs in the agricultural, commercial, hotel, tourism and service sectors. What’s more, the site’s proximity to the Felix Houphouet-Boigny airport opens it up to the world and will facilitate its use for international events.
Meyliet Koné also reassured the audience that the government will pursue the structural and sectoral reforms needed to improve the conditions and frameworks for the development of private initiative in
favor of young people.
He invited young people to use this space as an instrument to promote their productive initiatives individually and collectively, and economic players to consider the Exhibition Centre as a showcase and marker of Côte d’Ivoire’s economic dynamism on a national scale.
For his part, Souleymane Diarrassouba, Minister of Trade, Industry and SME Promotion, noted that the Exhibition Centre would meet the expectations of the national and international private sector.
The aim of the building is to boost the competitiveness of companies and trade, but also to enhance the value of craft products and offer a prime location for craftsmen, SMEs, startups, large companies and the
cultural and creative industry, he noted.
According to the Minister of Commerce, the Abidjan Exhibition Centre is a good lever for increasing the number of visitors to major international events. As a result, it is a key tourism marketing tool.
The activities that will take place there should also have an impact on the professionalization of industries, event and show promoters, and all trade and service sectors, thereby boosting the country’s growth.
Minister Souleymane Diarrassouba reassured the audience that all the necessary steps would be taken to ensure effective and efficient management of this building by renowned professionals, so that it can host major national and international events for several decades to come.
On the site of the Abidjan Exhibition Centre, the building is to house hotels, restaurants, shops and leisure facilities. For 2023, several activities are planned, including SARA, MIVA, FOMCI and ARCHIBAT.
At the heart of the park is a Convention Center, designed as a large central nave, developing about 9,000 square meters under 35 meters of height. The overhanging roof projects a 137-metre square; designed for multi-purpose use.
The park’s retractable stands can accommodate international conferences (up to 5,000 people), trade fairs (agricultural, automotive, youth, tourism…), commercial exhibitions, concerts, parties, banquets, political events and ceremonies of all kinds.
The large 7,200 square meters exhibition hall has a 15-metre high ceiling and can be divided into two or three smaller halls. Its rational, grid-like construction, with different dimensions and heights, enables it to meet the varied requirements of exhibitors.