Read Amina No. 517, May 2013
Like Colette Senghor, Viviane Wade or Sylvia Bongo, she is one of the few Europeans occupying the position of First Lady in Africa. A long-standing Ivorian and perfectly integrated, Dominique Nouvian married a technocrat she has accompanied and supported in his political career. Before the election of her husband to the presidency, this entrepreneur was already fully engaged in &
What is a typical day of First Lady like?
I start my morning by managing stewardship problems, as all the wives do. Then, when I have no official duties, I go to my office to take stock with my colleagues on projects and provide hearings for people who want to meet me. During the day, I try to spend an hour doing my sport and a part of my day to see the children. Where possible, and when the President is available, we spend our evenings quietly at home. Of course, this program is completely different, if we are on official travel or internal displacement, or if we receive distinguished guests in Côte d'Ivoire.
Do you influence your husband’s to political decision-making?
I never interfere in the political decisions of my husband. I I feel a lot more content devoting myself to the social.
You were the CEO of an international real estate group, AICI. Are you still in business?
In fact, before my husband's accession to the presidency, I had a career as an entrepreneur, together with charity work with my Children Of Africa Foundation. The choice of my career has been made quite naturally, because I have a degree in real estate appraisal and property management. I created, in 1979, the AICI International real estate group, which I was the CEO, located in several cities in Africa and Europe. Today it is my daughter Nathalie who took over.
Another area of my career was the acquisition in 1998, of the Jacques Dessange brand in the United States. I was then CEO of the "French Beauty Services" company which included franchises and hairstyling schools in the United States, as well as hairdressers and beauty salons in New York and Washington. I got separated as soon as my husband was elected. As you can see, I mention all these activities in the past which means I have completely given up in favor of social action for my fellow citizens.
In 1998, you created the Children of Africa Foundation. What has it become today?
The Foundation is more and more active, given the extent of needs. It is present in ten countries in Africa, but especially in Côte d' Ivoire and is designed to help women and children in need to have a better life. It operates in the areas of health, education, social and living centers. Its most important project right now is the construction of a Mother-Child Hospital in the town of Bingerville.