The First Lady, Mrs Dominique Ouattara sponsored the ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire, on Tuesday May 7, 2024, at the hotel’s auditorium. Below is her full speech.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I atke great pleasure in being here with you today, in the emblematic Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of this beautiful hotel complex in our country’s history.

First of all, I’d like to extend my warmest greetings to Mr. Robert Beugré Mambé, Prime Minister of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, who is doing us the honor of being with us this afternoon.

I would also like to greet the Presidents of the Institutions, whom I thank for their presence.

I would also like to greet the Ministers here present, especially Mr. Moussa Sanogo, Minister of Heritage, State Portfolio and Public Enterprises, and Mr. Siandou Fofana, Minister of Tourism and Leisure.


I would like to thank each and every one of you for the remarkable work you have been  doing to preserve and promote Côte d’Ivoire’s rich hotel heritage.

I would now like to extend my greetings and thanks to the Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic Corps, who have kindly joined us here today.

My greetings also go to government Ministers’ Wives attending this event. Thank you for your support.

I would also like to welcome Mrs Souad Belliard, French Ambassador’s wife and President of the Ambassadors’wives Group. I take this opportunity to thank them for their distinguished presence.

I also welcome Mrs Nelly Ouassenan, Deputy Mayor, representing the Mayor of Cocody, whom I thank for her warm welcome.


I would also like to extend my greetings to all the personalities who have kindly made the journey to be present at this celebration.

My special greetings go to Mr Roger Kacou, former Minister of Tourism and former General Manager of the Hotel Ivoire, who has travelled to be with us this afternoon; and to Mr Daniel Karbownik, former Director of the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire and Vice-President of Sub-Saharan Africa for the Accor Group. Thank you for being here!

I’d now like to extend a very special welcome to Mrs Maférima Diarrassouba, President of Sonapie’s Board of Directors, whom I congratulate on organizing this wonderful event, which highlights Côte d’Ivoire’s cultural heritage.

I would also like to thank the members of Sonapie’s Board of Directors who are with us this morning, as well as Mr. Jean-François Rémy, General Manager of the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire, and all the hotel staff.

Finally, I salute our distinguished traditional and religious chiefs, who surround this celebration with their prayers and blessings.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When Mrs Maférima Diarrassouba asked me to be the patron of the 60th anniversary of Hotel Ivoire, I was happy to respond favourably. Indeed, Abidjan’s emblematic Hotel Ivoire is an institution in Côte d’Ivoire, and an architectural marvel of the country’s rich cultural heritage. It therefore seemed important to me to take part in this great celebration.

I would like to thank and congratulate Mr. Michel Butrille for the magnificent photographic exhibition we were able to see at the entrance to the auditorium, and which enabled us to appreciate the evolution of the hotel complex from its construction until recently.


Dear Mr Butrille,

I’d like to offer you my warmest congratulations on the magnificent conservation work you’ve been doing for decades.

In the space of a visit, you have brought back to life the wonderful memories and slices of life written in this hotel, which travels through time with elegance and majesty.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The design and construction of the Hotel Ivoire is one of the buildings born of the visionary spirit of President Félix Houphouët Boigny, to make Côte d’Ivoire a country  focused on development and modernity.

60 years on, we can agree that this goal has been achieved. Indeed, the Hotel Ivoire, in terms of its architecture, quality of service and history, has always been a symbol of Côte d’Ivoire’s greatness.

Since its memorable inauguration on September 07, 1963, this building has played host year after year to major international summits, as well as prestigious humanitarian, cultural and artistic events.

Personally, I’ve always wanted the Foundation’s galas to take place in this legendary hall of the hotel’s auditorium. Over the past 60 years, eminent heads of state and personalities from all over the world have passed through these walls. What wonderful memories and unforgettable moments of life!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At this point, I’d like to pay tribute to the Government for keeping this building in good repair, so that it can retain its former glory.

I would also like to pay a warm tribute to the men and women who are the soul of this hotel and who bring it to life. They work hard every day to bring to life the dreams and desires of the many people and celebrities who pass through its corridors.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear staff,

Thanks to your professionalism, dedication and passion the hotel has stood the test of time, retaining all the splendor of its early years.  congratulations!

My words of encouragement and sincere congratulations also go to Mrs. Maférima Diarrassouba, who had the wonderful idea of publishing a book dedicated to the history of the hotel, which I was pleased to preface.

Dear Maférima,

Thank you for this wonderful initiative. This book goes beyond the history of Hotel Ivoire, you have told a part of our country’s history. I highly recommend it to everyone, because the book is not only beautiful but it also helps us to pass on our common heritage to future generations.

I encourage each and every one of the contributors and builders of the reputation of this historic establishment, to continue to make our country shine through the quality of its hotel service.

You have my encouragement and support. Thanks to all of you, the word ‘Akwaba’ takes on its full meaning in our beloved land of hospitality.

Happy birthday to Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire and its entire team.


Thank you very much.

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