The U.S. Embassy in Abidjan in collaboration with the University of Georgia (UGA) and the International University of Grand-Bassam (IUGB) officially launched the U.S. State Department Bureau of African Affairs’ University Partnerships Initiative (UPI) on the IUGB campus on Monday November 16, 2020.

The speakers of the event were by Ambassador Richard Keith Bell, Ambassador of the USA in Cote d’Ivoire and Professor Saliou Touré, President of IUGB. Ambassador Andrew Young, Chairman of the Andrew J Young Foundation and Dr. Jack Hu, Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost of UGA, attended the event virtually and delivered remarks.

The ceremony saw the attendance of over 100 guests among which: the Minister of Promotion of SMEs, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, authorities of Grand-Bassam namely the Prefect and the Mayor, representatives from the private sectors, representatives from schools and the press.

Prof. Saliou Touré, President of IUGB, expressed his thanks to the US government for trusting Cote d’Ivoire, and especially for trusting IUGB with this fund. He also thanked UGA for accepting to partner with IUGB on this initiative. He also invited all stakeholders, especially the private sector, to support IUGB in achieving its mission of training future African leaders. As far as Ambassador Keith Bell, he expressed the confidence of the US government in Cote d’Ivoire and believes that this partnership will be mutually beneficial.

Then, Ambassador Andrew Young, in his remarks, expressed his satisfaction to see, through these types of partnerships, a vision from 30 years ago, come to fruition. Finally, Dr. Jack Hu thanked the US department of State for the support and said that UGA is looking forward working with IUGB and is confident that IUGB will make a positive impact on the lives of students and the entire West Africa region for years to come.

Through the UPI, the U.S. Embassy will continue to expand existing links and promote new partnerships at the university level that will strengthen Cote d’Ivoire educational institutions as instruments of national development.