Amb. Kalilou Traore, the Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire to Nigeria, has said his country spent more than US$1 billion to organise the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) competition.
Traore made this known during an interview on sideline of the official unveiling ceremony of the ‘AFCON Village’ on Saturday night in Abuja, saying the AFCON village was set up in partnership with Continental Hotels.
He said the facility will transmit live matches till the end of the tournament, which kicked off in Cote d’Ivoire with 24 countries seeking for the continent’s most coveted football trophy on Feb. 11.
“The government of Côte d’Ivoire has spent more than US$1 billion to organise it. Most of the investment were designed to solve logistics issues like transportation, hotels, security and many others.
“Right now, I was in touch with many people in Abidjan and they were saying that life is so good now in Abidjan.
“So things are going very well and we pray God that it will continue like this till the end of AFCON.
“Football tournament is an occasion for people to meet and when we meet we can talk about everything, particularly how to let things move forward.
“When we meet, when we discuss all issues, we can solve lots of problems, so the power of football is to gather people and when they are together, we can solve problems.”
The envoy described Côte d’Ivoire as a country of hospitality and peace, since its first president, Félix Houphouët-Boigny’s philosophy of peace, dialogue and prosperity for people.
Traore reiterated that the country had continued to leave no stone unturned to do its beat to unite the whole of Africa.
“In Côte d’Ivoire right now, President Alassane Ouattara’s government has all Ivorians mobilised to make this AFCON the best ever organised since the past.
“We as the Ivorian mission in Nigeria will implement this directive, to unite people, to make this occasion one of fraternity and friendship.
“This is why we have organised here in Abuja the AFCON village with our partner, Continental Hotel. Throughout the tournament we will be here with all our friends.
“To view all the matches and support all the teams; I wish that the best team wins this cup,” Traore said. (NAN)