Cote d'lvoire president launches independence jubilee celebrations

17:19, February 01, 2010      

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Cote d'Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo on Sunday launched the celebrations to mark the West African country's 50th anniversary of independence.

"I declare the 50th year of Cote d'lvoire's independence officially opened," Gbagbo said in a speech addressed the people gathering around the Presidential Palace in Abidjan.

The president expressed hope the jubilation should bring about liberty, reconciliation and renewal of the country.

Gbagbo asked the national commission created for this occasion to make an assessment of the 50 years of independence of the African Francophone countries.

"In Africa, we have not yet reflected on our independence. The question that is thrown at us today is, since 50 years ago when we got independent, how have our countries changed and what have we done with the 50 years of independence," he said.

The National 50th Independence Commission has a role of sensitizing Cote d'lvoire citizens to use this occasion to celebrate the historical event, ensure that they end the crisis they have gone through, renew their patriotism for a unified and undivided country and to increase their confidence that each one of them can do something to construct their country.

Socio-cultural events will be organized including symposiums on conflicts and African independence, economic conditions from independence to the era of globalization and on the quality of life and environment.

Cote d'lvoire won independence from France on Aug. 7, 1960. Felix Houphouet-Boigny became the first post-independence president. He died in 1993 at the age of 88.

Source: Xinhua
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