November 20, 2015
CICA and EIC representatives visited the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ivory Coast and met with Béatrice AMOAKON, Vice President in charge of Education and Training, Kouakou Germain YAO, Director in charge of Studies and Economic Information and Salimata ADIATOU, Training Director. 12 Ivorian companies and associations of companies were represented and expressed their concerns.
Difficulties to access the contracts
Since the recovery from the crisis, many important public works projects started in Ivory Coast. However it is very complicated for Ivorian contractors to enter the markets. It was particularly noted that there is a need for more information about the public tenders especially in what concerns important local contracts. What’s more the insufficient capacities of most local contractors do not allow them to submit offers. The problem of financial capacity of local companies was strongly pointed out. Besides the commercial banks are not lending and there is a need for more bonds and insurance guarantees capacities.
A strong willingness to increase training
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ivory Coast, during its General Assembly of December 2014, has defined 3 challenges for the period 2015-2018. The first one consists of fostering the emergence of a new kind of leaders of small and medium companies. These so-called “Champions” would be able to generate added-value and to answer the request for collaboration as subcontractors expressed by big companies. One of the key elements to do so is to increase the training and strengthening of technical and managerial capacities.
It was deplored that local companies are not integrated in the projects in the first place and are only asked to be subcontractors in the last steps of the projects. “Local companies must be associated at the earliest stage of the projects.”
Efficient professional trainings can also be crucial for several Ivorian construction companies to no longer be only subcontractors but also “co-contractors”.
SEFI Director General, Michel DEMARRE, detailed the case of Performance-based road maintenance contracts for the development and training of the local industry.
CICA Director General, Roger FISZELSON, invited the representatives of the construction industry who attended the meeting to formulate their requests for training to their national authorities. The national public authorities are the ones able to relay these demands to the African Development Bank, regional development banks and bilateral cooperation agencies.
CICA Director General encouraged the creation of a regional association of Western African construction companies which could facilitate the exchanges and discussions. Such a regional federation could also contribute directly to the lobbying CICA is doing vis-à-vis the Multilateral Development Banks and other international organizations and financial institutions.