20 November 2013

First time is Cote D'Ivoire

Ivory Coast or Cote D'Ivoire, as the locals prefer, is quite different than other African countries I have visited, at least on a first impression. Entering the city in 12oclock at night, the roads were quite spacious; there were quite a lot of city light and city neon advertising like in of most big cities.

Since we are coming for the conference, more details below, we got the VIP treatment, all conference participants, were taken to the VIP lounge, where our immigration process, visa at the airport and luggage was taken care of and then off to the hotel. This makes everything very easy, although we laughed because it took twice as much time, as it would have if we were to do it on our own, but the convenience was worth it. Entering our hotel, was again an experience, I am usually used to 3-4  star hotels in Africa which are tremendously expensive and very poorly maintained, but here this is not the case. But, thank god for conferences, you get to stay at good hotels. The Sophitel Ivoire is quite a grand hotel. with great wifi connection!!

Our conference is the African High Level Water Forum - http://hlf.wsafrica.org , between the 21-23, that convenes once a year in a different country in Africa. This year it is in Abidjan, and 32 water ministers will be meeting for discussions on water issues. People are coming from China, Germany, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore, India and Israel. Israel will have quite a substantial delegation of 5 companies, since we had about 3 weeks to organize for this, I would say it is pretty good. Next year the forum will be in Cameroon and I hope to bring a much larger delegation.
I say to bring, because WSA is the organizer of the forum and we as their Israeli representative are responsible for this issue. We (the delegation) hope to sign quite a number of LOI between companies and ministers.

More updates tomorrow it is quite late already, and I am after a travel of over 12 hours. 

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