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Cote d’Ivoire: the new rule related to land ownership is counterproductive, World Bank says

  • Comments   -   Wednesday, 01 March 2017 - 14:30

(Ecofin Agency) - In Cote d’Ivoire, conflicts are arising due to the recent implementation of a constitutional reform which grants exclusivity of land ownership to nationals. This was said by Zéhouri Paul-Arnaud Bertin, notary and expert of land issues at World Bank, in an interview with information website L’Infodrome.

“I understand the conflicts given that the new rule which states that non-ivorians cannot acquire lands in Cote d’Ivoire. Truly understandable since the independent Ivorian nation chose economic liberalism as the way through which it will grow and get wealthier. It was indeed that choice that gave rise in the country to a first economic miracle in the 70s and some even say there could have been another in 2012-2013. All these because we committed to a wide economic openness that helped us win the trust of global economic operators, who established themselves in the country. Even if we might need to proceed to some minor amendments to this economic model, this liberalism, has allowed Cote d’Ivoire to become WAEMU’s leading economy, with 40% of the region’s economy,” said the expert.

He believes the State should prioritize an approach that empowers populations. An approach in which notaries and technical advisors would play a key role. “I am not telling populations not to sell lands. I’m rather saying they should be told to as they see fit. They should be advised to resort to the services of men of law such as notaries. It’s our job to think on the various ways that will insure that property owners sell their lands the right way, and buyers to purchase these properties in the best conditions to make sure he is later not troubled in exercising his rights. If we want the land conflict issue solved, we must let populations be free and in control of the various land-related transactions they proceed to,” he advised.

Souha Touré

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