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Ivory Coast: The N’zrama festival aims to industrialise artisanal labour

La ministre-gouverneure de la région des lacs, Dr Raymonde Goudou Coffie, lors du festival de Nzrama à Toumodi, en Côte d'Ivoire.   -  
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M’ma Camara

Ivory Coast

**The Lake District has enormous cultural and economic potential. The initiators of the N'Zrama Festival at the stadium in Toumodi, a town in the centre of the Ivory Coast, see it as a cultural showcase but most importantly as an economic pillar providing a solution to unemployment.

In central Ivory Coast, the town of Toumodi hosted the first edition of the Nzrama Festival in an attempt to position the Ivorian Lake district as a major economic hub.

This festival, dubbed a cultural showcase by its creators, enabled the region's cooperatives to display their craft, derived from local cultures aiming to source funding to industrialize their labour.

"We're looking for and finding structures to help us process our products. Because we process our products by hand. If we have someone, a company or the state can help us with the processing,'' shares Dorothée Ando, Boutique Manager

"We manufacture cassava and other food products, and we process them, not without difficulty. We lack the proper material. We need help," added Kouamé Akissi, Cooperative President. 

These requests are at the heart of the Lake District's new policy, which aims to breathe new life into what was formerly known as the prosperous cocoa loop.

''We have a duty to bring in investors, encourage our people and help the young, after all it's the year of youth, so we must help young people achieve their goals and continue to empower women,'' shares Dr Raymonde Goudou Coffie, Minister-Governor of the Lake District. 

In recent years, the Ivorian government has launched a vast regional empowerment project.

With more than 60% of its land being arable, the Lake District holds an untapped economic potential.

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