President Paul Biya and wife, Chantal Biya arrived in Abidjan yesterday, November 28 ahead of the 5th AU-EU Summit which opens today.
It was with immeasurable warmth that the President of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara and wife, Dominique Ouattara welcomed President Paul Biya and his wife, Chantal Biya at the Houphouet-Boigny International Airport yesterday, November, 28.
The Boeing 737-200 aircraft transporting the Cameroonian first couple from Yaounde, touched down at 4:10 p.m. and waited for a few minutes for the stage to be set considering that one of the Heads of State from another African country was already being received at the Presidential lounge.
The euphoria that marked the arrival at the entrance to the Presidential Lounge of President Biya and wife translated the anxiety that has been burning in the Ivorian leader and his wife to see the Cameroonian President participate in the historic AU-EU Summit.
In effect, it was a four-phase ceremony marked by; the handing of the bouquets of flowers by two kids, a boy and girl to the Presidential couple and hugging by the two Presidential couples; shaking of hands with members of the national constituted corps of the two countries, tête-à-tête between the two Heads of State and discussions between the two first ladies all in the Presidential Lounge and finally departure to the Sofitel Hotel Ivoire, their temporal residence.
President Biya is being accompanied by a 13 strong-man delegation including government Ministers, Director of Civil Cabinet, Martin Belinga Eboutou and the Cameroon Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Nguini Alfred.
The arrival took place amidst tight security at the airport considering the magnitude of the event. Cameroonians residents in Abidjan, notably militants of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) gathered in one spot about three kilometres from the airport chanting songs of praise and waving placards to salute the arrival of their President.
President Biya will be among the expected 80 leaders taking part in the two-day summit on which the African continent plans to reshape the destiny of its youthful population. The opening ceremony according to the programme begins at 1:30 p.m. local time.
That will be followed by thematic sessions on: Enhancing economic opportunities for youth, Mobility and Migration, Peace and Security. The last theme of the summit to be discussed tomorrow November 30 will tackle issues related to cooperation on governance. The closing ceremony has been slated for 10: 45 a.m. local time.