The recently inaugurated Abidjan Exhibition Centre, situated near the Félix Houphouët Boigny International Airport, is set to transform the landscape of Business Events in the West Africa sub-region.
With its state-of-the-art infrastructure and expansive facilities, the Abidjan Exhibition Centre promises to be a game-changer for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) industry.
The Vice-President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Koné Tiémoko Meyliet, led the official inauguration ceremony on Monday, July 17, 2023. The Abidjan Exhibition Center, spanning 30 hectares and developed in three phases, marks a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to bolster commercial activities on a large scale.
Phase I of the project features the Convention Center, a versatile multi-purpose hall covering 14,400 square meters and capable of accommodating up to 11,000 individuals, with seating for 5,000 and standing room for 6,000. Additionally, Hall 1, an exhibition hall covering 7,200 square meters with 640 exhibition stands, and the spacious 11,000 square meter Piazza, create a conducive environment for hosting a diverse range of events.
The Abidjan Exhibition Centre not only provides world-class infrastructure, but also boasts an entrance pavilion housing essential amenities such as ticket offices, an orientation center, administrative offices, a press room, first aid facilities, restroom facilities, technical and logistics areas, and catering zones.
Moreover, the center offers 800 parking spaces, ensuring convenience for attendees. With an investment of over 75 billion FCFA, Phase I of the Abidjan Exhibition Center meets international standards, reflecting the State of Côte d’Ivoire’s commitment to fostering economic growth and attracting national and foreign investment. Vice-President Meyliet hailed the centre as a major achievement" within the National Development Program (PND) 2021-2025, presenting immense opportunities for the private sector to drive commercial activities on a grand scale.
The Abidjan Exhibition Centre serves as a catalyst for the structural transformation of the Côte diverse economy, showcasing the nation's creative and productive genius. Vice-President Meyliet emphasized that the centre empowers the private sector to play a pivotal role in driving economic growth, aligning with President Alassane Ouattara’s vision of modern infrastructure to enhance competitiveness and attract investments.
Minister of Trade, Industry, and Promotion of SMEs, Souleymane Diarrassouba, highlighted the significance of the Abidjan Exhibition Center as the largest facility of its kind in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa and West Africa. The center is poised to revolutionize Business Events in the sub-region by providing cutting-edge facilities and fostering an environment conducive to networking, innovation, and economic development.
Phase II of the project will witness the construction of Halls 2 and 3, along with multiple meeting rooms, further expanding the center’s capabilities. Phase III, driven by private sector initiatives, will introduce additional amenities such as hotel receptions, restaurants, mall-type shops, and recreational areas. This comprehensive approach ensures that the Abidjan Exhibition Centre becomes a one-stop destination for business events, enabling seamless interactions and collaborations.
The Trade and Industry Minister highlighted the versatility of the Abidjan Exhibition Center, which can accommodate various event types, including commercial, political, public, cultural, artistic, religious, and sporting events, conventions, and congresses. This adaptability positions the center as a premier choice for organizers seeking a dynamic and modern venue to host their events.
By providing an array of state-of-the-art facilities, strategic proximity to the airport, expansive capacity,
and value-added services, the Abidjan Exhibition Center aims to boost Côte d’ivoire’s rate of capturing major international events. It serves as a crucial tool for marketing the country as a prime tourist destination and contributes to its economic growth.
Diarrassouba emphasized that the Abidjan Exhibition Center’s impact extends beyond the MICE industry. “The Centre plays a vital role in professionalizing event organisers, revitalizing commerce and services, and promoting Ivorian handicrafts. It acts as a platform for SMEs, startups, and the cultural and creative industry to showcase their offerings, thereby contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he maintained.