Meeting of two Builders-1998-03-04
The protocol agreement between the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) signed, yesterday afternoon by Head of State Henri Konan Bedie and His Highness Prince AgaKhan. The agreement includes 26 articles to consolidate the partnership between the Ivoirian State and the AKDN.
Present at the signing were the Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan,the minister of State Timothee Ahouna N'Guetta, the ministers Amara Essy, Emiule Constant Bimbet, Niamien N'Goran, Maurice Kakou Guikahue, Safiatou N'Daw; the members of the presidential cabinet as well as representatives of the Ismaili community in Cote d'Ivoire.
A number of issues were concluded by the agreement signed yesterday at the Presidential Palace. The main issue was the granting of additional facilities to the AKDN to encourage greater development within Cote d'Ivoire.
Within this spirit, the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire, agrees in article 3 of the agreement to "authorize the Ismaili Imamat as well as the Aga Khan Development Network as an international organization and institution of development, to operate in Cote d'Ivoire directly and indirectly by the intermediary of its affiliated structures and organizations (...); As well as establishing, individually, jointly, or with others the affiliated organizations and structures they judge necessary to aid in the economic, social, and cultural development of Cote d'Ivoire".
Additionally, Cote d"Ivoire grants to AKDN all the rights , necessary entitlement , prerogatives, agreements, approvals, and other forms of accreditations, the authorizations, and the permits that may become necessary in the creation and the functioning of these organizations and affiliated structures as well as the programs and projects overseen by the AKDN in Cote d'Ivoire.
In accordance with the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire the Ismaili Imamat represented by His Highness Prince Aga Khan or by his successors to the Imamat who are appointed by their predecessors- may appoint a representative to the Cote d'Ivoire to maintain relations with the Ivoirian State.
This representative will enjoy diplomatic immunity, and a mission of AKDN will be established in Abidjan whose premises will be inviolable. Article 5 of the agreement stipulates that "The premises of the mission and all its belongings and assets may not be made object of search, of requisition , or of seizure except if the Representative personnel for the Cote d'Ivoire renounces this immunity and within the limit of this renunciations.
Regarding duties and taxes, the agreement plans for the exemption from all duties, taxes, rights and contributions, mandatory withholdings whatever may be the nature of the denomination, except the contributions corresponding to municipal services (garbage tax, etc.)". Many other favors were granted to AKDN, among which the expatriate members of upper management nominated by the Representative for the Cote d'Ivoire of the Ismaili Imamat, will enjoy immunity from arrest and detention, as well as immunity from legal prosecution. These terms, it must be noted, will not apply to the organizations and structures affiliated to AKDN which are commercial and for profit (...).
The activities of AKDN will extend into health, education, habitat, energy, finance etc.