The Foundation started to work in Côte d’Ivoire in 2015. The choice was made as part of a strategic planning process that sought deliberately to select a representative range of countries, spanning cultures, geographies and income levels. Côte d’Ivoire is our first engagement in Francophone Africa, following decades of engagement elsewhere on the continent – most notably in Kenya.
The overall objectives of our Côte d’Ivoire programme are to test and scale up different permutations of Parents+, and to increase political commitment to and financial investment in early childhood development among the government, international development funders and the cocoa industry.
Our main strategic partnership so far is with Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities (TRECC), a five-year initiative of the Jacobs Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation and the national government. We are working through TRECC to test and scale up different ways to support parents who work in rural cocoa-growing communities.
Also under the rubric of our Parents+ programme, we are working together with the Aga Khan Foundation to explore how Filtisac, an Abidjan-based packaging company, can support its employees in their role as parents.