Ivory Coast's universities reopen after two years
SUGGESTED SCRIPT:Even the rain can't dampen spirits at this celebration in Ivory Coast.President Alassane Ouattara reopens the university of Cocody in Abidjan, renamed Félix Houphouët-Boigny University, in honour of the country's first independent president.Almost a year and a half ago, Outtara closed five of the country's universities- accusing them of fomenting violence in the country. SOUNDBITE 1 Alassane Ouattara, President Ivory Coast, (French, 12 secs):"The university was no longer a place of development and the passing on of knowledge, but rather a place of violence and corruption."More than 160 million euros have been invested in the refurbishment of the five universities, which all required major overhauls.SOUNDBITE 2 Souleiman Drabo, Renovation Supervisor, Felix Houphouet-Boigny University (French, 11secs):"Everything was ruined, totally ruined. Everything was stolen, the cables, everything was stolen. The tables were gone, teaching materials, everything was looted. So we had to start from scratch."Some blame Fesci, the powerful student union long allied with former president Laurent Gbagbo.His refusal to stand down led to last year's conflict which resulted in the deaths of three thousand Ivorians. Today, the union claims to have cleaned up its act.SOUNDBITE 3 Augustin Mian, General Secretary of Fesci (French, 15secs):"We have been working to remove anything that may hinder the smooth running of the university. Which means, breaking with violenc in all its forms."Ferdinand, who studied physics and chemistRy, was unable to graduate because of the closure of his university.While waiting for classes to resume, he worked for his brother's company, but still aspires to become a chemist.SOUNDBITE 4 Ferdinand, Student (French, 20 secs):"I'm happy to start studying again, even if it's hard. It's particularly difficult for people like me who study the sciences-I study Physics and Chemistry and when you stop learning for a while, it's hard to pick it back up."It's not exactly clear when classes will be up and running, but tens of thousands of students are expected to fill these new buildings.It's hoped the young people will play a key part in the reconstruction of their country, still scarred from the post electoral crisis of 2011.IMAGES:ABIDJAN, 21,30, 31 August 2012 and 3 September 2012.(SOURCE: AFPTV)- VAR of Alassane Ouattara during the inauguration of Felix Houphouet-Boigny University (ABIDJAN, 3 SEPTEMBER 2012)SOUNDBITE 1- VAR of work undertaken at Felix Houphouet-Boigny University (ABIDJAN, 21 AUGUST 2012)SOUNDBITE 2- VAR of work undertaken at Felix Houphouet-Boigny University (ABIDJAN, 21, 30 AUGUST 2012)SOUNDBITE 3-VAR Ferdinand in a classroom (YOPOUGON, ABIDJAN, 31 AUGUST 2012)SOUNDBITE 4- VAR of work undertaken at Felix Houphouet-Boigny University (ABIDJAN, 21 AUGUST 2012)+ EXTRA RUSHES(1 min 55 sec):- VAR of Alassane Ouattara during the inauguration of Felix Houphouet-Boigny University (ABIDJAN, 3 SEPTEMBER 2012)- VAR of work undertaken at Felix Houphouet-Boigny University (ABIDJAN, 21 AUGUST 2012)-VAR Ferdinand in a classroom (YOPOUGON, ABIDJAN, 31 AUGUST 2012)
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