Over the past decade since the introduction of the Belt and Road Initiative, CCCC has been actively involved in infrastructure development projects in Côte d'Ivoire, including the expansion of the Abidjan Terminal. These projects have not only promoted local socioeconomic development but have also seen the project teams fulfill their social responsibilities, extending a helping hand to local residents and fostering deep friendships.
Expanding the Port for Development
The project stands as West Africa's largest natural harbor, yet its capacity was becoming increasingly strained, necessitating port expansion. The expansion project commenced in November 2015, involving the construction of a container terminal with three berths for vessels of up to 150,000 tons, the establishment of a roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) terminal and a general cargo terminal with two berths for vessels of up to 50,000 tons, the reclamation of 57.5 hectares of land, dredging a 4,552-meter canal, and the reconstruction of a 1,200-meter breakwater.
Following the upgrade, the project became the largest container port in West Africa, significantly increasing its throughput capacity. This further solidified its position as a pivotal hub along the Atlantic coast of Africa, playing a crucial role in promoting the economic and social development of Côte d'Ivoire and the hinterland of West Africa.
Building Schools to Support Youth
In the Adarome village near Abidjan, young students had to endure an hour-long journey from home to school due to the lack of school buildings. Additionally, the local climate, which includes intense heat and numerous snakes and insects, posed risks to these young students. Parents even contemplated withdrawal from school for safety reasons. Having a school building where he could study in peace was young students' dearest wish.
Recognizing that many children faced same difficulties, the project team decided to undertake the free renovation of 16 new classrooms at the primary school at the Adarome village, providing a conducive environment for the children's education.
In February 2019, the new school building was completed. During the inauguration ceremony, children, dressed in school uniforms, stood in orderly lines, eagerly welcoming their Chinese friends who had made their new school building possible. Their faces radiated a bright, sunflower-like smile. They said, having a new school is wonderful, and they can continue their studies; when they are well-educated, they want to help build their nation, just like all CCCC builders.
Project volunteers later visited the school, providing students with school bags, soccer balls, candies, and refreshments.
Teaching Skills to Ensure Livelihoods
While distributing materials, one volunteer learned that Yasko, a young boy he had previously taught to play the balafon instrument during the ceremony, had stopped attending school. The volunteer team promptly decided to visit Yasko's home.
After understanding the family's situation, the project team invited Yasko's father, Buka, to join the project team.
The project actively employed local workers. The project team aimed to empower the local workforce by offering comprehensive technical training. Statistics show that the project created nearly 600 job opportunities for local residents, indirectly benefitting almost 1,000 people through the development of related industries.
Buka said, he has learned formwork here, and his income has increased significantly; life is much better now. Yasko, now donning a brand new school uniform, happily returned to school.
Exploring Pipeline to Ensure People's Safety and Well-being
At the construction site of the canal dredging, there was a dense network of pipelines, including flammable and explosive pipelines such as natural gas and oil. Failure to conduct pipeline surveys before construction could lead to potential explosions during the construction.
Although pipeline survey tasks were not initially included within the project, the project team decided to carry out a comprehensive survey of the nearly four-kilometer-long canal, ensuring the safety of local residents living along the canal. After several months of work, the location of all pipelines was successfully determined, facilitating the smooth progress of the canal dredging work.
The local employee expressed heartfelt gratitude and said, they are all very appreciated. CCCC's presence has not only provided them with work, improved their lives, but also helped them resolve this big problem, ensuring everyone's safety. They are really appreciated.
On April 23, 2020, at the completion ceremony of the project, local residents played lively and cheerful music to bid farewell to CCCC builders. With the expanded terminal now bustling with ship traffic, it seemed to sing of the deep and enduring friendship between China and West Africa.