Ivory Coast offers to pay over $400 mln to civil servants


ABIDJAN  – Ivory Coast has offered to pay civil servants 249 billion CFA francs ($430 million) over an eight-year period, ending months of talks, the government and a union said on Thursday.

Strikes paralysed government agencies and public schools in January, threatening to undermine the success story of French-speaking West Africa’s largest economy.

“The government made us an offer to pay 249 billion over eight years, but we have not yet signed anything,” said Gnagna Zadi, president of the Platform for Professional Organisations of the Public Sector. “We will wait to see that it’s paid.”

A source in the prime minister’s office confirmed the offer.

Ivory Coast employs over 200,000 civil servants. In a sign of their clout, the government’s offer to settle their claims for back pay exactly matched what unions had demanded.

The country has also been dogged by soldier mutinies this year until a government offer to pay bonuses in May.

($1 = 579.3100 CFA francs)

(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Emma Farge, editig by Larry King; Editing by Larry King)


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