Martine Hélène Coffi-studer A discreet director
The 56-year-old chairwoman of the Ivorian subsidiary of France’s Bolloré Transport & Logistics, Martine Coffi-studer prefers the boardroom to the the limelight. She is one of the country’s most influential businesswomen. She founded the advertising firm Océan Ogilvy in 1988, an outfit that now operates in about 20 African countries, and served as minister of state for communications from 2005 to 2007. She sits on many boards, including those of the electricity, gas and petroleum companies, and is said to have the ear of Henri Konan Bédié, the leader of the PDCI party, and to be an ally to President Alassane Ouattara. Bolloré manages the port in Abidjan and is investing in its infrastructure. The company and the governments of Côte d’ivoire and Burkina Faso signed a new concession agreement in August 2016 for the railway linking the Ivorian economic capital to Ouagadougou. Bolloré is also expanding its electric-powered bus project, which currently serves several of Abidjan’s universities.