Mar­tine Hélène Coffi-studer A dis­creet di­rec­tor

The Africa Report - - COUNTRY FOCUS -

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.

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