Martine Coffi-Studer Côte d’ivoire Chair, Bolloré Africa Logistics, Côte d'ivoire
Discreet, well-connected and effective, Coffi-studer, a former communications minister in Côte d’ivoire has the political touch that can often help get things done on the continent. Her recent victory in the courts in a dispute over a plot of land in the economic capital Abidjan – which had been seized by regime baron Adama Bictogo – is a case in point. Listened to by both President Alassane Ouattara and his frenemy Henri Konan Bédié, Coffi-studer also has good international links, as chair of the Ivorian subsidiary of French transport giant Bolloré Africa Logistics since 2014. The firm is now building a new logistics hub on the grounds of Abidjan’s airport, which is part of a wider plan to create eight bases in strategic areas of the continent. At Bolloré, she was vital in the ulitmately successful fight to win the contract for a second terminal at the port in Abidjan. And within the Bolloré Group as a whole, she sits on several company boards. She was confirmed at Bolloré Côte d’ivoire for another term in office in May of this year. Her expertise is solicited elsewhere, too: Coffi-studer sits on the board of 10 other companies, often in an exective role. These include the Compagnie Ivoirienne de Production d'electricité, a private power-producer that sits in the industrial zone of Port-bouët. Armed with a degree in economics, she started out in advertising, creating Océan Ogilvy in 1988. The company is now present in more than 20 African countries.