The reopening of land borders between Ivory Coast and its neighbours was greeted with joy by many on the streets after the government’s announcement on Wednesday evening.
Since March 2020 that the Ivorian authorities closed all borders after the country was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am very happy (with the reopening of the border between Ivory Coast and Ghana, Ed.) it allows me to take my bus from Niamey to Abidjan and from Abidjan to Niamey (without any changes, Ed.) because it’s been three years since I returned to Abidjan. It hurt me a lot. Today, I am happy because I am going to return to Abidjan and find my old friends”, said Yahaya Djerwo, driver of the bus coming from Niger via Ghana.
Ivory Coast borders Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana.
Border closures led to economic hardship along towns reliant on cross-border trade.
“It is the Ghanaians who are our customers. With the closure (of the borders, Ed.), they could no longer come and buy our products, so many of them have gone out of date. As we heard yesterday that the borders have been opened, so this morning I brought a truck (of rice, Ed.) for the shop there, we really hope that it will start to work again”, concluded Adamou Madougou Hassan, trader at the Ivory Coast-Ghana border.
Ivorian sea and air borders reopened after a few months but land borders remained closed until this Thursday.