Abidjan — I've been watching Cote d'Ivoire very closely and we know that not only is the situation here getting better but we know that 40 percent of the economy of the entire Region is based In Cote d'Ivoire.
The success of Cote d'Ivoire is critical to the success of the entire Region. I would say it's critical to the success of all of Africa.
I'm here today because at the World Bank we're very focused on jobs. The World Development Report this year will be on jobs, and one of the areas where we need to pay special attention is jobs for young people. These are model programs. I was very inspired in listening to the stories of some of the young people, some of them ex-combatants who've now chosen a different path.
They've chosen the path of education and of hope.
We have to believe in the future of Cote d'Ivoire because the future of Cote d'Ivoire will impact the future of the Region and the continent.
We at the World Bank are fully committed to doing everything we can as a partner to helping Cote d'Ivoire go down the path of prosperity. I shared a little bit of my own story. I was born in 1959 in Korea, a place that was coming out of a war itself and was very poor.
At that time, many people said that Korea was a basket case: "There's no hope for Korea to ever develop." And now, we know we know what happened in South Korea, it's one of the most successful economies.
We--from that experience, I have an unshakable optimism that every country can go down that path and become a developed country, and I see all the pieces that need to be put in place right here in Cote d'Ivoire, such a wonderful natural resource base, and people who are committed, as we saw today, to their education and to the future of this great country.
Thank you very much.