University at Albany
(From left) Guillaume K. Soro, former prime minister and current president of the National Assembly of Côte d'Ivoire, and Ray Bromley, vice provost for international education at UAlbany

Parliamentary Leader from Côte d'Ivoire Visits UAlbany

Rockefeller College Interim Dean David L. Rousseau and Center for International Development Director Malcolm Russell-Einhorn were among members of the University at Albany community who recently welcomed a government delegation from Côte d'Ivoire, Ivory Coast, to the University's uptown campus.   

(From left) NYS Senator Bill Perkins
and Rockefeller College Interim
Dean David L. Rousseau

The delegation, which included Guillaume K. Soro, former prime minister and current president of the National Assembly of Côte d'Ivoire, traveled to the United States to attend meetings at the United Nations. During their visit to the U.S., members of the delegation visited the New York State Capitol and attended a lunch held in their honor at the Standish Room in the University at Albany Science Library. Over lunch, the group discussed establishing a student exchange program between the University and several universities in Côte d'Ivoire, as well as capacity-building opportunities for members and staff of Côte d'Ivoire's Parliament.

Guillaume K. Soro

Born in the village of Diawala near the Malian border, Guillaume Soro rose to international fame during the Côte d'Ivoire Civil War that began in 2002. Soro, the former head of the Ivorian students' federation and a law student in France, led the rebel Patriotic Movement of Côte d'Ivoire (Mouvement patriotique de Côte d'Ivoire, MPCI). MPCI later merged with several rebel groups to form Les Forces Nouvelles de Côte d'Ivoire (New Forces). As secretary-general of the New Forces, Soro was a key participant in the international peace negotiations that brought the conflict to a halt. After serving as prime minister of Côte d'Ivoire from 2007 to 2010, Soro was elected to Parliament in the December 2011 elections and selected as president of the National Assembly in March 2012. Although this post is similar to the speaker of the house in the American political system, the unicameral nature of the Côte d'Ivoire Legislature concentrates even power in this position.

Rockefeller College's Center for International Development, which has a long history of providing technical assistance and training to democracies around the globe, currently has a proposal for parliamentary support in Côte d'Ivoire under review with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

View photos from the event