Prince Albert will visit Burkina Faso from January 10 to 12, according to sources close to the Burkina Faso Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Prince Albert will visit the West African country as the guest of its president, Roch Kaboré. Among other appointments, the Sovereign is expected to visit a training centre for students specialising in health, in hospitality and sustainable agriculture.
Monaco has been involved in long-term projects in Burkina Faso, including an extensive programme to develop the country’s emergency fire service capabilities. The Principality has also helped in fighting severe malaria among children in hospital and in preventing malnutrition.
In addition, Monaco has helped improve literacy and has donated cash towards the building of a secondary school. The biggest single grant, of €500,000, has been to help street children in Barnako and Ouagadougou.
Burkina Faso is a very poor country, even by West African standards, with more than 80 percent of the population depending on subsistence farming. The help that Monaco is providing is making a great deal of difference to the daily lives of many people.
As a prelude to this visit, on January 7, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs travelled to Loumbila, a few kilometres from the capital, to visit the new Aquatic Rescue and Training Centre, which aims to materialise cooperation between Burkina Faso and the Principality of Monaco.
The centre’s first stone was laid on June 27, 2016, and the building is the former Monegasque Pavilion from the Expo Milano 2015, which was relocated to Loumbila and has been reconstructed as a six hectare first aid and CPR training complex, as financed by the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. This will allow the training of “rescuers and lifeguards from Burkina Faso and other countries in the region”. Director of Aquatic Rescue Centre of Monaco, Pierre Frolla, an Ambassador to the Foundation, as well as four-time freediving world record holder, has overseen the development.
Monies raised from the 2017 Riviera Water Bike Challenge were put towards this project, a joint partnership with the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, the Monaco Red Cross and the Burkinabe Red Cross.
Its inauguration is planned over the next week.