Dominique Folloroux-Ouattara – First Lady of Ivory Coast

EARLY LIFE

Dominique Claudine Nouvian was born on 16 December 1955 in Constantine, French Algeria. She received a high school diploma from Strasbourg Academy in 1973 and graduated from the University of Paris X in 1975. Folloroux-Ouattara moved to the Ivory Coast in 1975 with her first husband, Jean Folloroux, professor at Lycée Technique in Abidjan, with whom she has two children. Her husband died in 1983. She met Ouattara, then Deputy Governor of the BCEAO in Dakar the following year, who later became President of Ivory Coast. They married on August 24, 1991, in the Town Hall of the 16th arrondissement of Paris.

CAREER AND POLITICAL ROLE

Folloroux-Ouattara is a businesswoman, specializing in real estate. From 1979, she was CEO of AICI International Group. In 1993, she established a real estate management company, Malesherbes Gastron.[2]

In 1996, Folloroux-Ouattara was appointed CEO of French hair care chain EJD Inc.,[2] a company that manages Jacques Dessange Institute in Washington, D.C.. In 1998, she acquired the Jacques Dessange franchises in the United States and then became CEO of “French Beauty Services” which manages the U.S. franchise’s brand.

Following her husband’s election as President of the Republic, and in accordance with campaign pledges he had made, Folloroux-Ouattara ceased her activities as a business leader and resigned from all her professional duties. She sold the US Dessange franchises to Dessange Paris Group to devote herself exclusively to her role as First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire and to her foundation, Children of Africa.[2]

AWARDS, RECOGNITIONS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

In November 2011, Folloroux-Ouattara was appointed head of the National Oversight Committee of Actions Against Child Trafficking, Exploitation and Labor. In 1980, Folloroux-Ouattara conducted humanitarian missions in Côte d’Ivoire and in 1998 she created the Children Of Africa Foundation. The foundations’ goal is the welfare of children on the African continent. Princess Ira von Fürstenberg is patron of the foundation, which is active in Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Madagascar, Central Africa and Burkina Faso.

  • 1991: “Honorary Chairwoman of Employer’s Union of Real Estate Agents of Côte d’Ivoire” (CSDAIM).
  • 2000: “Best Business Woman of the Year 2000” in the framework of The Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World.
  • 2008: ” International Pan ICS Prize 2007-2008 Best Woman Prize of the best structure of Charity in West Africa for her education, training and assistance activities to destitue children and women in difficulties”.
  • 2011: “Crans Montana Foundation Prize”, in collaboration with UNESCO and ISESCO, presented by Irina Bokova, Director-General of Unesco.
  • 2012: “World Cocoa Foundation Prize (WCF)” in Washington, DC, for her commitment to children’s welfare.

 

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