Oikocredit mourns Mme Botti’s passing
David Woods, managing director of Oikocredit International, announced today, “It is with sadness we announce the sudden passing of our friend and partner Lou Mezo Rosalie Botti, affectionately known as Mme Botti, president of the COCOVICO market in Cote d'Ivoire. A founding member of COCOVICO, Mme Botti has always been, and will remain, a pioneer. The imprint she leaves in her chosen and cherished field of community service is difficult to overstate. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this sad time.”
Mme Botti’s relationship with Oikocredit began in 2001 when she first approached us on behalf of a group of market traders who wanted to build a permanent market where they could secure livelihoods for themselves and other women traders. They had no savings, and many could not read or write, but they had a vision. In 2004, Oikocredit made the first of three loans, then another two instalments over the next three years, totalling approximately € 1.4 million to construct a market. In 2008 the new COCOVICO Market was opened. The market allows the cooperative to provide a decent workplace – including water and sanitary facilities, electricity, and safe overnight stays for female traders who used to sleep on the ground under their stalls - education, and other services to its members and the vendors. The COCOVICO building is not just a market for the 200 COCOVICO co-op members, but for the whole community of 5,000 traders.
While Mme Botti received many accolades, it is fitting that she viewed one of her greatest accomplishments as her role in the creation of the COCOVICO market. “It is fitting because Mme Botti embodied the service ideal; she dedicated herself not only to immediate cooperative members’ needs, but to the larger good of the community. She leaves a legacy of triumph over adversity, perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds and a life of service. She will be sorely missed as she wasn’t just a leader but also a friend and inspiration to many.” Yves Komaclo, regional manager, Oikocredit West Africa.