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Drogba Leads $3.8 Million Investment in Ivorian Hospitals

July 11 (Bloomberg) -- A foundation founded by Didier Drogba, the Ivory Coast soccer player, will invest 2.5 million pounds ($3.8 million) building hospitals in the west African nation.

The project, the foundation’s biggest since it started in 2007, will lead the construction of at least five health centers for women and children in Yamoussoukro, the capital, and the cities of Abidjan, San Pedro, Man and Korhogo, Guy Roland Tanoh, the general secretary of the Didier Drogba Foundation, said in a phone interview yesterday. The money, 80 percent of which has already been raised, will come from charity galas organized in London.

Drogba, 35, won the European Champions League with Chelsea in 2012 and currently plays for Turkish club Galatasaray. He has served as the captain of Ivory Coast’s national soccer team, known as the elephants.

The first hospital will open in Attecoube in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s most populous city and commercial capital, Tanoh said. Work started in June and will last an estimated 6 to 8 months, he said. The second health center will be built in capital Yamoussoukro, Tanoh said.

Lebanese-Ivorian architect Pierre Fakhoury, known for having designed the Yamoussoukro basilica, the largest Christian Church in the world, has been chosen to construct the hospitals, Tanoh said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Olivier Monnier in Abidjan at omonnier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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