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Burger King to open first West Africa Restaurant in Ivory Coast

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson (C) waits for his order at a Burger King restaurant in Concord, New Hampshire, November 20, 2015.

[ABIDJAN] Burger King will open its first restaurant in West Africa this month in Ivory Coast, a country more famous for slow-cooked chicken than fast consumption of beef patties.

Air France-KLM's in-flight caterer, Servair, will operate the 90 square-meter restaurant in Carrefour SA's first mall in sub-Saharan Africa, Servair said Tuesday in a statement. The shopping center, operated by CFAO SA, is due to open this month in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's commercial capital.

Through its Ivory Coast restaurant, Burger King is expanding its operations in sub-Saharan Africa, where it currently operates only in South Africa. The burger chain is also targeting a fast-growing economy that's expanded an average 9 per cent annually in the past three years following a decade of political crisis. The country has attracted foreign investors such as the Dutch brewer Heineken NV and Groupe Fnac SA, the French retailer. Ivory Coast is the world's top cocoa producer.

Servair, the world's third-largest in-flight caterer, said that operating Abidjan's Burger King is part of an "international development strategy" to expand beyond airports. Burger King is owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc, whose investors include billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Ackman.