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Online Networks Help Relief Flood-Plagued Côte d'Ivoire

Abidjan and other regions of Côte d'Ivoire have been plagued by heavy downpour and floods for the past weeks [fr]. Local residents got organized on social networks to bring relief to stranded citizens. On twitter and facebook, #CIVSOCIAL is the hashtag for emergency humanitarian reliefs. It was created in 2011 in the aftermath of the post-electoral crisis. The hashtag was revived again as floods marred Abidjan and the rest of the country. The facebook page CIVSOCIAL has collected images, videos and testimonies as well as calls for donations for each afflicted borough.  Here is a video of one of the flooded borough :

A 80 Year-long Wait: Niger Gets its First Train Station

On April 7, Niger inaugurated in the capital Niamey its first train station ever [fr]. The authorities already projected the construction of the train station 80 years ago but the project never took off. The event will kick start the construction of railroads between Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire. Twitter user Tanoussou in Niamey posted a photo of the train station :

 

Job Market Trends in the Mobile Phone Industry of Côte d'Ivoire

Alain François Loukou, a research fellow and teacher at the Alassane Ouattara University in Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire, wrote an extensive report on the evolution of IT in Côte d'Ivoire [fr]. He shares the following table on the recent evolution of the mobile phone market in his country in terms of mobile penetration, jobs, turnover and investment [fr]: 

Job market in mobile phone industry in  Côte d'Ivoire - Public Domain

Job market in mobile phone industry in Côte d'Ivoire – Public Domain

  

French Strategical Report to Counter China's Economic Influence in Africa

Top Francophone economists & diplomats (namely H El-Karoui from Morocco, T Thiam from Côte d'Ivoire,  L Zinsou from Benin, J-M Severino and H Vedrine from France) submitted a joint report [fr] that outlines the strategy that France should implement to remain competitive on the African Market in the near future. Joel Té-Léssia highlights 15 key points [fr] from the report, one of which is to do away with the “Zone Franc” policy and to allow the regional currency to fluctuate with respect to the Euros. Té-Léssia also underlines the fact that the report is clearly devised to counter  growing influence of China and other emerging nations in the Africa continent. Africa economic growth is projected at 5.2 % in 2014. 

 Six special economic zones setup by the PRC in four African countries on wikipedia CC-BY-2.0

Six special economic zones setup by the PRC in four African countries on wikipedia CC-BY-2.0

The FIRE Awards Winners for Internet Development in Africa

The FIRE programme awards, an initiative of AFRINIC, acknowledge the actors from the African region who strive to provide solutions to internet development for the African Continent. The 2013 FIRE Awards Winners are : 

Below is the presentation of the MEWC initiative :

Reasons to Cheer for the Ivory Coast in the World Cup

CostadeMarfil

Ivory Coast's national team during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Image from Flickr user Merah Chhaya. CC BY 2.0.

On the website LaMula.pe, Juan Carlos Urtecho explains his reasons for supporting the Ivory Coast in the World Cup match with Colombia on Thursday, June 19:

Desde que les ganaron a Japón en su debut, los marfileños se han vuelto mis preferidos en este mundial. [...] Uno escoge a sus engreídos de la manera más simple. Costa de Marfil, ubicado en la costa occidental de África, con un PBI de 19 mil millones de euros y un per cápita de 967 euros es el tercer país más pobre de los que están en el mundial después de Honduras y Bosnia. La economía de Japón (PBI de 5 billones de euros y 30 mil per cápita) es la segunda detrás de Estados Unidos. Costa de Marfil es un país que intenta recuperarse de una sangrienta guerra civil que dejó a decenas de miles de muertos y cientos de miles de desplazados entre el 2002 y el 2007. Japón, es… bueno, Japón.

From the moment they defeated Japan in their debut, the Ivorians became my favorite team in this World Cup. [...] You choose the spoiled ones via the simplest way. Ivory Coast, located in West Africa, with a GDP of 19 million euros and a per capita of 967 euros is the third poorest country that takes part in the World Cup, after Honduras and Bosnia. Japan's economy (GDP 5 billion euros and 30 million per capita) is the second after the United States. Ivory Coast is a country struggling to recover after a bloody civil war that resulted in ten of thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced between 2002 and 2007. Japan, is… well, it's Japan.

Château-Rouge: A Prominent African Food Market in Paris

Market in Chateau-Rouge, Paris by Zanbard on Flickr via CC-BY-NC

Market in Chateau-Rouge, Paris by Zanbard on Flickr via CC-BY-NC

In order to find ingredients for African cuisine in Paris, the go-to place is still the Château-Rouge area located in the 18th District, specifically in the Rue Dejean street market [fr] that operates every day except Monday. The African Expatriate explains why the market is such a draw for many shoppers :

Visiting this predominantly African neighborhood in Paris, is like stepping right into Congo Market in Freetown, Serrekunda Market in Banjul, Sandaga Market in Dakar, Adjame Market in Abidjan. Your eyes will instantly take in the colorful array of fresh food produces lined haphazardly along the streets [..] all in all you would love it, for it would surely transport you back to a typical market day in Africa.

Metro Politics points out that gentrification has had an impact on the local market:

The extraordinary density of business activities in the neighbourhood masks large-scale daily mobility flows that connect it to other residential and commercial spaces, and which extend beyond the metropolitan area.   67% [of surveyed shoppers] said they did not live in the neighbourhood. These non-residents share certain characteristics: over 70% of them were born outside mainland France, of which half in Sub-Saharan Africa.  

Do You Speak Nouchi? Ivorian Politicians Would Like to Know

What is Nouchi [fr]? Let's start with what it is not: it is not Creole and it is not a dialect. Nouchi is a coded language that originated in the 70′s on the streets of Abidjan, the capital city of Côte d'Ivoire. It's a mix of French language and West African idioms. The purpose of the coded language was to protect communication between street hustlers away from the police forces. The language has grown and evolve so rapidly that many Ivorian politicians have incorporated [fr] some of the most popular expressions in their speeches. Here is a video of the Ivorian president Ouattara speaking Nouchi [fr]:

Blogger Behem from Abidjan lists the top 10 most-used expressions in Nouchi. Here are his top two [fr] :

1) Ya Foye : Foye signifiant Rien en Malinké, Ya Foye veut tout simplement dire « Il n’y Rien » dans le sens de « Rien à Signaler » « Tout va bien ». [..]
2) Etre enjaillé : Etre enjaillé de quelque chose signifie « Aimer » cette chose. On peut être enjaillé d’une musique, d’une petite go (Jeune demoiselle), d’une situation.

1) Ya Foye: Foye means Nothing in Malinke language,  Ya Foye simply means “There is nothing new”,  “Nothing to report” or “Everything is fine.” [..]
2) Being enjaillé: Being enjaillé with something means “being love” with something. One can be “enjaillé” with a music, a Go (a young lady in Nouchi) or a situation.

Massive Railway Project between Niamey and Cotonou Underway

A 1,500 km-long railway project between Niamey, the capital city of Niger and Cotonou, the capital city of Benin has been green lighted by the authorities of the two countries and construction will begin on March 2014 [fr].  Francois Ndiaye in Niamey unpacks the set up of the financial agreement [fr] that includes multiple stakeholders and will be overseen by the investment group Bolloré [fr]. Benoît ILLASSA in Cotonou wonders why private investing groups from either Niger or Cotonou were not selected to pilot such projects. The projected budget  is set at 100 billions CFA (about 2 billions USD).  The railway should extend in the future to three other capital cities of the west african region : Abidjan, Ouagadougou and Lomé.  

Gift from French Investing Group Bolloré to Ivorian University Stirs Controversy

French investing group Bolloré [fr] made a donation of 6 electric buses to the University of Felix Houphouët Boigny at Cocody in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The first two buses were delivered on October 16 under great scrutiny from the Ivorian press and social media. In fact, the donation stirred a major controversy over the cost of the project, 1.2 billions CFA francs (about $2.5 million USD) and the putative agenda behind the “generous gift”.  Ivorian blogger Yehnidjidji wrote a blog post that summarizes all the reactions [fr] to the project and various comments on social networks.

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