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.
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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.
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 :
- Nikohapa Ventures Ltd for their customer engagement platform (Kenya)
- HSoft Africa, Ltd for an adapted mail-order pharmacy (Benin & more)
- Make Every Woman count (MEWC) for empowering African women and girls through the use of online resources (all nations)
- CINETCORE for the VENAME Platform that aims to promote, management and sale of African cc TLDs through mobile payment (Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and Mali)
Below is the presentation of the MEWC initiative :
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.
For a long time, there have been certain words, such as [Arabic greetings] “Salam alaykum” or “hamdu’llah”, which everyone could understand, even though they are not part of the French language. Nowadays, we are witnessing a new wave of words of African origin (black and Maghreb, among others), which fit well into the language spoken by many young people, whether they are originally from Africa or from Europe. As surprising as it may seem, this “enrichment” comes from the “bzèze” (breasts) of their mothers. Since most of them incorporate words spoken in the mother language of their parents.
This is a common language created in the 1980s, which is based on French, incorporating parts of the many vernacular languages found in our country. Poorly-educated youths in Abidjan, who had not learned French well, had to invent a language which incorporated their various dialects. So, this language was associated with the image of juvenile delinquents. This can be seen in its etymology: The word “nou”, in the language of the Malinké ethnic group, in the north part of Côte d’Ivoire, means “the nose”. Meanwhile, the word “chi” means “hair”. The conjunction “Nouchi” means “moustache”, in reference to moustachioed thugs whom everyone was afraid of. Today, in Abidjan, “Nouchi” still means “a thug”.
For a long time, Nouchi was the preserve of street children, but later it managed to expand its presence, to the point that it is spoken today by all segments of the population. The President of the Republic himself is no exception. Nouchi has also been exported abroad, thanks to Ivorian Zouglou music, and thus it has reached the entire world.
Nadéra Bouazza explains what being “tchippée” [fr] means for french speaking black communities. Tchip is the sound one makes when he/she disapproves of the behavior/action of someone else (roughly similar to the “shaking my head” internet slang). The “Tchip” sound is used across most black communities and has become an internet meme:
News Websites Rue89 and Basta Mag are indicted [fr] following charges by French investment and industrial holding group Bolloré over a report in which they implicate Bolloré [fr] in land grab activities [fr] in Africa. The report lists the group's activities in Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Politis, a weekly analysis website, reacted to the news on twitter :
Liberté de la presse : Basta ! et Rue 89 mis en examen suite à une plainte du groupe Bolloré: Nos amis de Bast… http://t.co/alwE9XJBwU
— Politis (@Politis_fr) August 2, 2013
Freedom of Press : Basta ! and Rue89 are indicted following charges by Bolloré Group : Our friends at Basta…
Rue89 is a partner of Global Voices en Français.
Ivorian citizens have created a cartoon character named Délestron (délestage means blackouts in french). Delestron has also its own facebook page which has gather more than 5,000 fans since its creation in March of 2013. Ivorian twitter user Lord225 posted a picture from his account:
— Lord225 (@Lord225) May 16, 2013
Yesterday, Delestron delivered a major strike again. A masterful one indeed.
Dapa Arnaud gives a list of the 10 most active african presidents [fr] on social media. At the top of the list is president Paul Kagame in Rwanda:
In place since 2003, the president of Rwanda is the most active on the internet. According to the Ecofin agency, Paul Kagame interacts with many users on Twitter through his account @PaulKagame. His personal website named “The Journey Continues, Dukomeze Imihigo” is also one of the most visited websites in the country. His presence is also quite strong on other social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, Flickr or YouTube.
What if the football history of Côte d'Ivoire was doomed in a particularly strange way? A story written in such a way that superstars cannot ever put their hands on the continental trophy ? What exactly do Didier Drogba and Laurent Poku lack to win a Africa Cup? They are both talented [..] but they fail where other less talented players have found success.
“@diabyMohamed: #drameplateau I have just been arrested by the police for our citizen action to provide helping hand to victims in cote d'ivoire…
with @cyriacgbogou who spent the night at the police crime unit of plateau
Humanitarian bloggers Mohamed Diaby and Cyriac Gbogou wrote on twitter that they were put under arrest on January 4th for allegedly interfering with disaster recovery and fraud attempt while trying to help organize support for the victims of the stampede on new year day in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
Tree trunks laying on the road seem to have triggered the stampede that killed 60 and injured 49 during a new year celebration in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The fact that the area was not adequately lighted may have contributed to the terrible tragedy.
Israel Yoroba in Abidjan reports on a lethal stampede [fr] as people gathered to watch fireworks at the Plateau district to ring in the new year. A hashtag #drameplateau was set up to give real time updates and on how one can help the victims. This is the third disaster of this kind since 2009 [fr] in Côte d'Ivoire.
Ivorian and Russian Bloggers Make Light of the Electoral Fiasco for the Presidency of the French Conservative Party
Ivorians should abstain from bombing the Head Quarters of the UMP (The main Conservative Party) in France and help them move forward with the recount.
Notre Vision in Côte d'Ivoire draws a humourous parallel [fr] between the fiasco during the latest election [fr] to select the new leader of the UMP party in France and the post-electoral crisis in Côte d'Ivoire in 2010-11. La Voix de Russie in Russia cheekily observes that France might need some election observers from China or Russia [fr] to make sure there are no fraud during the next electoral process.
Upon hearing that a government reshuffle [fr] will be announced today at 12h30 local time, blogger MacMady invites her readers to speculate on who stays and who will be let go [fr]. The government is also engaged in a vigorous debate on social networks [fr] on multiple office tenures by political leaders.
Seven African nations of ECOWAS namely Nigeria, Senegal, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire and Togo have agreed with Malian government [fr] to send 3,300 soldiers a year to Northern Mali to take back control of northern Mali from Islamist fighters. Other nations outside the ECOWAS might also send in troops.
S.B comments on the start of health workers’ indefinite strike in Abidjan. On Connection Ivorienne, he states [fr] that:
From the total no-fees for healthcare initiated by the state of Côte d'Ivoire after the end of the post-electoral crisis to free selected healthcare services, employees of certain health institutions have yet to receive their salary in a regular manner. What's worse is that their manager did not get any payments for the past 16 months.
The Confederation of African football adopted a shameful regulation during its general meeting on Monday, September 3, 2012, stipulating that only members of the Executive Committee may run for President of the governing body of African football. A settlement which eliminates, in theory, the main competitor of Issa Kilipytiboe from the next scheduled election in March 2013, Ivorian Jacques Anouma.
Frederick Gore Djo Bi wrote [fr] on africavox.com about the rise of racism against black Africans in Tunisia. In his post, Bi quotes a testimony of Fabien Siei, an Ivorian engineering student living in Tunisia since 2007 [fr]:
Not a day goes by without a black African suffering from racial abuse. The most often-used insult is “Guira Guira,” which, according to some means in a local dialect “big monkey”. For many Tunisians, we black Africans are savages.
Bernard Assandé narrates the latest attack [fr] on the Force Républicaine de la Côte d'Ivoire (FRCI, the national army of Côte d'Ivoire) in Dabou on August 15. The army regained control of the city after a night of confrontation. On August 6, 7 people were killed in Abidjan [fr] after similar attacks. Fighting were also reported on August 13 in the Pehkan Military Barracks close to the Liberian Border.
In Abidjan, Cyriac Gbogou introduces on his blog [fr] the citizen collaborative project Civroute [fr] that he co-founded. This online plateform will collect information sent by car drivers on the state of road circulation and potential traffic jams on the ivorian avenues via SMS, Twitter or Facebook.
Honoré Kouassi wrote [fr] on the webpage of L'intelligent d'Abidjan: “African countries, particularly those of Sub-Saharan African, are not shielded from the financial crime that has developed over the past ten years in various forms. This crime is a danger, not only for the economic and financial system, but for political and social stability in the states as well.”
Suy Kahofi writes [fr] on Africa Vox about free medical care in Cote d'Ivoire : “The completely free care has, certainly, relieved the people, but it has been marred by problems : shortages in the supply of drugs, lack of nursing staff… The health professionals themselves do not seem to be convinced that care should be completely free, because it results in abuses…”
Following moves by ECOWAS (The Economic Community of West African States) to defend democracy in West Africa Rumbidzai argues that Southern Africa needs an ECOWAS: “The Southern African Development Committee [Community] (SADC) on the other hand has increasingly displayed its inadequacy to address similar issues. In 2008 when Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe lost an election to Morgan Tsvangirai and the subsequent runoff was marred by horrendous violence, SADC did not make a firm decision to respect the people’s choice.”
Suy Kahofi wrote on mondoblog [fr] regarding the atmosphere in Senegalese polling stations in the capital of Côte d’Ivoire: “This voting process has been, above all, a time of reunion for Senegal nationals living in Côte d'Ivoire, and the good-natured atmosphere seen outside the polling stations has also been felt within.”
Reacting on an article about the spread of cybercrime in Côte d'Ivoire on abidjan.net , Moussa Delafontaine Coulibaly shares his own experience with cybercrime [fr]: “[I think] that these [cybercriminals] ought to be tracked down and persecuted. Because of them, my Paypal account has been blocked since last December and I do not dare to make any purchases online anymore. “
Kouamouo writes that the ICC has issued a warrant today to arrest former Ivorian president Gbagbo [fr]. In the comment section, Akpe wonders why Gbagbo has to be sent to Europe and not tried in Côte d’Ivoire.
Kingsuy blogging from Côte d'Ivoire writes in this post [fr]: “Fad or symbol of unconsciousness of some mothers? Either way, it is difficult to figure why so many young pregnant women are still drinking so much while attending “maquis” (local eatery); but many of them will still find a way to convince you that this is no big deal”
Kanigui writes [fr] in his blog Actu et Opinion: “Living in certain districts of Abidjan means accepting that there will be no running water from time to time. The inhabitants of Koumassi Remblais, Cocody Angré, or even Yopougon Ananeraie go frequently through the agony of reduced water pressure or outright shortages .”
Gamelmag blogs about the use of social media for citizen engagement in West Africa: “Government-to-citizen engagement- Ghana's Constitution Review Committee put together various channels such as Facebook, Twitter and SMS to collate views from individuals as part of the country's constitutional review process.”