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Quick Reads + Cote d'Ivoire

Media archive · 172 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Cote d'Ivoire

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 :

 

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.  

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

  

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.

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

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.  

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 :

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.

The Influence of Francophone Africa on the French Language

The news site Afrik.com features an article on the way in which African slang has influenced the French language [fr], and informs us that Verlan is no longer a preferred language of rappers :

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.

For example, Ivorians have invented a slang called Nouchi [fr]. On his blog, Behem writes in his article “Top 10 most-common expressions in Nouchi” [fr] :

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.

Tchip: The “Shaking My Head” Meme from Africa

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:

Will Smith as the animated illustration of the sound "Tchip" by the blog La Tchipie - Public Domain

Will Smith as the animated illustration of the sound “Tchip” by the blog La Tchipie – Public Domain

 

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