Monthly Archives: January 2012

Cocoa reforms – transparency and good governance

A few more details on the cocoa reforms were announced this week with the appointment of the leadership team for the new governing structure, the Coffee and Cocoa Council. I was particularly interested by the agriculture minister’s comments on transparency. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics | 3 Comments

Relations with France

Like them or loathe them, it’s not hard to understand the Ivorian attachment to the French. It’s all well and good to talk up the benefits of working with a broad range of partners (something I think Ivory Coast seems … Continue reading

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It’s been a while since I’ve been at the presidential palace in Abidjan, but I was taken aback yesterday by the huge amount of hangers-on, protocol agents, etc. that tag along at these ceremonies. It’s incredible that at the very … Continue reading

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Atomic umbrellas

The headline news in the papers yesterday was that the higher education minister has announced plans to abolish the ‘atomic umbrella’. What, I asked a friend of mine who has just finished public university, is a ‘parapluie atomique’? Apparently, in … Continue reading

Posted in Education | Leave a comment

High-level security

Ivorian state television’s evening news closed its coverage of Hilary Clinton’s brief visit with biting criticism of Clinton’s security detail, which – as always these visits – alienates the local press, keeps them about 200m away from the action and … Continue reading

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Ideas for the weekend: Abidjan Lumieres

The Abidjan Christmas lights display goes into its official last week in what to almost all accounts has been a great success (bar those who think the lights seem close to free-masonary symbols). While most cities have festive light displays, … Continue reading

Posted in Tourism | 1 Comment


It’d been several months since I’ve been whistled down by policemen here in Abidjan but on my first night out in the city in 2012 there did seem to be a good number of police out after hours. After cutting … Continue reading

Posted in Culture | 3 Comments

Creative & Tech resolutions 2012

I’ll spare you my own personal new year’s resolutions (which run to four pages), but I do have a few ambitions for the creative and tech scenes here that I thought might encourage the community. So, here are my ambitions … Continue reading

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Carlaliegate and copyright

A campaign is building steam in Ivory Coast to correct a wrong created by the so-called Carlalie-gate scandal. Audrey Carlalie is a young Ivorian photographer (and a friend of mine), who published some great images of the firework display in … Continue reading

Posted in Culture | 4 Comments