With hindsight, it was a bad move leaving Abidjan this morning, just hours before the latest TedX event. Then again, it seems to be generally a busy time in Abidjan so it’s hard not to miss things. In the week I caught the Journees NTIC (‘new information communication technology days’) at Hotel Ivoire (I gave a couple of presentations on photography and multimedia), I had a look around new expositions at the Cecile Fakhoury and Rotonde galeries, I attended the carnavelsque start to the Afrik UrbanArts festival at the Institut Goethe, caught Yehni Djidji’s Livresque event (literature discussion afternoon), and attended the Connectic event (discussion with Senegalese startups).
A longer list could be made of the activities I missed in the week including Franck Baye’s fashion event (Back Stage), attending the cinema (including the newly opened Majestic 3D Cinema at Hotel Ivoire), a colloque on the church and political elections, slavery memorial events organised by the Association for Antillais and Guyanais, new works at the Fondation Donwahi and Basquiat galleries, a book dedication ceremony, and concerts by Manu Gallo at Parker Place. In short there’s a lot going on, and as a new father living away from my family for most of the time, I had to balance events, friends and spending time at home.
With the TedX and the subsequent AfDB annual general meetings, there’s a certain buzz at the moment in Abidjan. The newly refurbished AfDB headquarters looks like it’ll be quite special once open. Note everyone is upbeat – water and electricity was cut several times in the week in my area, electricity bills are going up, traffic can be bad, and there’s still a litter problem, but enough seems to be going right to make it an exciting place to be.