It’s been a while since I last added something to this series (and it’s not even the weekend), but here are a few things off the top of my head;
– the baccalaureate exams are approaching as I know too well in my house. As ever, the government promises to clamp down on cheating, but usually stories of abuse are very common. Couldn’t the social media be used to combat this sort of thing? It seems to be the sort of place where there’s a communication problem – most people have an idea which examination centres have problems, while pupils openly watch teachers help students cheat. Some sort of coordination website/number with filmed footage etc could be very powerful in marking out the cheats. At the moment, most parents/students just don’t know where to turn.
– project management for the diaspora. Which Ivorians (not involved in politics and shady business deals) have plenty of money to invest? Answer – the diaspora. And they frequently want to invest ‘back home’ to either get something going for their wider family, prepare for retirement, or profit from the decent returns you can get here. What’s the problem? Many get ripped off by cheats (and we’re often talking about members of their own family). So, set-up a platform that helps manage off-the-shelf investments projects here – e.g. managing taxis, rubber plantations and rental properties. Prove yourself to have complete integrity and transparency – and word of mouth should do your promotion. Just make sure you reduce your risks by keeping out of family disputes.
– platform to share good contacts – residents of most cities in the world need advice on where to get a good plumber, mechanic or electrician. Unlike many Western countries through, Ivory Coast has very little in the way of regulation and few punishments for the dodgy repair man. I’ve repeatedly seen very poor work being done (not sure if it’s on purpose to get business in two months time when it breaks or a result of a lack of training). When you’re on your fifth painter, plumber, carpenter, you generally have a good person – but how about a site that helped you share this information? You could also make an income by offering advertising for the small trades.
– An optional extra for this site or a separate project could be a pricing website. Prices are frequently opaque and there’s little published information out there. Take the ‘vidange’ which you have to do to your car every now and again (I think it’s a change of oil and filters). This has a fairly set charge, and yet people frequently pay two or three times the real price because someone in the chain is ripping you off. People don’t have the time to find out the real price, but if there was a site that shared all this information, we could avoid such problems. Even with regards to where the cheapest bag of Uncle Sam rice is being sold in Abidjan or the current price of a kilo of aubergines at Adjame market.