I’m a journalist who came to Ivory Coast for a short time and ended up staying five years. Sadly, I’m no longer there but with a house and citizenship in Abidjan I hope to continue blogging about all things Ivorian from overseas.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s good to find something to read that actually about Ivorian culture. I look forward to you next post. I’m planning to move there in the next few years and I’m trying to learn as much as possible. I will continue to keep in touch.
I like drogba is shap sraiker
Hi. I am interested in knowing about this country. People say Ivorian do not welcome strangers. Is this true or what are your own experiences. There is a big debate about a 50 plus bed room hospital being built by Dedeh Drogba as a will of thanking his people for their support , is this story reliable. Thanks.
Thanks for your questions. I think the crisis has given Cote d’Ivoire a bad name. A taxi driver in Freetown recently asked me a similar question: Is it true that Ivorians are racist? I will try and write a blog post about this. There were times of anti-foreigner protests in Ivory Coast during the crisis, sadly something used by politicians, largely on the Gbagbo side. It comes mainly from the large number of non-Ivorians in the country (25%) which in particular creates tensions around land ownership. But things have changed a lot with the new government, and as mentioned above there are large foreign communities that live well. The culture is very accessible for other French-speakers from elsewhere because of the widespread use of French as a first language. There are no restrictions on foreigners owning homes etc.
As for Drogba, indeed he has built a hospital in Abidjan, and has plans for more. It has taken a while to open, but I think it is almost ready.
Dear Ivory Coast journalist,
I came across your blog with comments about my husband’s book. It was interesting and encouraging so I’m wondering if you would consider cutting and pasting some of it and posting it as a review on http://www.amazon.com and http://www.amazon.co.uk ?
Philip is a good writer but terrible at marketing his book. We have sold well over three thousand copies in spite of that. Several hundred people have emailed him or sent handwritten messages after reading it so I’m contacting a few of them to ask them to kindly post some of their comments on Amazon!
If you could find time to do so I’d be very grateful.
Best wishes and many thanks
PS Please note that my email address is not tesco but tsco.org! It stands for the Seed Company.
No problem, I’ll try and do that now.
what’s the name of the book that your husband write?
“No Ordinary Book” by Philip Saunders. Available from Amazon, both Kindle and hard copy.
Dear Ivory Coast journalist,
I am very glad to find a blog like this. I am from China but currently in Lagos Nigeria, my company will relocate me to Ivory coast next year so i am looking forward to that.
am in Abidjan now, but my holiday ends tomorrow. I want to first comment on your post on taxis here. First, full disclosure: I am white, have been here for only a week, my first time, I speak minimum of French, I have taken a taxi only 8 trips 2 were by myself and 6 accompanied by a hotel staff member. The experiences and expense of almost, but not quite all of them, vastly exceed your modest, gentle descriptions, in almost every way. I took both kinds of taxis, red-orange and private. No doubt you are hastening to ask for further details to modify and moderate my implications. However, suffice for this topic, which only you will read, is that the first time visit or of my type should be prepared psychologically, and especially for security concerns, when spending time in Abidjan outside the hotel gates and guards. And finally bring a rain poncho.
Hi Thomas. Thanks for your comments. Good tip on the poncho – it definitely rains a lot from May to September, especially in June & July. With regards to taxi prices, I’m looking to see where I might have given prices on the blog, but can’t see anything. I believe you were staying in Angre, which is a very long trip from the airport, and so that would have been at the upper end of prices, especially if you were around rush-hour. Traffic in Angre is terrible, so taxi drivers would be wanting to charge more because of the trouble of getting anywhere else. Also, bear in mind that I just visit Abidjan occasionally now as work has taken me elsewhere.
You are probably right that visitors to Abidjan should be prepared, and that I write this blog as someone who lived for five years in Abidjan (2007-2012) and am now a naturalised Ivorian, so have a different experience interacting with people than someone newly arrived. I know for instance that others coming to West Africa from elsewhere (notably other parts of Africa) find people more ‘aggressive’, which is not something I’d understood until recently.
Happy to communicate by email, and I’ve sent you a mail. Would be interesting to hear about your experiences.