Ivory Coast

Abidjan (AFP) “Drones have become my passion,” says Noursely Doumbia, who holds a degree in electronics and is currently learning to pilot drones as part of a pioneering programme in Ivory Coast’s economic capital Abidjan. The training is being offered at a new “drone academy” which has been set up by the Ivorian Electricity Company (CIE) in order to revolutionise the inspection of its infrastructure and ultimately to reduce costs. Although common in Europe, the use of drones is still in its infancy in West Africa although the commercial marketRead More
Abidjan (AFP) Ivory Coast’s ruling coalition won an overwhelming victory Saturday in the country’s first senatorial elections, which were boycotted by the opposition who have accused the electoral commission of bias. The Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) coalition took 50 of the 66 seats contested, according to a tally compiled by AFP from results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission. President Alassane Ouattara will appoint a further 33 senators. The opposition had called for a reform of the commission and for all votes — including future municipalRead More
Abidjan (AFP) The World Bank will provide Ivory Coast $1 billion for development, in particular to help it get more value out of its agricultural exports, a top official for the bank’s Africa region has said. Of that figure, $300 million would be set aside for the cocoa industry while another $200 million would be ploughed into cashew nut production, said Makhtar Diop, vice president of the World Bank’s Africa region. Ivory Coast is the world’s top cocoa-producing nation and the second largest producer of raw cashews. It currently exportsRead More
Abidjan (AFP) Riot police in Ivory Coast on Thursday arrested protestors and fired teargas to prevent an opposition demonstration from going ahead, AFP journalists said. The opposition coalition Together for Democracy and Sovereignty (EDS) called the march to protest against the electoral commission which it accuses of political bias. It comes ahead of senatorial elections on Saturday, with municipal and regional polls due later in 2018 ahead of presidential elections in 2020. Police used tear gas and arrested around a dozen demonstrators who were heading towards the starting point ofRead More
Abidjan (AFP) Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure said on Thursday he won’t play for the Ivory Coast during the international break due to “family reasons”. The 34-year-old will miss Friday’s friendly with Togo and the game against Moldova on Monday in France despite having come out of international retirement last December. “Sadly, I will not be able to take part in Ivory Coast’s matches during the international week. My family needs me at this moment and I hope the fans will understand,” Toure wrote on Twitter. “I wish the teamRead More
Abidjan (AFP) Very modern tales of religious intolerance, Islamist terrorism and illegal immigration are being heard as African story-tellers tackle the burning issues of today far from the traditional bedtime stories for children. Story-telling had top billing this week at the 10th edition of the biannual Market for African Performing Arts, known by its French acronym MASA. About 1,000 artists from over 50 countries gathered in Ivory coast for a week-long festival of music, theatre, dance, comedy, slam poetry and story-telling that wrapped up Saturday. Francois Moise Bamba addressed religiousRead More
Divo (Ivory Coast) (AFP) Villagers in central Ivory Coast are savouring a rare victory after reaching a deal with a Canadian gold mine operator following a four-year battle for compensation that at times turned violent. Since it began operating in 2014, the Agbaou gold mine — which covers an area of 334 square kilometres (130 square miles), or nearly 10 times that of New York’s Central Park — has been hit by demonstrations by local people angered that they had not received money for the loss of lands used forRead More
Abidjan (AFP) A former defence chief for the Ivory Coast’s ousted leader was sentenced to 15 years on Thursday for conspiring against the government, the latest top aide of the former regime to be jailed. Moise Lida Kouassi, a defence minister under strongman Laurent Gbagbo, was convicted by a court in Abidjan of “conspiring to destroy or change the constitutional system” alongside three other defendants. Gbagbo was forced out after months of violence that followed his refusal to step down when rival Alassane Ouattara won elections in November 2010. AtRead More
Abidjan (AFP) At the age of 39, Didier Drogba is in the twilight years of a glittering football career that has spanned two decades and six countries and brought him a harvest of trophies. Such moments are typically occasions of nostalgia, even sadness, for many ageing football greats. But, in an interview with AFP, Drogba showed he was brimming with passion — launching a school project for Ivory Coast’s disadvantaged young and fiery about the underperforming state of the national football team. “I say to young people who want toRead More
Abidjan (AFP) There’s nothing covert about Roxy — a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world’s poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast’s main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. “The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines,” said Mariam, one of the many mainly illiterate vendors who hawk everythingRead More