Ivory Coast

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
Abidjan (AFP) Economic growth in Africa picked up steam last year and is set to accelerate strongly in 2018, but “massive investments” are needed in infrastructure, the African Development Bank (ADB) said Wednesday. Growth in Africa rose from 2.2 percent in 2016 to 3.6 percent in 2017 and is likely to rise to 4.1 percent in 2018 and 2019, the ADB said in its annual report, African Economic Outlook. “Overall, the recovery in growth has been faster than envisaged, especially among non-resource–intensive economies, underscoring Africa’s resilience,” it said. “The recoveryRead More
Abidjan (AFP) A key figure in the security apparatus that underpinned Ivory Coast’s ousted leader was jailed for 10 years for taking part in an alleged plot to overthrow his successor. Major Jean-Noel Abehi was a right-hand man to former president Laurent Gbagbo, who was ousted in 2011 after a bloody post-electoral crisis. Abehi was given a 10-year term on Thursday for “plotting against the authority of the state,” an AFP reporter at the court in Abidjan saw. According to the charge sheet, Abehi took part in meetings in GhanaRead More
Abidjan (AFP) A former Ivorian minister was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for complicity in a 2012 attack in western Ivory Coast that killed 18 people, including seven UN peacekeepers. Hubert Oulaye, 64, ex-public works minister under former president Laurent Gbagbo, “provided the financial means to establish a rebellion in the west” of the country, the attorney general said. “The accomplice is sometimes more dangerous than the perpetrator,” she added. Oulaye dismissed the verdict as a “political conviction” and returned home while his lawyers vowed to appealRead More
Abidjan (AFP) Thirty-five years after the start of the AIDS epidemic, one person in two in sub-Saharan Africa “does not know their HIV status,” according to a French expert. “Testing remains insufficient in west Africa and central Africa,” public health demographer Joseph Larmarange told AFP in an interview at an AIDS prevention conference in Abidjan. – Why are screenings a challenge? – “Testing is the cornerstone of our response to AIDS, because once people get tested and are found to be positive, we can refer them to medical care andRead More
Abidjan (AFP) Angry AIDS activists are urging western and central Africa to step up the fight against HIV, saying millions of people, especially children, are at risk from complacency and underfunding. A six-day conference in Africa has thrown a stark light on the problems in a region whose two dozen nations extend from Mauritania in the north to Gabon in the south, and include some of the poorest countries in the world. Coalition Plus, an alliance of AIDS groups, said AIDS-related deaths in western and central Africa are running atRead More