Friday, December 10, 2010

Will power sharing work in Côte d'Ivoire? 10 critical questions.

Elections for the presidential run off took place in Côte d'Ivoire on Sunday the 28th of November. A curfew was set in place two days before. It is the 10th of November today. What the country has is double of what they voted for: 2 Presidents, 2 Prime Ministers, 2 Parallel governments and 2 electoral authorities. Add the curfew to all of that!

The doubles run deep. In the physical layout of the country itself, in its media, in the administration and within the population. Hardly can you see a neutral Ivorian on the street these days. The Twitter platform that was overtaken by the #civ2010 tweets is also running viral between two extremes. The "objective" tweets are getting rare.

So Mbeki has come and gone. The United Nations, the African Union, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, The Africa-Caribbean-Pacific organisation,the Economic Community of West African States and a host of international financial institutions have made their declarations and have all called for this or that.

Are issues getting sorted out? Is the situation seeing the end of the tunnel? Are the fuzzy areas getting cleared? I cannot say. What we have now is talk of a "unity government", a power sharing government or a national unified government.

For me, here are a few questions that are begging answers..

  1. There have been instances in Zimbabwe and Kenya. Do we have an instance in Africa with the French-speaking countries?
  2. Will the opinion of the voters/population count?
  3. What arrangement will there be for the armed men (since women do not join the army in the country as of now)?
  4. Will this power-sharing be facilitated? If yes, by who?
  5. What will this mean for the electoral commission and the constitutional council? Will they share power too?
  6. In the other elections that follow, if the same "presidential condition" arises, will power sharing also be the option?
  7. Will this hasten or lengthen the peace process in the country or not?
  8. Will the HIPC (Highly Indebted Poor Countries) debt cancellation come through?
  9. Will this power-sharing become a trend in Africa, with the host of elections scheduled for the next years?
  10. To whom will power ultimately be given to? Knowing fully well that in both power sharing instances, ultimate power finally came down to one of the parties.

Just asking...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Understanding the Cote d'Ivoire crisis through the figures

I am trying to make a head out of all the haze around the elections. Here is what I am doing here.
  1. I took the results of the first round. This one was the 'darling'. It was proclaimed by the Commission Electorale Indépendente - CEI, confirmed by the Conseil Constitutionel - CC, certified by the United Nations Chief, and applauded by the whole world. So I figured this one will be the basis since everyone accepted it.
  2. I am looking at the results that have been declared final by the CC. They are on this link.
  3. Then the one by the CEI which is here.

Here is what I am seeing in this juxtaposition:

  1. Number of registered voters. In the first round it was 5 784 490. In the second round, the CEI has the same figures. The CC has 5 725 721. That is a difference of 58 769.
  2. Total number of votes. In the first round it was 4 843 445. For the second round, the CEI has 4,689,321 and the CC has 4 081 765. The difference is 697 556
  3. Invalid votes. For the first round, the total was 225 624 which was 4.66%. For the second round, a lot of ease was given to voters. What we have now is CEI: 101,476 and CC: 88 556. The difference here is 12 920
  4. Number of valid votes. For the first round we had 4 617 821. For the second we have from CEI: 4,657,614 and CC: 3 993 209. The difference here is 664 405
  5. Percentage of voter turn out. For the first round we had: 83.73%. What I see here in the second round is CEI: 80.19% and CC: 71.28%
  6. Results: In the first round, the 3 major candidates totaled 95.35% in the following order Gbagbo: 38.04%, Ouattara 32.07% and Bedié 25.24%.
  7. Alliances. Bedié rallied behind Ouattara. So did Mabri Toikeuse who earned 2.57% and two others. Gbagbo received support from some candidates of the first round.

The results of this second round as we have now is:

CEI, certified by UN:

Ouattara: Winner
Number of votes: 2 521 450
Percentage of votes: 54.14%

Gbagbo: loser
Number of votes: 2 136 149
Percentage of votes: 45.86%


Gbagbo: Winner
Number of votes: 2 054 537
Percentage: 51.45%

Ouattara: loser
Number of votes: 1 938672
Percentage of votes: 48.55%

On canceled votes.

I have heard conflicting reports on areas where votes where canceled. The CEI did not cancel any departments or regions. But the CC canceled votes within some departments in 3 regions. I am taking a look at those departments, especially trying to compare the trends of the first round.

Gbagbo Ouattara
Region Dept 1st Round 2nd Round 1st Round 2nd Round
Savanes Boundiali 5263 5880 42838 51140
Ferké 3032 2774 71082 84153
Korhogo 10110 11135 126646 154890
V Bandama Bouaké 13899 22845 83059 136943
Dabakala 1747 1803 26804 34398
Katiola 5342 6079 28895 38416
Worodougo Seguéla 2444 2002 37406 44552

This is a quick attempt to make a note for myself. I will come back and read the blog and maybe I can make analyses.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Interest in the Ivory Coast explodes on the Internet

Yesterday was a phenomenal day in Côte d'Ivoire. Millions of Ivorians were waiting for the announcement of the presidential run-off elections. Many had kept vigil the night before waiting for same results. The tension was almost palpable.. I took time to note the people using the hashtag #civ2010 on Twitter to comment the events.


The Electoral Commission President announces results suddenly. In the minutes that followed, the President of the Constitutional Council appears on TV to invalidate the announcement. National media does not give an echo to the results pronounced. International media fires it up!

The national audio visual authority announces the suspension of most of the international media that relayed the results.. Then follows the army to announce that the borders, ports and airport are all shut down until further notice.

And the #civ2010 on Twitter increases like wild fire! In the previous blog, I had some 140 users. In 24 hours, I have more than the double. So here is to the #civ2010 people.

@ADO__Solutions @ConseilEnter @jess @phenotwit
@2romeo @cool_isack @jeune_afrique @PierreBoisselet
@5_Star_Dancer @cote_ivoire_10 @jkokolouis @pierredrevon
@7Jdam @cotedivoirevote @joelassoko @Pousky34
@aba78 @couleurkf @jpehouman @QuinteEssence
@ABezardin @Coxxi_Ka @jpeyron @Radio_Africa1
@abidjan_net @croth53 @Kamanzibony @rbamba
@abracabra1 @cuisineanxious @kanazan @rbamba
@adikouadio @cyriacgbogou @kanosouley @RFI_Francais
@africamedia_CPJ @Dalou_Gouto @KapseeK @RichardBuangan
@africatechie @danieleseignot @karamalet @RTI_Officiel
@ags_blog @ddarave @Kasbig @ryerbanga
@AhoumaWilliam @ddcabobo @KatieS @S0ul3
@akandewa @dembagueye @katsuiro @sacregis
@akwedo @Deusking @KirAfrique @sameganegie
@AmericaGovFr @diabymohamed @koskoryma @samsmoop
@Androsvacuna @dickc @kotch73 @Samuel_Lafont
@annagueye @Dipupa @kouamouo @Sanders225
@AnnaIvory @djibrilkonetwt @koumamahamadou @sanjnapatel89
@annayanna2010 @DjWiky @kouya @SarahBaudoa
@anti_gbagbo @dogothetrue @krisskanak @SenamBeheton
@arKeipos @eallogo @ladvocatus @Sessa06
@arnaudcontreras @eliaws @Lagoyu @sevensad80
@arolove06 @elicoopter_afr @lamoufle @Simon_2T
@ARSParis @eliepatrigeon @Larbi_org @SirDarlington
@ATL_SkillZ @Eltomo223 @leboncharly @sixtem63
@atteby @ermartinfr @LEMECTIMIDE @Skyy1712
@attou_225 @Essoh @lemondefr @solofo
@au_gbata @ETAMBA @LeNouvelObs @sonjasugira
@avecado @ettiboa @lesoir @spysamy
@avenue225 @Eurabia @lionelchobli @stefanmeisel
@ayakouassi @euronews @Liveben @stephaaniee20
@babanguidana @exmuros @LoudL @StevenJambot
@banjini @fabricezag @lsaman @studioprodim
@baroquefatigue @fafaex @MacJordaN @Suchablog
@basileniane @farafinet @macmady @sultankech
@baybou1 @FASHIZBLACK_Mag @mamet_kag @susperctn
@belle_deux_fois @Fasokan @mamsthiam @sybechir
@Belligiani @fbouare @Manubrookings @SYC31
@bembelly @felixbriaud @marckhod @teteenyon
@BeninGateway @fokebowo @MaryMary225 @ThatGirlN
@bglossy @france24 @matkonan @theliane
@bienmalacquit @France24_fr @maynalysa @TherealthreeM
@bloggersn @franceonu @mefonga @TheShid
@blogsolidaires @Francois_Bougon @mekyl_web @thierry_ratsiz
@blz2002 @Frederictape @melmodeste_ci @TiTeFLeUR
@boua_7 @FreeBEEz @Menilmuche @tohouri
@broshing @furiatito @miezanezo @tommymiles
@brucebanter @gabnorev @Mika_Wheels @toussine
@byby__ush @gauch0bot @MisterKD @twitafrika
@bzkdjc @Gbagbolaurent @MKasH225 @usnico
@Camso2010 @GhislainLambert @moalla @vincentduhem
@capone30 @Gigi_237RMD @modem @voxafrica
@cartunelo @Gilles_W @monkeydubious @vwyeth
@ceddoo @gloriamika @MouhamedSY @WattaVX
@CFD7 @gmignot @MrMaith @Weloje73
@Chabalis @gouaf @MrZou @wilfriedn
@Chabalis @Heeyva @NICOLAS_NEGOCE @wonzomai
@champico @heideger2010 @nicomedbxl @yapadra
@ChantalBiya @hofrench @nightsnake1975 @Yetenba
@chantalrebelle @hohiere @njomomojojojo @yojedesign
@charleskci @Hopscotch_D @nnenna @yoroba
@ChawkiGhassani @hudin @ocomar @YoungMaSS
@Chris_soFly @Hugothecatalyst @okibat @ziadmaalouf
@chrissyll @ibdlike @olvem @zinebdryef
@Christian_Douti @imaki @onafrica @zionnegus
@christreporter @IshyArt @ourmaninafrica @zwanbourg
@Chroland @isi225 @pacteau
@chuck_carter @ismaelromaric @PaixCIV
@civ2010 @IvoireDiaspo @pandaka36
@cjrichie007 @Jahrow @Panoptique
@CLunang @jazzyy @Parti_Socialist
@coastalpastor @jbgauvin @patageron
@codip @jeanettemallet @PaulLarraouturou
@connectionivoir @jeanschweppes @pdrevon

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Twitter people of #CIV2010

Since the last week of October, the Ivorian network of what may be called 'concerned net citizens' have been sending out tweets under the #CIV2010 hashtag. Who are they?

Well, discover some of them.. list still under construction..

@ADO__Solutions @diabymohamed @macmady
@bzkdjc @dogothetrue @mamsthiam
@charleskci @eliaws @Manubrookings
@ETAMBA @elicoopter_afr @marckhod
@sacregis @eliepatrigeon @MaryMary225
@Sanders225 @Eltomo223 @Menilmuche
@Sessa06 @Essoh @MKasH225
@wonzomai @Eurabia @MKasH225
@yoroba @fabricezag @NICOLAS_NEGOCE
@abidjan_net @fafaex @nightsnake1975
@adikouadio @FASHIZBLACK_Mag @njomomojojojo
@adikouadio @Fasokan @nnenna
@africamedia_CPJ @fbouare @okibat
@africatechie @felixbriaud @ourmaninafrica
@AhoumaWilliam @france24 @PaixCIV
@akandewa @France24_fr @PaulLarraouturou
@Androsvacuna @franceonu @pdrevon
@AnnaIvory @furiatito @Pousky34
@au_gbata @gabnorev @Radio_Africa1
@avecado @Gbagbolaurent @rbamba
@avenue225 @heideger2010 @rbamba
@ayakouassi @imaki @RFI_Francais
@basileniane @IshyArt @RTI_Officiel
@bienmalacquit @IvoireDiaspo @S0ul3
@boua_7 @Jahrow @samsmoop
@broshing @jazzyy @SarahBaudoa
@brucebanter @jeune_afrique @Sessa06
@Camso2010 @jpehouman @sixtem63
@Camso2010 @jpeyron @spysamy
@cartunelo @kanazan @Suchablog
@ceddoo @kanosouley @teteenyon
@Chabalis @Kasbig @ThatGirlN
@champico @katsuiro @ThatGirlN
@ChawkiGhassani @katsuiro @theliane
@chrissyll @KirAfrique @tohouri
@Christian_Douti @koskoryma @toussine
@christreporter @kouamouo @twitafrika
@Chroland @koumamahamadou @vincentduhem
@civ2010 @kouya @voxafrica
@cjrichie007 @krisskanak @WattaVX
@codip @ladvocatus @Weloje73
@connectionivoir @Lagoyu @wilfriedn
@ConseilEnter @Larbi_org @yojedesign
@cote_ivoire_10 @leboncharly @YoungMaSS
@cotedivoirevote @lemondefr @zwanbourg
@cyriacgbogou @lesoir
@Dalou_Gouto @lsaman
@dembagueye @MacJordaN

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Ivorian presidential elections. Complete analysis of Diaspora votes

Laurent Gbagbo Allasane Ouattara Bedié
Country 1st Round 2nd Round 1st Round 2nd Round 1st Round
South Africa 165 173 107 142 36
Burkina Faso 330 305 433 592 109
Canada 335 404 279 366 117
Danemark 92 101 22 32 8
England 635 726 497 603 183
France 0 0 0 0 0
Germany 89 111 83 93 17
Ghana 264 298 162 235 89
Gabon 101 108 642 676 50
Guinea 233 219 254 287 43
Italy 456
Mali 213 238 636 736 88
Morocco 129 164 187 201 50
Senegal 442
Spain 57 76 195 187 30
Switzerland 153 175 76 117 74
Tunisia 134 157 123 197 83
USA 645 728 1513 1630 312

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Brou Aka Pascal: le débat d'une vie

Bébé: Mhmm. Donc finallement c'est lui ils ont prit
Mimi: Tu veux dire Brou Aka Pascal? C'est lui kê. Tu voulais que ça soit qui?
BB: Ils n'ont pas trouvé mieux?
MM: Comment ça “ils n'ont pas trouvé mieux”? Tu lui réproches quoi?
BB: Toi aussi, c'est comme si tu le connais pas?
MM: Je le connais kê. C'est un journaliste à la RTI. Il est là depuiiiisss
BB: En tout cas, s'il ne tenait qu'à moi, ce sera pas lui?
MM: Il t'a fait quoi?
BB: Je me souviens encore, aux prémières heures, il fait partie de ceux qui ont accusé les gens pour ne rien. Il a tenu des propos de la haine. Depuis là, moi, en tout cas je l'ai classé.
MM: C'est comme ça vous classer les gens cadeau. Donc un journaliste n'a plus droit à une opinion?
BB: Son opionion ne me regarde pas, mais il a tenu des propos à la Télé. Ce sont surtout ces propos là qui ont attisé et qui continuent à attiser la haine.
MM: Vraiment, toi je te comprends pas. Ce que vous voulez ce sont les gens qui vous disent ce que vous voulez entendre.
BB: Moi je ne lui ai riend demandé. Je dis que quand un journaliste parle à la Télé, il est obligé d'observer des règles de la déontologie.
MM: Et c'est toi qui connait droit, déontologie, ontologie, tous les logies quoi?
BB: C'est pas lui qui a fait le dernier interview de ADO? Tu n'a pas vu qu'à un moment il a mouillé? Il n'avait plus rien à dire?
MM: Il était modérateur, ce sont les autres qui posaient les questions!
BB: Ma chère, moi je dis, Laciné Fofana est mieux.
MM: Un Fofana? Vraiment.. donc c'est ça tu as pu trouvé?
BB: Oui, lui au moins, il dirige bien les débats.
MM: Donc c'est un Fofana que tu veux. Nous on veux une éthnie neutre dans cette affaire
BB: Ah bon? Donc toi tu classe les journalistes par éthnies? Je ne savais pas..
MM: C'est pas que je les classe par éthnie, je veux dire que dans ce genre de choses, mieux vaut prendre un journaliste qui n'est ni du nord, ni de l'ouest.
BB: Ah oo. Comme si lui là, on sait pas qu'il est pro un candidat?
MM: Depuis quand? D'où tu sors ça encore?
BB: Ma cherie on se connait ici ouais.
MM: Pardon laisse Brou Aka Pascal dans son coin. Franck Anderson Kouassi a dit qu'ils se sont consultés et ont trouvé un consensus..
BB: Qui et qui? Lui et Lanciné? Mhmm. Je suis sure qu'il a fait le coup de 'Jeune frère grand frère”
MM: Ma Chérie, il faut quand même reconnaitre qu'il est le Rédacteur en Chef de la 1ere. C'est pas seulement l'âge. C'est un Monsieur qui a duré dans le travail!
BB: Ah, si c'est ça, on aurait du prendre carrément le Directeur de la RTI en même temps!
MM: Toi aussi.
BB: Comment moi aussi? Comme on y va de Brou en Brou
MM: Et l'autre Brou, Felix?
BB: Non, lui il fait seulement du sport à la RTI
MM: Au moins il doit avoir l'esprit fair play..
BB: Ca va pas chez toi? Ce débat n'est pas un jeu. On est pas en ASEC-Africa là!
MM: Mais c'est tout comme. On donne des coûps et on en reçoit. Avec les fans qui s'affrontent..
BB: Tu n'a pas toute affaire tort! Surtout qu'il faut tirer au sort pour savoir le positionnement
MM: Positionnement par apport à quoi? Ou bien à qui?
BB: Au journaliste bien sur! Qui sera à sa gauche et qui sera à sa droite
MM: Comme quoi il est devenu le Bon Dieu quoi?
BB: Ma Chérie, pardon laissons Brou Aka Pascal. C'est le jour de son jour
MM: En tout cas, après ça il mettre en son CV “Modérateur du 1er débat présidentiel Ivoirien”
BB: Et alors?
MM: Mhmm. Tu sais, s'il fait bien on pourrait le nommer prochaine DG de la RTI
BB: Tchié toi aussi! C'est arrivé la bas?
MM: Ma chère, il aura devant lui ce soir, un Président, et un ancien Prémier Ministre.

Et surement le prochain président du pays!

En tout cas... affaire à suivre

Monday, November 8, 2010

West-Central Africa Division of Seventh-Day Adventists. Officers information: 2010 - 2015

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church

2010 — 2015

1. President - Gilbert Wari
2. Secretary - Onaolapo Ajibade
3. Associate Secretary - Sarah Opoku‐Boateng
4. Treasurer - Emmanuel S. Manu
5. Under Treasurer - Max Willy Langi
6. Adventist Moslem Relations and Global Mission Coordinator - Zakari Kassoule
7. Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries, Youth, and SOP Director - N. John Enang
8. Communication Director ( IDE )
9. Education Director - Chiemela N Ikonne
10. Education Associate Director - Lucie J Wari
11. Family Ministries Director - Jallah S. Karbah
12. Health Ministries Director - Ndaa
13. Ministerial Secretary and Strategic Planning Coordinator - Daniel Opoku‐Boateng
14. Publishing Ministries Director - Abraham Abaya
15. Sabbath School and Personal Ministries, and Evangelism Director - Elie D. Weick
16. Stewardship, Trust Services and Development Director - James Kwaku Badu
17. Women’s Ministries and Children’s Ministries Director - Omobonike Sessou

1. President: Valere Assembe Minyono'o
2. Secretary: Jean Didier Atoh
3. Treasurer: Jean Jean Bone

1. President Bassey Udoh
2. Secretary Kingsley Anonaba
3. Treasurer Emmanuel Manilla

1. President Oyeleke Owolabi
2. Secretary Ernest O. Okonkwo
3. Treasurer Markus Dangana

1. President Guy Fernand Roger
2. Secretary Salomon Grah Assienin
3. Treasurer Agabus

1. President James M. Golay
2. Secretary Joseph Conteh
3. Treasurer Philip Baffour‐Awuah

1. ________ ________
2. ________ ________
3. ________ ________
4. ________ ________

1. Vice Chancellor James A. K. Makinde
2. Senior Vice President Iheanyichukwu Okoro
3. Vice President, Strategy Olukunle Iyanda
4. Vice President, Student Development Janet O. Ola
5. Vice President, Finance Luke Onuoha

1. Vice Chancellor Daniel Buor
2. Registrar Okyere Darko Kwasi
3. Finance Officer Mathhew Annoh‐Appiah
4. Dean of Students, Emmanuel H. Takyi

1. Each Union provides one delegate regardless of the size
2. One additional member for every five hundred thousand (500,000) members or the major fraction
CAUM ‐ Laywoman ___________
ENUM ‐ Layman ___________
GUC ‐ Pastor and Male Youth ___________
NWNU ‐ Laywoman ___________
SUM ‐ Pastor ___________
WAUM ‐ Lay woman Nancy Bryant
3. All Union presidents and heads of institutions
4. All WAD Officers, directors and associates


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Here is a summary of key information concerning the first phase of the presidential elections in Côte d'Ivoire.

Name of Country: La Côte d'Ivoire
Location: West Africa.
Last elections: 2000
This election: Sunday, October 31, 2010
Voting for: President of the Republic
Organiser of this election: La Commission Electorale Independente. CEI
Total number of authorized polling stations: 20073
Number of effective polling stations: 19945
Total number of registered voters: 5,725,720
Number of effective voters: 4,837,579
Percentage of voter turnout: 84%
Void votes: 221,655


AKOTO Yao Felix: 4767 - 0.10%
ANAKY Kobenan Innocent: 10661 - 0.23%
BEDIE Konan Henri: 1,165,219 - 25.24%
DOLO Adma: 5,967 - 0.13%
ENOH Aka N'Douba: 5,311 - 0.12%
GBAGBO Laurent: 1,755,495 - 38.3%
GNAMIEN Konan: 17,151 - 0.35%
KONAN Kouadio Simeon: 12,355 - 0.27%
LOHOUES Jacqueline Oble: 12,233 - 0.27%
MABRI Toikeusse Albert: 118,664 - 2.57%
OUATTARA Allasane Dramane: 1,480,610 - 32.08%
TAGOUA Nynsemon: 11,672 - 0.25%
TOHOU Henri; 2,422- 0.05%
WODIE Francis: 13,387 - 0.29%

SECOND ROUND (Run off elections)

GBAGBO Laurent: 1,755,495 : 38.3%
OUATTARA Allasane Dramane: 1,480,610 : 32.08%


Note that these results will have to certified by the Constitutional Court before they can be upheld.


Twitter handle: #civ2010, #wonzomai #peacevote
For the photos:

For larger, specific results and in-depth analysis, contact @nnenna on Twitter
Info provided by, your multi-lingual development partners.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A vigil in honour of Los 33: The Chile miners.

It is 20:00 hours in Abidjan, today, Tuesday, October 12, 2010. I have just had dinner. I am going to have a bath then come back to the computer. I want to follow every inch of the 'unearthing of the los 33' whose images here I took from John's Labour blog.

Thirty three guys who have been underground for 69 days and nights! Two weeks after they were caved in, there were no contacts. Almost everyone had lost hope! And today, they will be coming back up!

I dont have any idea what these guys are going through, I only know that they will have a lot of stories to tell. And their families, and friends.. This is a one-in-a-lifetime experience.

I tell myself that after this, when finally they really die, their families will be able to say 'Oh, he has been lower than the grave before'

So why am I keeping a vigil in Abidjan for 33 guys who dont know me?

Here is the answer: humanity is one. The sufferings of one are the sufferings of the others. But most importantly these men have shown courage, patriotism, resilience and love!

These are values that are precious in all of humanity. And that is why over 700 media from the whole world over has also arrived to welcome them!


Can the French beat the Structural Adjustment Programme by striking

The heat is on in the whole of France. I mean we know those guys can strike.. but this time around the French people are really striking.

I have seen strikes in France. Employees who are striking against their management for salary increase or to demand one or more considerations are the workplace. Most recently the strikes were because of relocations, closures and mergers! This one, people were angry because they were losing their jobs. So they are striking 'to be able to remain on the job'.

But this one of this week, folks are striking to be able to "stop working".

And they are not striking against an employer, but against the government! No, in fact, it is against the law makers. The people voted to carry the voice of the people! C'est bizarre, non?

The bone of contention is retirement age. So far, it is retirement at 60. But the government is seeing that 'under the present circumstances' we can longer afford this. Why?

First because the older folks are living longer, thanks to good health care and increased life expectancy. So if a guy worked for 30 years, retires at 60 and lives to be 100, he will be on pension for 40 years!

The second reason is that the people to contribute to the pension system are getting less, thanks to reduced births and also emigration! Here is a government faced with a big chunk of its population getting older and not seeing the youth that will replace them... that will contribute into the social security so their pensions can be paid!

One other issue (Call it a reason if you please) is that the young people that France actually have are not the 'bons français' as a Minister called it recently.

So who is a good French? A good French is the one that is not of African origin, not of Maghrebin origin, not of Asian origin. If he is European, it should not be of the "roaming, wandering and nomadic" type.

I do not envy the French lawmakers. I dont envy the citizens either. I just feel pity for both. First they started hunting down people of the first group - people of African origin and started repatriating them or packing them up in retention camps. That was okay.

Then people of Asian origin - mainly Pakistanis and Afghans, who have escaped from the war were also dislodged. The official reason was that their places of abode were dangerous and they could not stay until they could afford better housing.

The "roaming, wandering and nomadic type" have raised a lot of issues within the EU community. Up to the point that the French government needed to remind Vivian Redding which part of the EU she comes from and how small that part is and how little it ACTUALLY counts!

There is a current bill that will soon be voted. That one will take care of the Maghreb folks. Because those ones are 'officially French', the law will allow for their citizenship to be removed, then...

So all of this 'structural adjustment' is going on. And the working class here are surprising me by their failure to see it coming! If you want to remain who you are, then you should be able to remain who you are!

The government is telling people truth that they know. And folks think that if they strike for a day, immobilise the system, and probably bring the government to its knees, things will change. No, they wont. The law will now require you to work until you are 62. And if you did not begin work early and have not contributed enough, you work till you are 65!

I listened to a man the other day. He is an asbestos victim. This means that medically, he is in the group of the people whose life expectancy is reduced. To that effect, there was a law that 'had retirement mercy on those who will die early'. So this man was asking about himself. How long will he have to work? Will this new law take away 'the mercy law'? I felt for that man!

In the 80s, the economic prospects of many African countries was hazy, and the IMF administered the SAP pill mercilessly. Governments had to drastically reduce spending, put its citizens in dire situations to be able to meet up with standards of the IMF. The recent IMF reports shows that economic outlook in Africa and Asia is bright and actually lists an African country - Nigeria - as one of the most progressive economies. But things are looking gray in Europe.

We had Iceland, then Greece and many more are on the brink. Countries like Germany and Norway have always had a kind of ongoing SAP in small doses. But for some other countries, like France, a big dose is unavoidable! And that is what the law makers are expecting the people to understand. Maybe the communication work was not well done or not done long enough.. but well

I am not sure that people striking will get much out of it. Whether the strike lasts a day, a week or a month, it will not in any way change the economic outlook of the country. Politicians may lose their offices but the next ones will face the same situation.

The one person who has gained something is Bruno Laporte, a guy who tweeted "Dans le metro. Coincé contre une jolie metisse aux yeux bleus. Je soutiens la grève. :P"

"I am in the Metro, pushed up against a beautiful half-caste with blue eyes. I support the strike"

Monday, October 11, 2010

The United Nations: still relevant in Africa?

This morning I listened to a political big-wig of the Republic of Guinea. He wants the United Nations to come and head the CENI - the national Independent Electoral Committee!

I'm like okay. So what exactly is this guy asking for? What exactly is it?

I see several things:

The first is that the politicians do not trust their own. The first President of the CENI was given so much trouble that the poor man had a heart failure, was taken to hospital in Europe and died there. The second one was from within the same CENI, not from outside. And now one party thinks 'he appears to be running for our opponents'. The new man has come out openly to pledge allegiance to the country but he is still not trusted. I have me two questions, which educated person, capable of heading the CENI will not have a political preference? Where can such a person exist?

The second thing here is that the presidential candidates are actually saying they believe the results of the elections NO LONGER LIE within the ballot boxes but within the CENI! This is outrageous! It is the people that votes. The job of the CENI is to report what the people have said!

Ah! And now I remember. Guinea has never really had a presidential election! After 53 years of Independence, the country is now holding its first ever democratic elections. Mhmm. I see why everybody is freaking out! Like when you went for your first job interview..

One other thing though, The African Union has spent a lot of time and energy mediating through the tens of disputes in Guinea. So Guinean politicians do not only distrust their own, they also do not trust the African Union to oversee a free and fair run-off of presidential elections!

So someone thinks the United Nations is the best option!

I am sitting here and I am trying to recall the last time I saw a UN person working in an African country as a Peace Keeper! When last did you see one? The ones I saw are generally the blue helmets! Next question, what did he look like?

Here is my point. The UN person that will be willing to be assigned to Guinea to do elections oversight will either be:
A. From India, Bangladesh, or Pakistan. He is the blue helmet
B. From South Korea, the Philippines or one other Asian country

He is not going to be European, North American, not even South American. Those guys dont come this way! He is not going to be an Arab from the Mediterranean, those guys wont give their folks in a country like Guinea! The lowest they have gone is RCD!

So what it the Guinean politician asking for? Who is he expecting? French? American? or maybe Central European?

Here! He does not know what he is asking for. He is only expressing his incapacity to trust what he has and build it up. This trait of character that I find in many places in Africa! 'Whatever comes from outside the country is certainly better than what I have here'. Like when Ivorian women beg for Nigerian lace and Nigerian women beg for Woodin! When Ghanaian women come to Abidjan to buy shoes that were brought in from Ghana! When people in West Africa use olive oil for prayer purposes because it is holy, and people in the Northern part swear that palm oil is the richest oil on planet earth!

Otherwise, why will someone from Pakistan, who speaks Urdu and a little English be a heaven-sent to head the CENI in Guinea, where people speak French, Sosso and Madinka?

Je suis vraiment désolée. It is a big pity!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Lesson of Nigeria @ 50

This year's first of October was memorable for many Nigerians. Indeed, unlike many other African who have had their 50th anniversary, the one of Nigeria was one that 'insisted it must be remembered'

I first heard of the 'National Cake' that was going to be unveiled and was supposed to be the larges cake ever! Then I said to myself .. wow, this must be something big!

I did determine to enjoy the day. So I actually did what my parents have always done during Independence Days - Cook, dress up and eat! So I went shopping, did aesthetics and had a nice meal! I even took pictures.

I was happy to see Nigeria trend on Twitter. I did my best to catch up on the tweets. Some were saying how great a country is, and others were saying the exact opposite. But I could see that many of the tweets had a firm hope that the country was on its way to getting better and needs to do that as fast as possible.

Parallel to the news reporting of the celebrations happening at Eagles Square was also the release of school children who had been earlier kidnapped in Aba. It was going to really be a happy day..

Then the twin bomb blasts came! First we got an alert that there were "explosions" and over the minute, it came full force! A guy took a picture of one man who was wounded; He later died. Total number of deaths after the final count - 12

The one lesson I will not forget is how international media got interested in the Independence Day celebrations, not because of the celebrations themselves, but because 'the celebrations are marred by deadly car bombs'. Wow! I kept asking myself, if it were not for the bomb attacks, would they have paid much attention to Nigeria?

Ah! So the negative image of Nigeria is more news-worthy that the sum of its people's happiness? The dead have more attention than the living? The rebels get more mention than the President!

So here is to all Nigerians and to all Africans. If we do not make a positive image of ourselves, the negative ones will continue to sell. IF we do not give healthy information about the good things happening, nobody else will.

We dont need to give the negative news.. folks are already doing that. In fact, they are making their living out of the image of Africa they show out there: sickness, poverty, war, bloodshed, corruption, hopelessness etc..

What will we do?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Declaration of the Ivorian Committee for the Protection of Journalists - (ICPJ)

Declaration of the Ivorian Committee for the Protection of Journalists (ICPJ)




We, Journalists of Côte d'Ivoire, spontaenously united within the ad hoc group – Ivorian Committee for the Protection of Journalists (ICPJ):

  • Considering the Law N° 2004 – 643 of December 2004 of the Press Legal Code;

  • Considering the Ivorian Ethical Code of the Journalist adopted on the 29th of August 1992, outcome of the Yamoussoukro Seminar;

  • Considering that the Law and the Press Ethical Code ordains press liberty in Côte d'Ivoire

  • Considering that the article 68 of the Press Law states that “Prison terms are formally excluded for press misdemeanour”;

  • Considering that the Ethical Code of the Journalist in Côte d'Ivoire states, in its Articles 1 and 2, that every journalist shall lay claim to the following rights:

  1. The protection of information sources

  2. Free access to all sources of information and the right to freely investigate on all issues that affect the life of the public


In its publication of Monday, July 12, 2010, Le Nouveau Courrier daily publishes conclusions of the investigation carried out for two years by the National Prosecutor under the headline “The Black Book of the Coffee-Cocoa Industry, (Act I)”,

On the morrow, Tuesday, July 13, on the orders of the National Prosecutor, agents from the Criminal Police invest the offices of Le Nouveau Courrier ransack it and seize a laptop computer supposedly containing the complete document published and make three arrests; Stéphane Guédé Bahi, Théophile Kouamouo and Saint-Claver Oula, respectively Director of Publications, Editorial Director and Editor in Chief;

The three comrades are remanded for four days in custody of the Criminal Police (Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 July). In the course of multiple hearings, investigators compel journalists to reveal the source of the document. The journalists, naturally, decline to do so, in the light of he Ethical Code which guarantees the protection of journalists' information sources.

On this refusal to reveal sources, the National Prosecutor orders the committal of the three journalists of Le Nouveau Courrier and their transfer to the prison - Maison d’arrêt et de correction d’Abidjan (MACA) on Friday, July 16, 2010 around 18:30 hours.

At the opening of the case in court on Monday, July 19, the National Prosecutor lays an accusation of “theft of administrative document”, thereby changing the terms of the accustion from press misdemeanour to a civil offense, in disregard of the legal dispositions currently in force. At the end of the prosecuting and defense addresses, the court postpones the verdict to Wednesday, July 21.

On July 21, when comrades, relatives and friends of the imprisoned journalists, gathered in large number at the Court premises in Plateau, await the decision, the verdict is further postponed, for no known reasons, to the next, Monday July 26. This justifies our sit in of today in Front of the High Court in Plateau.


We, Journalists of Côte d'Ivoire, spontaenously united within the ad hoc group – Ivorian Committee for the Protection of Journalists (ICPJ):

  1. Vehemently denounce these continuous postponments, whose only reason is to maintain our three comrades in detention in a prolonged and abusive manner.

  2. Express our concern about the delay tactics of the National Prosecutor on the eve of court recess

  3. Demand the immediate release of our three comrades without conditions

  4. Shall not accept any condemnation, even suspended, of our three comrades, for this shall imply that the offense of “theft of administrative document” as charged by the National Prosecutor in court has been validated; which may give birth to a disturbing jurisprudence susceptible of endangering the freedom of press and the media profession in Côte d'Ivoire;

  5. Vigourously protest against this blatant infringement of press freedom in Côte d'Ivoire, and express our indignaton at the propensity of the National Prosecutor to stiffle the press in this country;

  6. Commit ourselves to all necessary actions to free our three comrades, protect the rights of journalists and safeguard press liberty, which was valliantly fought for and won in Côte d'Ivoire;

  7. Call on all national and international journalists to remain mobilized for the battles to come.

In Abidjan, Friday, July 23, 2010

The Ad Hoc Committee

With copies to :

  • The Presidency of the Republic

  • The Presidency of the National Assembly

  • The Prime Minister

  • The President of the Social and Economic Council

  • The Ministry of Communication

  • The Ministry of Justice

  • The Ministry of External Affaires

  • The Ministry of Interior

  • Media Professional Organisations

  • National and International press organs

  • Human rights Defense and Protection organisations

  • Civil Society organisations

  • Religious and traditional chieftaincy organisations

  • Parties and political organisations

  • Chanceries and Embassies.

Original text in French. Translation graciously provided by Nnenna Nwakanma.