A few bloggers update us on the issues and the current state of affairs in Cote d’Ivoire:
- Penelope Chester sees “signs of unity.”
- Thabo Mbeki writes at Foreign Policy on “What the World Got Wrong in Cote d’Ivoire” (via Africa Unchained).
- G. Paschal Zachary asks whether Cote d’Ivoire should nationalize its cocoa industry.
Dibussi Tande reminds us of another protest wave that hit countries like Cameroon – in the early 1990s:
The wind of protest, confrontation and repression that blew over the University of Yaounde, beginning in March 1991, was a sign of things to come; in fact, it soon transformed itself into a violent and ferocious whirlwind that engulfed the entire country, as town after town was rocked by anti-government protest, shaking the Biya regime to its very foundations, and bringing the country to the closest it has ever been to a full-scale civil war since the 1960s. These were the so-called “années de braise” or the “smoldering years” – smoldering with widespread discontent, political activism and repression….
Chris Blattman writes about motorbike taxis.
Elizabeth Dickinson highlights an African Development Bank report on Africa’s middle class:
A new report released by the African Development bank today estimates that more than a third of the continent’s population — 313 million people — are now middle class. Wake up investors: “Africa’s emerging middle class comprises roughly the size of the middle class in India or China.”
That matters — a lot. As the report bluntly puts it, “The middle class is widely acknowledged to be Africa’s future, the group that is crucial to the continent’s economic and political development.” For businesses looking to invest in the continent, the possibilities are now much great — Africa is a consumer base, not just a rich mine for natural resources. Services are in high demand and the new middle class is quickly adopting many of the luxuries of modern life. The Bank’s research goes on to examine how a middle class status correlates with lots of good things — higher levels of education, better access to the internet, better infrastructure, and even smaller average family size. This becomes a self-driving process; the report attributes the arrival of many newcomers to the middle class to the creation of new, private companies meant to serve, you got it, the middle class.
Finally, the State Department’s Andrew Cedar writes about America’s “engagement with young Africans” across the continent.