Tag: Côte d’Ivoire

The Shimmering Illusion

Filed in Perspectives by on 15th Nov 2015 7 Comments

Based on presentation to the Thomas More Institute in Montreal, Canada in November 2015.

Wouldn’t it be nice if political leaders actually served their citizens? However, despite noble words of taking office to serve people, over time consensus, negotiation and agreement tend to give way to such sentiments as ‘You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.’ One compromise leads to another and democracy slowly shifts from serving the people to serving those in power. In extreme cases, violence replaces dialogue. The Fragile States Index for 2015 assigns countries a score based on such social, economic and political criteria as mounting demographic pressures, massive displacement of refugees, uneven economic development, severe economic decline, and wide spread human rights abuses. Countries such as the United States have a score of 35.3, Canada 25.7, Germany 28.1, the United Kingdom 33.5 and France 33.7. The lower the score, the better political leaders serve their citizens. However, if we choose four countries in Africa in various states of development, we see a marked difference in the score. Mali, for example, comes in at 93.1, Malawi 86.9, Togo 86.8 and Côte d’Ivoire 100. Continue Reading »

In The North

Filed in Perspectives by on 27th Jan 2009

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – We were sitting at a bar in Grand Bassam, some 25 kilometres east of Abidjan. Grand Bassam is a small, quiet village of beach resorts in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).  One hotel, Koral Beach, is nestled beneath towering palms and overlooks the water with its magnificent thundering waves in a constant attack on the hot brown sands. It’s not a luxury hotel in the sense of the huge American or French hotel chains, or even by Third World standards, but for those who frequent the place, the basic comfort there is a world away from the hovels and tin-roofed shacks of the poor. It was the week of Barack Obama’s swearing in as president of the United States, the same week I was giving a journalism course at a seminar for the written press.

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