What happens when some Ivory Coast cacao farmers get to taste the end product of their labors for the first time? A rather touching mini-doc shows their reactions.(SLYT)
In 2013, the Onomo International hotel group asked photographers Omar Victor Diop and Antoine Tempé (nsfw) to create a series of photographs set in the group’s hotels as part of an advertising campaign. Fans of Hollywood, the pair created ONOMOllywood, an exhibition images from iconic films featuring African models in previously white roles. [more inside]
A released FAA investigation describes how in October last year, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) deliberately landed his plane on a closed runway, and then caused the plane to "hop" over terrified construction workers and their vehicles. More recently, Senator Inhofe has taken to the Senate floor in praise of his friend (and friend of C Street), deposed Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo. [Previously, previously]
"War has returned to the Ivory Coast in the guise of massacres, mercenaries, a besieged capital, and a humanitarian nightmare." Several months after incumbent Laurent Gbagbo stole the presidential election, the conflict in Cote d'Ivoire has escalated as the forces of rightful president Alassane Ouattara have reached Abidjan to force Gbagbo's surrender. [more inside]
Mr. Gbagbo was not on-board the plane. A French foreign ministry spokesman told reporters, "'the legitimate authorities' of Ivory Coast asked that the plane be grounded and, in his words, 'that it is precisely what we have done.'" [more inside]
A brief history of chocolate slavery: That Chocolate is an oligopoly might surprise a few people. Chocolate's Bittersweet Economy (pdf) shows that seven years after the industry had agreed to abolish child labour, little progress has been made. Cross-border Migration of Working Children has still been left out of Harkin-Engel Cocoa Protocol Process. Bitter Chocolate Reflects on the politics of cocoa and chocolate. With Halloween approaching you might consider a Fair Trade approach to Trick or Treat. (If Chocolate slavery doesn't make you throw up a little maybe this will.)
The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), is the largest church in the world1. Completed in 1990 for about $300 million by President Félix Houphouët-Boigny - with profits skimmed from the slave labor best cocoa (chocolate) industry - in the small rural town of his birth, it sits today in the bush a vast empty palace of marble and crystal gawked at by the occasional backpacker. Among other trappings it has the only airport big enough in Africa to take the Concorde, a presidential palace with a lake stocked with scores of Sacred Caymans (crocodiles,) and a mansion next to the Basilica reserved exclusively for the Pope on visits from Rome (used once). The President enjoyed his complex for less than 3 years before dieing in 1993.
There is time, and there is "African time". The Ivory Coast is fighting chronic lateness with a contest that offered a $60,000 villa as its grand prize. The winner, legal adviser Narcisse Aka, is known by his colleagues as "Mr. White Man's Time" and said that his punctuality makes him feel like "an extra-terrestrial."
Welcome to tropical Ivory Coast, the small African nation that is home of almost half of the world's cocoa exports! Visit the sandy beaches! Get kidnapped and disappeared by government officials!
The peace process in the Ivory Coast has collapsed (again). I haven't seen it reported yet but have it first hand from an official stationed there that the UN is evacuating all personnel. The evacuations in 2002 were limited compared to this. How could the Ivory Coast have come to this point? What does this mean for the rest of the region? sigh
U.S. forces head to Ivory Coast - with all the debate for/against military action in the middle-east, I'm pleased to see US forces being deployed to protect innocent people. "Their first task may be to retrieve about 100 American children who have been trapped at a school in the city of Bouake for five days and to protect Americans in three or four Ivory Coast towns held by rebels. "
"Do loose numbers do more harm than good?" That's the question asked by Norimitsu Onishi in a thought-provoking article in today's NY Times (reg req). Inflated numbers have often had an impact on policy and people's thinking, but when the truth comes out it can make a difference, for good or ill. (More inside.)
Your chocolate bar contains beans picked by child slaves. From the Philadelphia Inquirer. Part of an excellent report into the Ivory Coast cocoa trade. Awful stuff, especially for a corporation like Hershey Foods, which exists for the benefit of a school for disadvantaged children. Apparently boycotts won't help. If we shouldn't boycott, can't take direct action, what can we do? (Via TurksHeadReview.)
Hundreds of children trapped on slave ship The children, from Benin and neighboring Togo, are thought to be as young as 10 and to have been sold for as little as $15 by their parents. They had apparently been sold to work on cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast...