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Houphouët's ghost haunts Côte d'Ivoire's 50th anniversary

Houphouët's ghost haunts Côte d'Ivoire's 50th anniversary
 
Abdoulaye Diallo

Côte d'Ivoire will celebrate 50 years of independence on 7 August, but unlike many of the other former French colonies in Africa that did the same this year, the event will be muted.

An eight-year-old political crisis has stalled Côte d'Ivoire's progress, tarnished its reputation and many there don't really feel there is much to celebrate.

And yet, for a while after independence, Ivorians were a proud, prosperous people. The golden era was in the late 1970s, and the mastermind of its success was Felix Houphouët-Boigny, the country's first president, who ruled for 33 years until his death in 1993.

Houphouët's phantom haunts Côte d'Ivoire. His name and his face can still be seen everywhere, on buildings and bridges, crumbling from age and yellowing in the sun. At 50, Côte d'Ivoire has the distinct air of a crumbling empire.

  • Successes and challenges for Somali women in London

    Successes and challenges for Somali women in London

    Many Somali women who came to London as refugees are trying to adapt to their new lives in Britain after fleeing the violence of their native homeland. With the pressures …

  • An untold story, slavery seen through the eyes of Africans today

    An untold story, slavery seen through the eyes of Africans today

    The trans-Atlantic slave trade saw millions of Africans forcefully transported to the Americas on European ships. Crossroads visits Ghana and Nigeria to find out how …

  • How do former child soldiers learn to live with their past?

    How do former child soldiers learn to live with their past?

    How does someone who was caught up in war or conflict as a child learn to deal with their experiences? Crossroads hears from a charity in London working to help youngsters …

  • Children's education on hold in war zones

    Children's education on hold in war zones

    Armed conflict is destroying not only schools but the future of millions of displaced children, robbed of education for years and even decades. A new UN report calls …

  • Ghana's Global Mamas

    Ghana's Global Mamas

    Ghana is one of Africa's greatest economic success stories. Yet female entrepreneurs are still a rarity. So the NGO Global Mamas is connecting hundreds of local women …

  • Seeking new horizons

    Seeking new horizons

    Crossroads talks to women from other parts of Africa who've emigrated to South Africa. Why have they chosen to leave their home countries? And why does South Africa offer …

  • Egypt in crisis: what comes next?

    Egypt in crisis: what comes next?

    Is Mohammed El Baradei the man to lead Egypt or will the new vice president, Omar Suleiman, be Hosni Mubarak's successor?

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