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Abidjan Blog Camps: Cocoa, Avenue Afrique And Abidjan Barcamp

Things are not always as it seems and there are stories behind stories. People read many news everyday and are usually influenced by these reports. There is hardly any effort to fact check by a common person. But blogging and citizen journalism can make a difference in this circumstance. In an example Théophile Kouamouo of the Rising Voices grantee Abidjan Blog Camps from Ivory Coast points to an article published in the Huffington Post, which has a monthly readership of 12 million visitors. In the article titled “Buying Chocolate for Valentine's Day? Think Twice!!” Lennard Davis, a professor of the University of Illinois mentioned that approximately 6.3 million child laborers work in the cocoa industries of Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Théophile says this is “an economic conspiracy against the Ivorian and Ghanaian cocoa” and argues that:

Who, in the United States, is considering checking ravings of the “distinguished professor” who speaks of 6.3 million child slaves while the total number of children under 14 years in Côte d'Ivoire, including and infants, including 62% of children enrolled, including 45% of children living in the city and over 70% living outside the loop of cocoa, is barely 8 million? If this figure is real, as in Côte d'Ivoire, virtually all children are slaves. If this figure is real, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana are part of the most sordid history of mankind.

Such nonsense, they can not be debited on Africa. It's disgusting!

Carrying cocoa bag in Ivory Coast by Flickr user missbax

Carrying cocoa bag in Ivory Coast by Flickr user missbax, used under a Creative Commons License

The Common Raven, a commentator on the post, says:

It should be noted that Dagoba Organic chocolate which is listed (and actually originated in my town) is now owned by Hershey's chocolate which purchases a majority of it's cocoa from Ivory Coast. So in a case such as that, there are two ways to look at it: a.) does purchasing more Dagoba chocolate tell Hershey that it should move more towards it's fair trade and organic product, or b.) does it simply provide more cash flow for a corrupt company while making you feel better about yourself.

Théophile continues:

I do not deny the exploitation of children in Africa. It exists, it must be fought relentlessly, but it is a minority. And the hysterical campaign waged against the Ivorian cocoa is not based on independent study but on newspaper articles.

In an another article Théophile writes [fr] how the cyber-scammers can damage your reputation.

Yoro (Israël Yoroba) informs:

After Avenue225 (Abidjan), Avenue223 (Bamako) and Avenue221 (Dakar), Avenue226 (Ouagadougou in preparation) [others are in progress], here the mother of all: Africa Avenue.
What will this space be used?

Avenueafrique.com, will relay all information relating to the creation, promotion and operation of national avenues. Before becoming in a few months only a true portal, you will find profiles of the”Endorsements” which are the platforms of the country. You will know also those who sponsor and partners who accompany us.

Avenue Afrique

Here is the concept of Avenue Afrique.

On 2nd of February 2010 Yoro heard an explosion. He soon found out that others heard it too but nobody knew what it was. Later it was learnt that it was a military plane causing that noise and a Facebook group titled “You also did hear a big boom?” continuous to gather members at an exponential rate: over 10,000 in 48 hours.

Recently the Oxford University of Spain has included some screen-shot of Yoro's blog in a textbook in French for Spanish higher secondary students to illustrate blogging.

barcamp abidjan

Nadine Kouamouo reports that the second edition of Barcamp Abidjan will be held from March 5 to 7 of 2010. She writes:

Barcamp is a community and participatory event where everyone will just make something and give a little help … so why miss such an event??

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