Stories written by Marc-Andre Boisvert

Côte d’Ivoire’s Tech Solutions to Local Problems

When Ivorian Thierry N’Doufou saw local school kids suffering under the weight of their backpacks full of textbooks, it sparked an idea of how to close the digital gap where it is the largest — in local schoolrooms.

Côte d’Ivoire’s Middle Class – Growing or Disappearing?

“I’m middle class. Definitively,” Sonia Anoh, a young and independent 30-year-old Ivorian tells IPS. Anoh has a master’s degree, earns 1,470 dollars a month working in marketing, lives alone, owns a car and is now shopping for a home. 

West Africa’s Refugee and Security Crisis

In West Africa, the Malian and Ivorian political crises have resulted in the biggest number of refugees in the region. But brewing insecurity could mean that they will be unable to return home any time soon as armed groups remain a threat to West Africa.

Gbagbo’s Party Recovers Political Might Ahead of Ivorian Elections

Armand Konan stood in front of the Palais des Sports, a stadium in Abidjan’s popular neighbourhood, Treichville, selling videos and speeches of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo. “People need to remember what our president said...He is our president. And we want him back,” Konan told IPS.

Waiting for Justice for Mali’s Missing Soldiers

Aminata Diarra last saw her brother, Malamine, a member of the Malian Red Berets, special forces loyal to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure, alive on national television almost two years ago.

Economic Crisis in Mali’s North as the South Recovers

Under the harsh Sunday afternoon sun, Daouda Dicko washes his client’s clothes on the shore of the Niger River, which runs through Mali’s capital, Bamako. “I started doing this to survive two years ago. Now, I am used to it and I don’t mind the extra money it brings,” Dicko, who also works as a gardener, tells IPS.

Mali’s Displaced Still Have Nothing To Return To

In her traditional orange headdress, Agaichetou Toure sits quietly in a waiting room in Kalaban-Koura, a popular neighbourhood on the outskirts of Mali’s capital Bamako. 

Local Militias Hold Sway in Cote d’Ivoire’s Lawless Duékoué

In Cote d'Ivoire, traditional hunters known as dozos are accused of human rights abuses and extortion. But in several areas, they also remain the sole guarantor of local safety.

Côte d’Ivoire Poised at a Development Crossroad

All over the Ivorian economic capital, Abidjan, large cranes, involved in the construction of new buildings and highways, are dotted across the city skyline.

Ivoirians Face an Incomplete Justice

“We are sad. We want our president back,” Yao Amandine told IPS from a street corner in the Ivorian economic metropolis, Abidjan, after the International Criminal Court ruled against granting former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo a conditional release on Tuesday. 

Saving Côte d’Ivoire’s Fragile Forests and People

As the Côte d’Ivoire government clears its protected forests of illegal occupiers, particularly in the Dix-Huit Montagnes region, environmentalists say that this crucial move might lead to conflict in an already tense region.

Senegal’s ‘Religious Schools’ Places of Exploitation

In Dakar, urban commuters are familiar with kids as young as five years old begging on street corners at all hours of the day or the night, with torn, dirty clothes, collecting donations in an empty tin can.

War Over, Now to Secure Peace

As the Malian army and its foreign partners are slowly securing northern cities in the West African nation, it is still unclear how the country will turn its back on the political crisis that led to the March 2012 military coup.

Tuaregs and Arabs Not Ready to Return to Mali

Fatimata Wallet Haibala sits among a group of women and teenage girls under a tent, her handicapped boy on her lap. The scene could be a rural picture of a Tuareg gathering in the desert. But the mother mother of five resides in a refugee camp in Goudebo, Burkina Faso, almost 100 kilometres from their home in Mali.

Christian or Muslim – ‘We are All Victims of Those Terrorists’

At the entrance to the Evangelical church in Mopti, central Mali, military soldiers stood on either side of the door as Pastor Luc Sagara greeted his parishioners for Sunday mass.

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