You’d better invest in some candles

Apparently, the demand of electricity has exceeded the supply in Côte d’Ivoire. What does it mean? Not only it means that you won’t be able to turn the air conditioner light on during some nights, but also that companies will cease to operate, reducing their production, and the attractivity of the country. Word on the streets is that the Société Ivoirienne de Raffinage (Ivorian refinery) is doing some real bad business these days, and cannot produce fuels like it used to to make the stations work (not confirmed, something I heard there and there).

So not only insecurity and corruption are high, the economy is not doing great, the roads are terrible… now you’re not sure to have a normal supply of power. I’m not surprised we’re only getting oil investments these days, and that Ivory Coast as a lower GDP per capita than North Korea.

I mean, just think about it. Life without power in Abidjan. It’s hotter than a effin’ sauna. Lights are all off. No street lights either. You can’t even watch our dearest RTI on the 12′ barely colour TV.

I remember back in the days, Côte d’Ivoire had a really good hydroelectric infrastructure. Every day on the newspaper there was a story about a village getting hooked to the electricity network.

As a 80’s baby growing up in Ivory Coast, I only realized really late that we had it really good in Abidjan. Not like Europe or America, but the life was nice, Abidjan was pretty, the economy was still okay, and we had nice roads! (sic) I wouldn’t have listened to you if you told me 15 years ago not to throw that battery-operating radio, because I could have to use it again in 2010.

Just like that time I went to Sassandra with my parents. It was a pretty city. My father was in the car, he had a Billie Holiday CD on. Besides all the charm of the place, it felt like nothing had been done for the inhabitants for forty years. Most of the concrete was old, overgrown with vines and moss. It was sad, because the warmest people, an incredible scenery, but forgotten by the people they had put their trust in.

I feel like this for the whole country now. Nothing was done for years, now it’s backfiring. The war, insecurity, health and social problems, and now power shortages, are all products of their environment. They wouldn’t have happened if some people hadn’t forgotten about the making country go forward.

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One thought on “You’d better invest in some candles

  1. Miquel says:

    Yeah, I hear you. My first couple of days in Côte d’Ivoire were great and this new turn of events has become more than a little trying…

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