Ivory Coast - Giving something back

Giving something back

After the terror attacks on Bassam beach in March 2016, President Ouattara reiterated his commitment to tourism as an engine of Ivorian development. From that point of view, visitors can help ordinary Ivorians by simply spending money on tourist services: hotels, restaurants, bars, buses, car hire companies and the like. However, the notion that all this supply-side money will lift everyone up is questionable, given that the recent boom has hardly reduced the number of citizens living below the poverty line. Perhaps the best way to ensure that your money is more equally distributed and that producers receive fair remuneration is to ‘cut out the middle man’ by purchasing goods and services directly from small businesspeople: market traders, street food vendors, artists, buskers and so on. Concerns such as the commendable Disabled Artisans’ Centre in Bouaké are run cooperatively, guaranteeing that all employees get an equal cut of the profits.

Children Ivory Coast by Alex Sebley© Alex Sebley 

If you want to help in a more substantial way by giving some of your time as a volunteer, co-ops such as the Disabled Artisans’ Centre are likely to welcome you. The local NGO Habitat for Humanity Côte d’Ivoire arranges placements to assist with the provision of safe homes and sanitation. International volunteer programmes are off ered by the educational outfit CISV Côte d’Ivoire and Volontariat International, which offers various placements of six–24 months for any citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA).

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