• Short Summary

    THE WAY IN WHICH BOOMING TRADE AND FOREIGN INVESTMENT CAN TRANSFORM A COUNTRY -- OR A CITY -- IN ONLY A FEW YEARS IS DEMONSTRATED BY THE GROWTH OF ABIDJAN, CAPITAL OF THE IVORY COAST.

  • Description

    THE WAY IN WHICH BOOMING TRADE AND FOREIGN INVESTMENT CAN TRANSFORM A COUNTRY -- OR A CITY -- IN ONLY A FEW YEARS IS DEMONSTRATED BY THE GROWTH OF ABIDJAN, CAPITAL OF THE IVORY COAST. THIRTY YEARS AGO ABIDJAN WAS A SLEEPY TROPICAL TOWN OF 10,000, AND TODAY IT'S A SKYSCRAPER CITY OF 300,000 -- DEVELOPMENT WHICH HAS LARGELY FOLLOWED THE CUTTING OF THE VRIDI CANAL IN 1950, GIVING ABIDJAN AN OPENING TO THE SEA.

    THE IVORY COAST HAS A SOUND ECONOMY BASED ON COFFEE, COCA, TIMBER AND TROPICAL FRUIT, WHICH HAS ATTRACTED MUCH FOREIGN INVESTMENT. THIS HAS PUT MONEY INTO THE POCKETS OF THE PEOPLE OF ABIDJAN TO ERECT THEIR BUILDINGS AND STORES AND STOCK THEM WITH LUXURY GOODS. ABIDJAN SUBURBS HAVE BENEFITED AS WELL, WITH NEW APARTMENT BUILDINGS SPREADING OUT ACROSS THE HILLS OF COCODY.

    ECONOMIC GROWTH HAS BROUGHT ABIDJAN THE PROBLEMS OF THE CITIES OF THE OLD WORLD AS WELL AS THEIR LUXURY. TRAFFIC JAMS PROVIDE A DAILY HEADACHE. THE HOUPHOUET-BOIGNY BRIDGE, OPENED IN 1958 AND CRITICISED THEN AS BEING TOO BIG, IS NOW BARELY ABLE TO COPE WITH THE MIDDAY TRAFFIC. A NEW BRIDGE IS BEING THROWN ACROSS THE CENTRAL LAGOON AND OTHERS ARE PLANNED.

    PORT EXTENSION WORKS HAVE BEEN AN ALMOST CONSTANT FEATURE OF ABIDJAN LIFE DURING THE PAST DECADE. THREE NEW WHARFS ARE GOING UP TO COPE WITH THE VAST EXPANSION OF TONNAGE HANDLED THERE. 1970 IS EXPECTED TO MARK ANOTHER SPECTACULAR RISE IN ABIDJAN'S PORT TRAFFIC WITH NEW RUBBER AND PALM OIL PLANTATIONS GOING INTO PRODUCTION.

    FISHING HAS BEEN MODERNISED WITH MOTORISED SHIPS TRAILING HUGE NYLON NETS. REFRIGERATED STORAGE IS ANOTHER ADVANCE. THE CITY'S FISHING PORT IS ALSO SOMETHING OF A TOURIST ATTRACTION. TO COPE WITH THE PETROL NEEDS OF THE IVORY COAST AND PART OF THE NEEDS OF NEIGHBOURING MALI, ABIDJAN IS THE SITE OF A BIG OIL REFINERY.

    ANOTHER ABIDJAN INVESTMENT CRITICISED WHEN IT WAS BUILT IN 1963 IS THE 10,000,000 DOLLAR HOTEL IVOIRE. NOW THE HOTEL IS SO CROWDED WITH TOURISTS THAT A BIG EXTENSION IS PLANNED. THIS WILL INCLUDE AN ULTRA-MODERN SUPERMARKET, CINEMA, BOWLING ALLEY - AND THERE IS EVEN TALK OF ADDING AN ICE-SKATING RINK.

    SINCE INDEPENDENCE IN 1960, THE IVORY COAST HAS PUT TREMENDOUS EMPHASIS ON EDUCATION AND A NEW UNIVERSITY IS RISING BEHIND THE CITY. MEANWHILE, THE PROSPERITY OF ABIDJAN ATTRACTS PEOPLE FROM AS FAR AWAY AS THE SAHARA. TOGOLESE, GUINEANS, MALIANS, MOORS FROM MAURETANIA, AND DESERT SHEPHERDS VISIT ABIDJAN TO SELL THEIR GOODS AND PERHAPS FIND WORK.

    THE COSTUMES OF THE VISITORS MAKE A GAUDY DISPLAY OF COLOUR AT THE TREICHVILLE MARKET, WHICH TRADES IN EVERYTHING FROM CLOTH AND TRINKETS TO TRADITIONAL AFRICAN WORKS OF ART. THIS IS A GLIMPSE OF OLD AFRICA RAPIDLY BEING OVERLAID AS ABIDJAN -- THE WEST AFRICAN BOOM CITY THAT GROWS STEADILY UPWARDS AND OUTWARDS AROUND ITS TROPICAL LAGOON.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA7ZHLN8NGKMON61PEWV1GXDUEG
    Media URN:
    VLVA7ZHLN8NGKMON61PEWV1GXDUEG
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    24/03/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:22:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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