Monday, July 30, 2007

The funniest thing I've read in a long time

Originally written June 10 by Lydia Polgreen in the NY Times and repeated today in the Gray Lady by Mike Nizza:

A journey between Abidjan, the government seat, and Bouaké, the rebel capital, reveals a nation eager for reconciliation but caught between war and peace, its once-mighty economy hobbled, its cosmopolitan image sullied, its place as a symbol of stability and progress long gone.

Lets start with "once-mighty economy". According to the Penn World Tables, per-capita gdp in the Cote d'Ivoire was around 11% of the US in 1960. It peaked at 13% of the US in 1977, and in the last year available, 2003, stood at around 6.5% of the US level. hmmmmm......

Anybody want to take a crack at the "cosmopolitan image" part? They do speak French so I guess that counts for something.......

"Symbol of progress"?? Sure, there's the Asian Tigers, China, India and Cote d'Ivoire, right??

Does everyone who writes about economics at the NY times smoke crack??


1 comment:

random african said...

context, context:

yeah Ivory Coast's economy as never been that great, but in the african context it was doing very well.
and the NYT journalist didnt create the Ivorean Miracle term (that was really used to blast Nkrumah's Ghana).

and as far as the cosmopolitanism, well it's reference to Abidjan being home to a huge french community, an enormous (yes even for west africa) lebanese community but most importantly, it was The West African metropolis, with immigrants, qualified or not, from all the surrounding countries and further.

now journalists always exagerate. but it's not like they made it all up in this case.