Cocoa, episode 1: the raw material for elections in Côte d’Ivoire

Posted on Oct 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

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2020, election year for Côte d’Ivoire. Citizens go to the polls on October 31 to elect their new president. Among the candidates, the current leader of the country Alassane Ouattara is racing for a third term despite a constitution which limits them to two. He came to power ten years ago in civil and political chaos that left thousands dead, following outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo’s contestation of the result.

This candidacy for a third term is already heating up the opposition, which calls for civil disobedience. In this context, the raw cocoa material, whose prices have collapsed and whose overproduction is looming after months of health crisis not conducive to eating chocolate, is a major political issue.

The sector supports 5 to 6 million Ivorians out of a population of 26 million. But it does it miserably, with 80% of planters earning less than $ 3 a day. The price of cocoa is therefore one of the determinants of the 2020 election in Côte d’Ivoire. It did not escape President Ouattara who made this campaign announcement, one month before the election, to increase the price of cocoa paid to planters by more than 20%. Will it be enough to ease emerging tensions?

The Story is a podcast of “Echoes” presented by Pierrick Fay. This episode was recorded in October 2020. Editor-in-chief: Clémence Lemaistre. Guest: Etienne Goetz (journalist at the “Echos” Markets service). Director: Willy Ganne. Music: Théo Boulenger. Graphic identity: Upian. Photo: SIA KAMBOU / AFP. Sounds: Africa 24, France 24, Africanews, RFI, TF1.

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