Posted by: Martin | June 8, 2010

Perceptions and Reality

A while back I had the pictures below of the central business district in Abidjan as background images on my computer at work (alternating on two monitors).  On many occasions I had colleagues asking what city it was, and me responding “guess!” .  Not a single time did anyone guess a city in Africa, even after multiple guesses.

Hi-rise buildings aren’t really what people associate with Africa, I presume.  But I think there is something else going on as well;  that perceptions of Africa and developed countries among Europeans and North Americans to some extent are stuck in the 1950s, when the demarcation between rich and poor countries was clearer.  While there is still a lot of poverty and misery in Africa and elsewhere, I’d say things are a lot better than what many people think, and well, there is this saying that the best investment opportunities can be found where perceptions diverge most from reality.


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Responses

  1. I am very glad to read your blog!
    would you please can you do me a favor?
    I am looking for a man with businese of textiles who form Taiwan named Ali xu about 70 years old
    A friend from Taiwan of him losted his message long long time,but just knows he is living in Ivory Coast Abidjan
    Pls let me know if you have any his informations, thank you so much!

  2. I showed this to my Ivorian colleagues in the office and they laughed a lot. ‘So, they think we live in mud huts!’

  3. Hi Marco! Glad you are enjoying the blog! I’m afraid I havent the faintest idea of the whereabouts of this Ali Xu.

    I promise I’ll include “Where is Ali Xu?” in the next batch of questions!


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