Monday, November 26, 2007

"Corruption in Burkina Faso: Business Climate Really Improves!" was the headline of an article in one of today's newspapers in Burkina Faso. Here's a translation of how it began:

"Without a bribe, you may have to wait years for your merchandise. There's nothing you can do..." says a Burkinabe small-business owner. The report "Doing Business 2008" that outlines the business environment of variuous nations was published on September 26 by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. It ranked Burkina as 37th in Africa and the 161st in the world rankings, out of 178 countries. This is relatively better than previous years and the progress is much touted in the local newspapers, as well as TV and radio. Burkina was 165th in 2007......

The press releases from the World Bank , Burkinabé government, and etc. are relentlessly upbeat. L'Evenement isn't buying the offical line, though. I love how the bold black type claiming that the business climate is "Really Improved" is immediately followed by a quote illustrating how bad it still is. I also enjoy the subtle dig at the local tv, radio stations and many rival newspapers that never seem to research anything. They just publish the government press releases and keep their heads down...which is probably wise. A top journalist in Niger was just thrown into prison last September for annoying the powers that be. He is still being detained and faces life in prison. Being a journalist is hazardous stuff when done correctly, especially in West Africa.

1 comment:

KreativeMix said...

Ahhhhhhhh home sweet home.......sigh!!!