Côte d’Ivoire for dummies – Welcome pack 

You’re new or you’re planning to move to Abidjan? You don’t know where to start to find anything about everything? Let me help you!

How much does it cost to live here? Joana Busby’s AttiekeLand began to give you an overview of what a budget for a single, young professional, looked like- whether housing, phone, leisure or food, you will find everything here.

[Bonus: You will find financial advice.]

Where to live?

Now that you know how much it costs, do you know where to live? John James’ Drogba’s country and AttiekeLand (yes, again!) did a great job at describing what each areas of Abidjan looks like in the neighbourhood guides 1, 2 and 3. To be fair, Abidjan4You did it well too (and it even has a housing search page!)

[Bonus: Here are some tips to find temporary housing]

Where to shop? 

  • Malls: Cap sud, prima, sococe
  • Furniture:  Amobla – beautiful and locally made furniture for houses and offices!
  • Clothing: J&H by Numero Uno Uno

What’s happening in Abidjan? People often ask me how I know about events happening in the city. Indeed, it can be tricky because most things here work by words of mouth or are kept within networks… Here is a list of promotional websites, to make sure you will never miss something again!

[Bonus: A list of other websites sharing events, compiled by Edith Brou]

Of course, all of the above are pretty standard answers, but the best information are kept on….Facebook groups. Let’s go! 

 If you were to follow one group, in order to not feel alone in this big city, Expat Abidjan is the one to go to! It is a dedicated discussion forum for the Abidjan Newcomers community, where people can connect and share tips.

House: Colocation à Abidjan/Flatshare abidjan is a group dedicated to finding rooms in houses or to find housemates with whom to enjoy the perks of a beautiful house, for a cheaper price, while Le marché de l’immobilier aims at showcasing houses. Of course, you can find informal offers in other groups such as Expat Abidjan or on other website, such as Lamudi. Beware of scams everywhere.

Want to volunteer somewhere? Les amis du centre canaan and Les zinzins du bonheur

Looking for a job ? How to find jobs in Africa

Looking for literature? Ivoire livre mag, Café littéraire / literature coffee shop, Café littéraire and Ivoire club d’écriture. I would also strongly recommend you to follow Essie Kelly and Josué Guébo (the president of the Ivorian writer’s association)

Politics: If you wish to check out what Ivorian politics truly feels like, I’d advise you check out Observatoire démocratique en Côte d’Ivoire  – beware, heated debates are frequent.

Sport: Whether you are looking for women soccer –  “Foot féminin Abidan”, dance schools like Mamma mia, Zumba classes – Zumba Ivoire, Gym such as Athlétique club (has tennis courts) and Le Calao on the south side of the bridge or Equinox and hotel Ivoire, you should definitely find your happiness!

Transport: We have a locally made, open-source, carpooling system – Ovoiturage, and the group Marre des chauffards !!!!, which aims to expose the unconscious drivers & irresponsible driving behaviours, serves as a repository of essential documents on how to handle “driving” in Abidjan – legal documents, regular costs of fines, roads to avoid, how to talk to policemen… and the best part? The community is so reactive, they can often help you solve issues live! [Tips: I would strongly recommend to download the following documents from this page: Numéros téléphoniques commissariats Abidjan, Numéros utiles complet, Lois et décrets relative au transport en CI, amendes forfaitaires SOTRA, Amendes forfaitaires officielles (Source – government) 

Culture: Goethe-Institut Côte d’Ivoire, Institut Français de Côte d’Ivoire and AMERICAN CORNER Cires – make sure to follow them as social media is the main way they communicate on movies they are showing, events they are holding etc…

Interested in all-things “tech”? StartUp Abidjan, GDG Women Abidjan, Wikimedia Côte d’Ivoire

Looking for classified ads?  As much as certain groups forbid advertising, these one made it their motos! Most have strict rules about pornography and violence, but otherwise, you can find anything from events organised by the government to beauty product >>> Buzz pub, Zoom market.net, Lebodebarras , Abidjanbizz, Les Hommes et femmes d’affaires , L’annonce , Réseau ivoirien des affaires, Info Abidjan and Troovtou.

Others: “L’afterwork” focuses on nightlife, Nos bons plans d’Abidjan, again, allows for people to exchange tips while  Le monde de l’événementiel compiles the best practices and know-hows on events organisation in the country. This document, compiled for the 52nd ordinary session of the ACHPR, has excellent informations on hotel, transportation systems, prices etc… – take what you need of it and leave the rest! Finally, Un consommateur averti en vaut 2 allows consumers to share products/services they bought and what they thought of it (whether good or bad!). It creates transparency and serves as a guide for consumers. In that effect, it also keeps a blacklist of companies, which is shared regularly. What I like about it? The smart usage of hashtag, which avoids double posting. 

[Tips: Use it to find out where to go and what to avoid!]
10 people you must follow on the Ivoirian Social media

  1. Edith Brou for anything and everything happening in Abidjan – she always knows before us!
  2. Cyriac Gbogou for anything relating to tech, innovation and the digital world.
  3. Israel Guebo just because he is awesome, because he was named best francophone blogger in 2008 and because he always does a milion interesting things, at the crossroad of technology, media and social work.
  4. Mohamed Diaby and Frederic Tape for anything to do with the private sector and events with international outlooks/stakeholders.
  5. Yehni Djidji for anything to do with literature or culture.
  6. Assamoi Guilene for updates on the Guilevent’s
  7. Sedrick Ngotta for anything to do with the UN.
  8. Andeka Oule for the TEDx events (TEDx Abidjan)
  9. David Capo Chichi for tech events and Audrey Ehouman for women in tech event
  10. Orphelie Thalmas for arts and culture and Fanta (of Fall in Mode) for fashion

[Bonus: Laure bledou for the best hashtags usage – #PassionPont (showing beautiful African bridges) & #TaxisNameDropping (sharing the messages we all-too-often see painted on West africa taxis).]

Don’t forget to sign up to InterNations / Expat-Blog, to buy your furniture from Amobla/Mobidis (website coming), to use Abidjan4you, to order healthy/bio/fresh food from Ferme du Bandama (website), to tap into the networks of embassies and chambers of commerce and to as ask many questions as you want !

We cannot complain about what they think of us until we start telling them about us.

A bientôt,

-Sarah C.

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