Children working in the cocoa industry

Teachers in the West African state of Cote d'Ivoire are to strike on Monday and Tuesday of next week. The teachers are owed weeks of back pay for housing allowances and bonuses which are essential to them if they are to get by on their meagre salaries.

Moreover there are thousands of teachers on temporary contracts in the country who are demanding to be given proper permanent contracts. Their state is 'desperate' according to their union.

The teachers are organised in the union MIDD - the movement for primary teachers in defence of their rights. They say that if the minister of education remains deaf to their cries they will block all lessons. 

A March IMF press release speaks in glowing terms of the economy of the country, reporting a growth in GDP of 8.6% and rising credit to the private sector 'against the backdrop of accommodating financing conditions and rising business and consumer confidence.' It goes on to recommend continuing 'disciplined fiscal policy' and the 'leading role of the private sector to foster structural transformation.' Investors are rushing to the capital Abidjan to service the new local elites and ex pat populations.

Meanwhile 42% of the population live in poverty, thousands of children are out of school, many working in the cocoa indsutry, and teachers are struggling to survive.