Ivory Coast’s biggest city, Abidjan bans begging

Ivory Coast’s biggest city, Abidjan bans begging

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Ivory Coast’s biggest city Abidjan with a population of six million has announced a ban on begging in a bid to combat “urban disorder”.

“In order to fight against urban disorder — itinerant trade on the main roads, begging in all its forms and the use of handcarts are now formally banned throughout the district,” said vice-governor Vincent N’cho Kouaoh in a statement seen by AFP on Thursday.

“This measure aims to improve people’s living conditions, to further ensure the safety of people and property, as well as better traffic fluidity,” he said.

In early March, the governor of Abidjan, Ibrahim Cisse Bacongo, said he “abhorred certain things” like “itinerant traders” and “the beggars”, and wanted to “find an alternative” to handcarts used to transport goods.

In 2013, the-then interior minister, Hamed Bakayoko, banned begging on city junctions, but that failed to curb the phenomenon.

The latest ban has come after mass evictions and demolitions of precarious districts and slums in Abidjan amid rampant urbanisation in the capital.

Abidjan’s population mushroomed from three million to six million between 1998 and 2021, according to the National Institute of Statistics.

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