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The Hidden History of the West African Wager: Or, How Comparison with Ghana Made Côte d’Ivoire

  • Elisa Prosperetti
Abstract:

The famous 1957 wager between Félix Houphouët-Boigny of Côte d’Ivoire and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana is a signal event in modern African history. Yet it has never been adequately historicized. How did this fateful meeting come about? An archival discovery reveals the hidden history of the wager’s construction. This wager inaugurated a tradition of comparison between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire that shaped both the ways that Côte d’Ivoire was seen by social scientists and the ways that Ivorians saw themselves.

Le pari célèbre de 1957 entre Félix Houphouët-Boigny de Côte d’Ivoire et Kwame Nkrumah du Ghana est un événement marquant de l’histoire moderne de l’Afrique. Cependant, il n’a jamais été assez bien replacé dans son contexte historique. Comment s’est déroulée cette rencontre fatidique? Une découverte archivistique révèle l’histoire cachée de la construction du pari. Ce pari inaugure une tradition de comparaison entre le Ghana et la Côte d’Ivoire qui façonne à la fois la vision de la Côte d’Ivoire par les sociologues et la façon dont les Ivoiriens se perçoivent eux-mêmes.

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References
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History in Africa
  • ISSN: 0361-5413
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