Ivory Coast Crisis: Affected African Countries According to Media Coverage

As we have expanded the scope of this blog from the initial coverage to Wikileaks related issues to issues and events that we consider relevant to analize in terms of reputation measurement and impact.

After a long series of posts related to Japan disaster and the ongloing Fukushima nuclear crisis (we will provide more information in new posts), we show some results concerning a hopefully closed crisis: the post election crisis opened in Ivory Coast, where two candidates ( Laurent Gbagbo and Assane Ouattara) considered themselves as elected president. The political dispute and the international negociations with two contenders were unsuccessfully and derived into an armed conflict taking in some juncture the profile of a civil war.

Some weeks ago hostilities formally ceased as former President Gbagbo was detained and forced to call for an end of attacks from his army.

In this post we want to show how relevant information can be gathered concerning the impact of a conflict in other cuntries, even if there is no direct inplication of third countries. The interesting aspect of this post it that it shows how to tackle a so evasive goal: how to measure the invisible impact of direct and indirect effects of a conflict in affected countries, like foreclosure of borders, refugees to neighbourg countries, economic impact on countries linked by commercial relations, the impact of diplomatic intervention of a country, the fear of a political contagion to other countries with similar profile, and so on. eing all these things so diverse in nature, it usually becomes impossible to create common measures to apply to all countries. Media impact is by contrast a homogeneous patron of measure of the influence of impacts very diverse in their origin.

The measure adapted to provide pertinent information is according to us a combination of media coverage in terms of quantity and in terms of intensity. The values of media impact that we propose here are calculated by the media coverage received by each country in relation with the Ivory Coast conflict, multiplied by a measure of media attentionintensity. Media attention intensity os estimated by the relation of news where a country is mentioned against the news related to the Ivory Coast conflict.

We have chosen the anaysis of the impact of the crisis in African countries. We provide the result in form of chart, as it will help to visualize the geographical distribution of the impact of the crisis.

Results vary between dark red, which represent the highest level of media impact, and yellow, corresponding to lower level of media impact.

The impact of the crisis follows a clear geographically driven path, but with some particularities.

Most affected countries are those surrounding Ivory Coast. The impact is more sensitive in Western border with Liberia, the most affected country by far. Then come countries in the Eastern side: Burkina Faso and Ghana. But next most affected countries are not the countries limiting with Ivory Coast in the North (Mali, Guinea). We observe also that some not conected countries seem to play a regional leadership role, as they are substiantially implicated in the crisis: Senegal, Gabon and, in a lower extent, South Africa.

Our results show also that some big countries in Africa are almost unaffected and not present in the conflict: Kenya, Niger, Chad. Countries from Maghreb are not related with the conflict. In the same way, the countries in Eastern Africa do not play any role at all, in a very systematic line.


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