Blogs and News - St George's School For Girls, Edinburgh

12 Jun 2020
Edinburgh to Bulawayo - Day 10

Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria

Table showing some Indicators of Development for the countries travelled through over the last 4 days:

Country

Life Expectancy

Adult Literacy

Number of Doctors per 1000 people

GDP per capita ($us)(prior to C19!!)

UK

82 yrs old

Z

1.3

43,000

Scotland

77 yrs old

X

1.3

33,000

Tunisia

77 yrs old

96%

1.3

3500

Algeria

77 yrs old

94%

1.7

4000

Morocco

77 yrs old

91%

0.7

3200

Mali

60 yrs old

49%

0.1

900

Burkina-Faso

62 yrs old

50%

0.1

700

Sierra Leone

55 yrs old

57%

0.0

500

Liberia

65yrs old

49%

2.1

700

Cote d’Ivoire

58 yrs old

53%

0.2

1700

Ghana

65 yrs old

86%

0.1

2200

Togo

62 yrs old

84%

0.1

700

Nigeria

55 yrs old

66%

0.4

2000

(Z&X – for the UK and Scotland comparable adult literacy figures are not available, only these ‘functional literacy’ figures)
Z = 16.4% (i.e. 1 in 6) in the UK have poor functional
X = 26.7% (i.e. 1 in 4)in Scotland have poor functional literacy
Life Expectancy = average age someone can expect to live to
Adult Literacy = % of the total population over the age of 15yrs that can read and write
Number of Doctors per 1000 people = self-explanatory!
GDP per capita = total value of all the goods and services produced in the country divided by the population
i.e. could be viewed as an indicator of the money the government has to provide for its people, such as in education, health care, transport infrastructure, and anything else the government wants to spend its money on (such as military…..).

If you hadn’t noticed already, Geography nowadays is a very broad subject -quite different from my school days of a black and white print hard back text with some 10 black and white photos in it, one showing a pineapple growing somewhere in South America!

2nd Fm pupils in our teams (and upwards) are all experts on Indicators of Development from the 2nd Fm ‘Rich World Poor World’ unit. The data for a few Indicators of Development for the countries we have travelled through over the last 4 days of our quest for Bulawayo are shown in the table above. They do speak volumes!

On a more cheerful note – today the teams travelled from, and through, the top two chocolate nations of the world – Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana!... Well to be more precise, the world’s top 2 producers of Cocoa Beans. Complicated Terms of Trade (which our A Level Geographers are experts on) mean that they can’t actually produce the chocolate in these countries, which would give them considerable ‘value added’ [i.e. much more profit made from a chocolate bar manufacturer in terms of what they can sell a chocolate bar for compared with how much it cost them to make the chocolate bar; compared with how much ‘profit’ a farmer can make from selling a sack of cocoa beans compared with how much it cost them in terms of labour and inputs to produce it]. A Level Geographer’s amongst us will immediately be shouting out… A G Frank’s

So you can see from the table at the start of this sheet that neither Ghanaians nor Ghana, or Ivorian’s nor Cote d’Ivoire, are wealthy from so kindly producing all the cocoa beans that western manufacturers turn into the delicious chocolate that we are so addicted to and prepared to pay so much for, making the western manufacturers (and their shareholders) so wealthy as a result!
Time for another ho hum...

[And note the production of Cocoa is not the same as the production of Coca, which all 4th Fm Geographers are all experts on after studying their unit at the start of the 4th Fm on the Geography of Crime] clear pronunciation when teaching Geography can prove important!

Propelled by unlimited chocolate, the teams sped across the forested slopes and wide lazy rivers of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo, to reach Port Harcourt in Nigeria. Formerly (as far back as 1912) a fishing settlement in the Niger Delta, but then in 1956 crude oil was discovered nearby, and Port Harcourt's economy turned to petroleum when the first shipment of Nigerian crude oil was exported through the city in 1958. One of the main Oil companies in the region is Shell, which has received considerable criticism for insufficient care of the environment (which has resulted in local conflict, including the murder of the famous local poet (in fact Nigerian writer, television producer, environmental activist, and winner of the Right Livelihood Award for "exemplary courage in striving non-violently for civil, economic and environmental rights") Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995,
and little trickle-down of oil revenue to many in the population, as evidenced by indicators of development in the table above.


Again it will be a hot night for the teams bedded down in the mosquito-infested delta of the Niger River. They will undoubtedly sleep well, however, counting cocoa pods falling from trees throughout today’s journey!

EB Day 10

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