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Along the Ivory Coast, businesses are hampered by daily roadblocks, which stop travellers transporting goods for papers, certificates and almost anything. The BBC's Stephen Evans notes from Nigeria that the police there carry golf clubs, and which they use to "smash your wind screen."

An African agency called Trade Hub estimates that in West Africa, a journey by truck the length of Chicago to Newark could take up to two weeks, and cost $4,800 compared with $650 in the U.S., pumping up the cost of development.

Businesses are notably unhappy about the roadblocks. Jean-Louis Billon, president of the country's Chamber of Commerce and the chairman of the SIFCA group, notes it's not even worth the effort to hold up some types of businesses. "A business like cashew nuts couldn't function just because of roadblocks and corruption."