Republique du Côte d’Ivoire
short form: Côte d’Ivoire
int’l long form: Republic of Cote d’Ivoire
int’l short form: Cote d’Ivoire (or Ivory Coast)
ISO Country Code: ci
Local Time = UTC +0h
Country Calling Code: +225
Capital City: Yamoussoukro, Abidjan (the economic capital and de facto political capital)
Other Cities: Bouaké, Daloa, Gagnoa, Korhogo, Man, San Pedro.
Independence: 7 August 1960.
Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia.
Area: 322,500 km² (124 500 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Forested, undulating, hilly in the west.
Climate: Tropical, semiarid in far north.
Population: 21.4 (2009)
Ethnic groups: More than 60; main groups are Akan 40%, Voltaiques (Gur) 18%, Northern Mandes 17%, Krous 11%, Southern Mandes 10%, other 3%.
Religions: Indigenous 10%-20%, Muslim 35%-40%, Christian 25%-35%.
Languages: French (official); five principal language groups, the main ones are Diula (Dioula), Baule (Baoulé), Dan, Anyin and Senari.
Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, hydropower.
Agriculture products: main export goods are coffee and cocoa beans,
other products are: bananas, palm kernels, corn, rice, manioc (tapioca), sweet potatoes, sugar, cotton, rubber and timber.
Industries: Foodstuffs, beverages; wood products, oil refining, truck and bus assembly, textiles, fertilizer, building materials, electricity, ship construction and repair.
Exports partners: USA 11.6%, Netherlands10.2%, France 9.5%, Italy 5.5%, Belgium 4.7%,Germany 4.7% (2004)
Imports partners: France 24.3%, Nigeria 19.2%,UK 4% (2004)
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF)
Close ties to France since independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment made Cote d’Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the West African states, but did not protect it from political turmoil. In December 1999, a military coup – the first ever in Cote d’Ivoire’s history – overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert GUEI blatantly rigged elections held in late 2000 and declared himself the winner. Popular protest forced him to step aside and brought Laurent GBAGBO into power. Ivorian dissidents and disaffected members of the military launched a failed coup attempt in September 2002. Rebel forces claimed the northern half of the country, and in January 2003 were granted ministerial positions in a unity government under the auspices of the Linas-Marcoussis Peace Accord. President GBAGBO and rebel forces resumed implementation of the peace accord in December 2003 after a three-month stalemate, but issues that sparked the civil war, such as land reform and grounds for citizenship, remained unresolved. In March 2007 President GBAGBO and former New Force rebel leader Guillaume SORO signed the Ouagadougou Political Agreement. As a result of the agreement, SORO joined GBAGBO’s government as Prime Minister and the two agreed to reunite the country by dismantling the zone of confidence separating North from South, integrate rebel forces into the national armed forces, and hold elections. Several thousand French and UN troops remain in Cote d’Ivoire to help the parties implement their commitments and to support the peace process.
(Source: CIA – The World Factbook)
border countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali