Ivory Coast

COTE D'IVOIRE: Pregnancy one m...

COTE D'IVOIRE: Pregnancy one more strike for girls’ education

Sylvie Kouamé*, 17, told IRIN she had sex for money with a man she met on line in her home country Côte d’Ivoire. She needed a few dollars for school...

Ivory Coast sends army to secure cocoa-growing area

Ivory Coast has sent hundreds of soldiers to bolster security in its cocoa-growing west, but farmers caught up in simmering land disputes say that...

COTE D'IVOIRE: Malnutrition concerns in country’s prisons

DAKAR Tuesday, September 02, 2008 (IRIN) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has launched a nutritional feeding programme at the...

COTE D'IVOIRE: Urban displaced slip into obscurity

DAKAR Monday, September 29, 2008 (IRIN) - People who flee to cities because of conflicts or natural disasters tend to become invisible to the...

COTE D'IVOIRE: Shaky peace leading into elections

ABIDJAN Wednesday, October 01, 2008 (IRIN) - As presidential elections approach at year-end after repeated delays, analysts worry slow progress on...

COTE D'IVOIRE: Farmers return to land in west after deadly clashes

DAKAR Friday, November 28, 2008 (IRIN) - Some 70 long-displaced farmers - mostly immigrants - returned this week to a cocoa plantation in western...

National name: République de Côte d'lvoire


Capital: Yamoussoukro (de jure), Abidjan (de facto)
Major Towns: Abidjan, Bouake, Daloa, Korhogo, Yamoussoukro
Location (geographical coordinates/latitude and longitude): Abidjan: 6°51'N, 5°18'W
Time Zone: GMT
Size (Land and Sea): 322,460 km², Water: 1.4%
Borders with Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, the Gulf of Guinea
Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Golf of Guinea: 0m; highest point: Mount Nimba: 1,752 m

Head of State: President: Laurent Gbagbo; Prime Minister: Guillaume Soro
Form of Government: Republic
Independancy (from France): August 7, 1960
Currency: CFA Franc

Main Industries: Foodstuffs, beverages; wood products, oil refining, truck and bus assembly, textiles, fertilizer, building materials, electricity, ship construction and repair.
Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, hydropower
Agriculture: World's largest producer of cocoa. Other chief crops include coffee, bananas, and oil palms, which produce palm oil and kernels. 
Population and People  

Population: 18,012,409 (2007 est.);  17654843 (2006 est.) ; 10,815,694 (1988)
Population density per sq mi: 147
Growth rate:  2.03%
Birth rate: 35.11 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.43 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 87.4/1000
Religion: Christian 20-30%, Muslim 35-40%, indigenous 25-40% (2001), majority of foreigners (migratory workers) are Muslim (70%)
Languages: French, Bambara, Gur and Kru languages
Ethnic groups / Tribes: Akan 42.1%, Voltaiques or Gur 17.6%, Northern Mandes 16.5%, Krous 11%, Southern Mandes, Lebanese and French
Age structure: 0-14 years: 40.6% (male 3,603,386/female 3,711,211); 15-64 years: 56.6% (male 5,128,824/female 5,060,027); 65 years and over: 2.8% (male 246,130/female 263,831) (2007 est.)
Life expectancy: 49.0
Literacy: Total population: 50%, male; 57.9%, female: 43.6% (2002 est.)

  • Côte d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer of cocoa
  • During Medieval times, Côte d’Ivoire was at the centre of several major African trade routes, linking the empires which then existed in Ghana and Mali
  • It was once renowned as the most prosperous and most stable country in the West African region
  • Around 65 languages are spoken in the country
  • The “Fêtes des Masques” is one of the Côte d’Ivoire’s biggest and most well known festivals. Competitions between villages are held in order to find the best dancers, and to pay homage to the forest spirits embodied in the intricate masks.
  • In April there is the Fête du Dipri in Gomon, near Abidjan. This festival starts around midnight, when women and children sneak out of their huts and, naked, carry out nocturnal rites to exorcise the village of evil spells. Before sunrise the chief appears, drums pound and villagers go into trances. The frenzy continues until late afternoon of the next day. (Wikipedia)
  • Local open-air restaurants are called maquis
  • Bangui is a local palm wine
  • Alpha Blondy, the famous reggae singer, is Ivoirian
  • Masks are a prevalent art form in the Côte d’Ivoire and used for different purposes and in different situations such as weddings, death and others. Masks are considered dangerous and powerful and only trained people may wear them.
  • The Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix  in Yamoussoukro was constructed between 1985 and 1989 at a cost of $300 million) and modeled after the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican City. It is listed in the Guinness World Records as the largest church in the world.
  • Tiagba is a stilt-town
  • Grand Bassam with its sandy beaches are the favourite weekend retreat for the inhabitants of Abidjan
  • Man is an attractive town in a region of thickly forested mountains and plateaux with nearby waterfalls and Mount Tonkoui
  • The largest and oldest national park is Comoë National Park in the northeast, where lions, waterbucks, hippos and other animals can be observed