Country Profile

Country Profile - Cote D'Ivoire

Country Profile Of Cote D'Ivoire

Cote D’Voire

President:  Alassane Ouattara

Prime Minister:  Daniel Kablan Duncan

Capital:  Yamoussouko

Land area:  322 460 kilometers squared

Population:  22 848 945; growth-rate 1.96%; birth-rate 29.25/1000; life-expectancy 58.01

Monetary unit:  CFA Franc

Languages:  French (official) and African languages.

Ethnicity:  Akan 42.1%; Voltaiques 17.6%; Northern mandes 16.5%; Krous 11%; Southern mandes 10%; other 2.8% 

Literacy rate:  56.9%

Economic summary:  GDP/PPP $43.67 billion; real-growth 8%; Inflation 2.9%; Imports $9.859 billion; Exports $12.96 billion. 

Agriculture:  cotton, coffee, manioc (tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber



Côte d'Ivoire also known as the Ivory Coast is in western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea, its neighbours are Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Ghana. The country consists of a coastal strip in the south, dense forests in the interior, and savannahs in the north.




Côte d'Ivoire was originally made up of numerous isolated settlements; today it represents more than sixty distinct tribes, including the Baoule, Bete, Senoufou, Agni, Malinke, Dan, and Lobi. Côte d'Ivoire attracted both French and Portuguese merchants in the 15th century who were in search of ivory and slaves. French traders set up establishments early in the 19th century, and in 1842, the French obtained territorial concessions from local tribes, gradually extending their influence along the coast and inland. The area was organized as a territory in 1893, became an autonomous republic in the French Union after World War II, and achieved independence on Aug. 7, 1960. Côte d'Ivoire formed a customs union in 1959 with Dahomey (Benin), Niger, and Burkina Faso. The nation's economy is one of the most developed in sub-Saharan Africa. It is the world's largest exporter of cocoa and one of the largest exporters of coffee.

Felix Houphouët-Boigny served as president from independence until his death in 1993. Massive protests by students, farmers, and professionals forced the president to legalize opposition parties and hold the first contested presidential election in October of 1990, which Houphouët-Boigny won with 81% of the vote.





Beginning in Sept. 1998, thousands of demonstrators protested a constitutional revision that granted President Henri Konan Bédié greatly enhanced powers. Bédié also promoted the concept of ivoirité, which, roughly translated, means “pure Ivoirian pride.” Although its defenders describe ivoirité as a term of positive national pride, it has led to dangerous xenophobia, with numerous ethnic Malians and Burkinans driven out of the country in 1999.


President Bédié was overthrown in the country's first military coup in Dec. 1999, and Gen. Robert Guei assumed control of the country. As a result, the majority of foreign aid to the country ceased.

The current President of Yamoussoukro is Alassane Ouattara and the Prime Minister is Daniel Kablan Duncan. The capital city is Yamoussoukro. With an estimated population of about 22 million of those 56% is literate. Côte d'Ivoire gained its independence on the 07th August 1960.

Mutineering soldiers attempted a coup on Sept. 19, 2002. Guei and Interior Minister Doudou were killed in fighting between government soldiers and the rebels. President Gbagbo accused Guei of staging the coup. Fighting continued, even after a French-brokered peace accord was signed on Jan. 25, 2003, calling for the government to share power with the rebels.

In Nov. 2004, the civil war again erupted; in May 2005, another peace deal was signed, but no militias disarmed. Elections were scheduled for October 2005, but the UN declared this impossible under the continued fighting. To avert a constitutional crisis, the UN Security Council recommended the president remain in office another year, but that he turn over most of his power to a new transitional prime minister. African mediators selected Charles Konan Banny, governor of West Africa's central bank, as a candidate acceptable to all sides of the conflict.

After several postponements by President Gbagbo, Côte d'Ivoire held its first presidential election in ten years in Oct. 2010. The first round of voting between incumbent Gbagbo and his historic rival Alassane Ouattara, a former IMF official who was excluded from the presidential 2000 race because he was not a pure-blooded Ivoirian, was inconclusive. In the second round, Ouattara defeated Gbagbo 54.1% to 45.9%. Gbagbo, however, refused to accept the results or step down, leaving the country on the brink of civil war. 

In Nov. 2012, President Alassane Ouattara dissolved the government of Prime Minister Jeannot Kouadio-Ahoussou and Foreign Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan was named the new prime minister.

However, conflict and war over the last decade have drastically reduced the number of foreign visitors, with many countries issuing warnings on travel to Ivory Coast.

Compared to its oil and agricultural sectors, tourism plays only a tiny part in the economy of Ivory Coast. However, given a peaceful and stable political climate, tourism and the service industries could grow again.


In Sept. 1997, President Mohamed Taki's forces attempted to retake Anjouan but failed. In 1999, Col. Azali Assoumani led a coup, overthrowing interim president Tadjidine. He promised interim military rule would end in a year, a pledge the Organization of African Unity would continue to remind him of. After years of aborted peace talks, a new constitution was approved in March 2002, and the three islands were reunited. Each island elected its own president, and in May a federal president was elected from Grande Comoro, former military coup leader Azali. In Feb. 2003, a coup against Azali was thwarted.

A power-sharing agreement signed in December 2003 gave the individual islands semiautonomous status and led to elections for a national assembly in 2004. In 2006, Ahmed Abdallah Sambi, an Islamic religious leader, was elected federal president.

The African Union sent troops to Anjouan in May 2007 ahead of June's elections, which were held despite an order against them by the central government. Mohamed Bacar won the election and declared him-self president, a move called illegal by the central government. The AU called for new elections in October and froze the assets of Bacar and other government officials. In March 2008, troops from the African Union and the Comoran army invaded Anjouan and deposed Bacar.

The country's second round of presidential elections in December 2010 saw Ikililou Dhoinine win with 61.1% of the vote, with turnout at 52.8%. He took office in May 2011.


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