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Cote d'Ivoire (Africa)

Introduction ::Cote d'Ivoire


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. Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of rebel forces have been problematic as rebels seek to enter the armed forces. Citizen identification and voter registration pose election difficulties, and balloting planned for November 2009 was postponed with no future date set. Several thousand UN troops and several hundred French remain in Cote d'Ivoire to help the parties implement their commitments and to support the peace process.

Geography ::Cote d'Ivoire


Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia

Geographic coordinates:
8 00 N, 5 00 W

Map references:



total: 322,463 sq km country comparison to the world: 68 land: 318,003 sq km

water: 4,460 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries:

total: 3,110 km

border countries: Burkina Faso 584 km, Ghana 668 km, Guinea 610 km, Liberia 716 km, Mali 532 km


515 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm


tropical along coast, semiarid in far north; three seasons - warm and dry (November to March), hot and dry (March to May), hot and wet (June to October)


mostly flat to undulating plains; mountains in northwest

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Gulf of Guinea 0 m

highest point: Monts Nimba 1,752 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, hydropower

Land use:

arable land: 10.23%

permanent crops: 11.16%

other: 78.61% (2005)

Irrigated land:

730 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

81 cu km (2001)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.93 cu km/yr (24%/12%/65%)

per capita: 51 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

coast has heavy surf and no natural harbors; during the rainy season torrential flooding is possible

Environment - current issues:

deforestation (most of the country's forests - once the largest in West Africa - have been heavily logged); water pollution from sewage and industrial and agricultural effluents

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

most of the inhabitants live along the sandy coastal region; apart from the capital area, the forested interior is sparsely populated

People ::Cote d'Ivoire


21,058,798 country comparison to the world: 57 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 40.6% (male 4,215,912/female 4,146,077)

15-64 years: 56.6% (male 5,942,642/female 5,720,108)

65 years and over: 2.9% (male 296,074/female 296,255) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 19.4 years

male: 19.6 years

female: 19.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.105% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 47

Birth rate:

31.48 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 43

Death rate:

10.43 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 51

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population NA country comparison to the world: 75


urban population: 49% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 3.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 66.43 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 24 male: 73.37 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 59.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 56.19 years country comparison to the world: 195 male: 55.27 years

female: 57.13 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

4.01 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 42

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

3.9% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 17

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

480,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 20

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

38,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 16

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever

water contact: schistosomiasis

animal contact disease: rabies

note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)


noun: Ivoirian(s)

adjective: Ivoirian

Ethnic groups:

Akan 42.1%, Voltaiques or Gur 17.6%, Northern Mandes 16.5%, Krous 11%, Southern Mandes 10%, other 2.8% (includes 130,000 Lebanese and 14,000 French) (1998)


Muslim 38.6%, Christian 32.8%, indigenous 11.9%, none 16.7% (2008 est.)

note: the majority of foreigners (migratory workers) are Muslim (70%) and Christian (20%)


French (official), 60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 48.7%

male: 60.8%

female: 38.6% (2000 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 6 years

male: 10 years

female: 5 years (2000)

Education expenditures:

4.6% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 89

Government ::Cote d'Ivoire

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Cote d'Ivoire

conventional short form: Cote d'Ivoire

local long form: Republique de Cote d'Ivoire

local short form: Cote d'Ivoire

note: pronounced coat-div-whar

former: Ivory Coast

Government type:

republic; multiparty presidential regime established 1960

note: the government is currently operating under a power-sharing agreement mandated by international mediators


name: Yamoussoukro

geographic coordinates: 6 49 N, 5 17 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

note: although Yamoussoukro has been the official capital since 1983, Abidjan remains the commercial and administrative center; the US, like other countries, maintains its Embassy in Abidjan

Administrative divisions:

19 regions; Agneby, Bafing, Bas-Sassandra, Denguele, Dix-Huit
Montagnes, Fromager, Haut-Sassandra, Lacs, Lagunes, Marahoue,
Moyen-Cavally, Moyen-Comoe, N'zi-Comoe, Savanes, Sud-Bandama,
Sud-Comoe, Vallee du Bandama, Worodougou, Zanzan


7 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 7 August (1960)


approved by referendum 23 July 2000

Legal system:

based on French civil law system and customary law; judicial review in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Alassane OUATTARA (since 4 December 2010); note - former President Laurent GBAGBO has refused to cede power

head of government: Prime Minister Guillaume SORO (since 4 April 2007); note - on 4 December 2010, Gilbert Marie N'GBO AKE was also appointed to the position by former president GBAGBO

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president; note - under the current power-sharing agreement the prime minister and the president share the authority to appoint ministers (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 31 October and 28 November 2010 (next to be held in 2015); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Alassane OUATTARA elected president; percent of vote - Alassane OUATTARA 54.1%, Laurent GBAGBO 45.9%; note - President OUATTARA was declared winner by the election commission and took the oath of office on 4 December, Prime Minister SORO resigned from the incumbent administration and was subsequently appointed to the same position by OUATTARA; former president GBAGBO refused to cede and on 5 December appointed Gilbert Marie N'GBO AKE as Prime Minister

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (225 seats; members elected in single- and multi-district elections by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: elections last held on 10 December 2000 with by-elections on 14 January 2001 (elections originally scheduled for 2005 have been repeatedly postponed by the government)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FPI 96, PDCI-RDA 94, RDR 5, PIT 4, other 2, independents 22, vacant 2

note: a Senate was scheduled to be created in October 2006 elections that never took place

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court or Cour Supreme consists of four chambers: Judicial
Chamber for criminal cases, Audit Chamber for financial cases,
Constitutional Chamber for judicial review cases, and Administrative
Chamber for civil cases; there is no legal limit to the number of

Political parties and leaders:

Citizen's Democratic Union or UDCY [Theodore MEL EG]; Democratic
Party of Cote d'Ivoire or PDCI [Henri Konan BEDIE]; Ivorian Popular
Front or FPI [Pascale Affi N'GUESSAN]; Ivorian Worker's Party or PIT
[Francis WODIE]; Opposition Movement of the Future or MFA [Innocent
Augustin ANAKY]; Rally of the Republicans or RDR [Alassane
OUATTARA]; Union for Democracy and Peace in Cote d'Ivoire or UDPCI
[Toikeuse MABRI]; over 144 smaller registered parties

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Federation of University and High School Students of Cote d'Ivoire
or FESCI [Serges KOFFI]; Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and
Peace or RHDP [Alphonse DJEDJE MADY]; Young Patriots [Charles BLE

International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS (suspended), Entente, FAO, FZ, G-24, G-77,

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Yao Charles KOFFI

chancery: 2424 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 797-0300
FAX: [1] (202) 244-3088

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Wanda L. NESBITT

embassy: Cocody Riviera Golf 01, Abidjan

mailing address: B. P. 1712, Abidjan 01

telephone: [225] 22 49 40 00
FAX: [225] 22 49 43 32

Flag description:

three equal vertical bands of orange (hoist side), white, and green; orange symbolizes the land (savannah) of the north and fertility, white stands for peace and unity, green represents the forests of the south and the hope for a bright future

note: similar to the flag of Ireland, which is longer and has the colors reversed - green (hoist side), white, and orange; also similar to the flag of Italy, which is green (hoist side), white, and red; design was based on the flag of France

National anthem:

name: "L'Abidjanaise" (Song of Abidjan)

lyrics/music: Mathieu EKRA, Joachim BONY, and Pierre Marie COTY/Pierre Marie COTY and Pierre Michel PANGO

note: adopted 1960; although the nation's capital city moved from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro in 1983, the anthem still owes its name to the former capital

Economy ::Cote d'Ivoire

Economy - overview:

Cote d'Ivoire is heavily dependent on agriculture and related activities, which engage roughly 68% of the population. Cote d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans and a significant producer and exporter of coffee and palm oil. Consequently, the economy is highly sensitive to fluctuations in international prices for these products, and, to a lesser extent, in climatic conditions. Cocoa, oil, and coffee are the country's top export revenue earners, but the country is also producing gold. Since the end of the civil war in 2003, political turmoil has continued to damage the economy, resulting in the loss of foreign investment and slow economic growth. GDP grew by more than 2% in 2008 and around 4% per year in 2009-10. Per capita income has declined by 15% since 1999, but registered a slight improvement in 2009-10. Power cuts caused by a turbine failure in early 2010 slowed economic activity. Cote d'Ivoire in 2010 signed agreements to restructure its Paris Club bilateral, other bilateral, and London Club debt. Cote d'Ivoire's long term challenges include political instability and degrading infrastructure.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$37.8 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 100 $36.48 billion (2009 est.)

$35.01 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$22.38 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 93 4.2% (2009 est.)

2.3% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,800 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 194 $1,800 (2009 est.)

$1,700 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 28.2%

industry: 21.3%

services: 50.6% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

7.617 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 60

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 68%

industry and services: NA (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate:

note: unemployment may have climbed to 40-50% as a result of the civil war

Population below poverty line:

42% (2006 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 34% (2002)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

44.6 (2002) country comparison to the world: 44 36.7 (1995)

Investment (gross fixed):

9.7% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 151

Public debt:

63.3% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 28 66.5% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.4% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 36 0.9% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

4.25% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 101 4.75% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

NA% (31 December 2009 est.)

NA% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$5.094 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 87 $4.959 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$7.653 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 109 $7.437 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$5.448 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 108 $5.308 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$6.141 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 73 $7.071 billion (31 December 2008)

$8.353 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

coffee, cocoa beans, bananas, palm kernels, corn, rice, manioc (tapioca), sweet potatoes, sugar, cotton, rubber; timber


foodstuffs, beverages; wood products, oil refining, truck and bus assembly, textiles, fertilizer, building materials, electricity, ship construction and repair

Industrial production growth rate:

4.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 73

Electricity - production:

5.275 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 112

Electricity - consumption:

3.231 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 123

Electricity - exports:

772 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

58,950 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 60

Oil - consumption:

24,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 117

Oil - exports:

115,700 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 63

Oil - imports:

80,960 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 71

Oil - proved reserves:

250 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 56

Natural gas - production:

1.3 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 61

Natural gas - consumption:

1.3 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 85

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 182

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 184

Natural gas - proved reserves:

28.32 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 71

Current account balance:

$534 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 52 $1.67 billion (2009 est.)


$10.25 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 84 $10.5 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

cocoa, coffee, timber, petroleum, cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, fish

Exports - partners:

Netherlands 13.92%, France 10.75%, US 7.79%, Germany 7.2%, Nigeria 6.99%, Ghana 5.56% (2009)


$7.015 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 104 $6.318 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

fuel, capital equipment, foodstuffs

Imports - partners:

Nigeria 20.75%, France 14.19%, China 7.18%, Thailand 5.09% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$3.985 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 75 $3.267 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$11.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 86 $11.34 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

Exchange rates:

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 506.04 (2010), 472.19 (2009), 447.81 (2008), 481.83 (2007), 522.89 (2006)

Communications ::Cote d'Ivoire

Telephones - main lines in use:

282,100 (2009) country comparison to the world: 117

Telephones - mobile cellular:

13.346 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 53

Telephone system:

general assessment: well developed by African standards; telecommunications sector privatized in late 1990s and operational fixed-lines have increased since that time with two fixed-line providers operating over open-wire lines, microwave radio relay, and fiber-optics; 90% digitalized

domestic: with multiple mobile-cellular service providers competing in the market, usage has increased sharply to roughly 65 per 100 persons

international: country code - 225; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) (2009)

Broadcast media:

state-owned television operates 2 stations; no private terrestrial TV stations, but satellite TV subscription service is available; state-owned radio operates 2 stations; some private radio stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available (2007)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

9,865 (2010) country comparison to the world: 121

Internet users:

967,300 (2009) country comparison to the world: 103

Transportation ::Cote d'Ivoire


27 (2010) country comparison to the world: 121

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 7

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 20

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 11

under 914 m: 3 (2010)


condensate 86 km; gas 180 km; oil 92 km (2009)


total: 660 km country comparison to the world: 108 narrow gauge: 660 km 1.000 meter gauge

note: an additional 622 km of this railroad extends into Burkina Faso (2008)


total: 80,000 km country comparison to the world: 60 paved: 6,500 km

unpaved: 73,500 km

note: includes intercity and urban roads; another 20,000 km of dirt roads are in poor condition and 150,000 km of dirt roads are impassable (2006)


980 km (navigable rivers, canals, and numerous coastal lagoons) (2008) country comparison to the world: 67

Ports and terminals:

Abidjan, Espoir, San-Pedro

Military ::Cote d'Ivoire

Military branches:

Cote d'Ivoire Defense and Security Forces (FDSCI): Army, Navy, Air
Force (2006)

Military service age and obligation:

18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary male and female military service; voluntary recruitment of former rebels into the new national army is restricted to ages 22-29 (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 5,094,762

females age 16-49: 4,895,446 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 3,242,965

females age 16-49: 3,069,569 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 240,989

female: 237,180 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1.5% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 97

Transnational Issues ::Cote d'Ivoire

Disputes - international:

despite the presence of over 9,000 UN forces (UNOCI) in Cote d'Ivoire since 2004, ethnic conflict still leaves displaced hundreds of thousands of Ivorians in and out of the country as well as driven out migrants from neighboring states who worked in Ivorian cocoa plantations; the March 2007 peace deal between Ivorian rebels and the government brought significant numbers of rebels out of hiding in neighboring states

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 25,615 (Liberia)

IDPs: 709,000 (2002 coup; most IDPs are in western regions) (2007)

Trafficking in persons:

Cote d'Ivoire is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation; trafficking within the country is more prevalent than international trafficking and the majority of victims are children; women and girls are trafficked from northern areas to southern cities for domestic servitude, restaurant labor, and sexual exploitation; boys are trafficked internally for agricultural and service labor and transnationally for forced labor in agriculture, mining, construction, and in the fishing industry; women and girls are trafficked to and from other West and Central African countries for domestic servitude and forced street vending

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Cote d'Ivoire is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate trafficking in 2007, particularly with regard to its law enforcement efforts and protection of sex trafficking victims; in addition, Ivoirian law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, and Cote d'Ivoire has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2008)

Illicit drugs:

illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for local consumption; utility as a narcotic transshipment point to Europe reduced by ongoing political instability; while rampant corruption and inadequate supervision leave the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, the lack of a developed financial system limits the country's utility as a major money-laundering center (2008)


Hellenica World