Portal:Ivory Coast

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Ivory Coast Portal

The Ivory Coast portal

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Ivory Coast Listeni/ˌvri ˈkst/, officially Côte d'Ivoire Listeni/ˌkt dɪˈvwɑr/ (French: République de Côte d'Ivoire, French: [kot d‿ivwaʁ]), is a country in West Africa. It has an area of 322,462 square kilometres (124,503 sq mi), and borders the countries Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana; its southern boundary is along the Gulf of Guinea. The country's population was 15,366,672 in 1998 and was estimated to be 20,617,068 in 2009. Ivory Coast's first national census in 1975 counted 6.7 million inhabitants.

Prior to its colonization by Europeans, Ivory Coast was home to several states, including Gyaaman, the Kong Empire, and Baoulé. There were two Anyi kingdoms, Indénié and Sanwi, which attempted to retain their separate identity through the French colonial period and after independence. An 1843–1844 treaty made Ivory Coast a protectorate of France and in 1893, it became a French colony as part of the European scramble for Africa.

Ivory Coast became independent on 7 August 1960. From 1960 to 1993, the country was led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny. It maintained close political and economic association with its West African neighbours, while at the same time maintaining close ties to the West, especially to France. Since the end of Houphouët-Boigny's rule, Ivory Coast has experienced one coup d’état, in 1999, and a civil war, which broke out in 2002. A political agreement between the government and the rebels brought a return to peace. Ivory Coast is a republic with a strong executive power invested in the President. Its de jure capital is Yamoussoukro and the biggest city is the port city of Abidjan. The country is divided into 19 regions and 81 departments. It is a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, African Union, La Francophonie, Latin Union, Economic Community of West African States and South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone.

The official language is French, although many of the local languages are widely used, including Baoulé, Dioula, Dan, Anyin and Cebaara Senufo. The main religions are Islam, Christianity (primarily Roman Catholic) and various indigenous religions.

Through production of coffee and cocoa, the country was an economic powerhouse during the 1960s and 1970s in West Africa. However, Ivory Coast went through an economic crisis in the 1980s, leading to the country's period of political and social turmoil. The 21st century Ivoirian economy is largely market-based and relies heavily on agriculture, with smallholder cash crop production being dominant.

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Côte d'Ivoire has had two constitutions in its history. Currently in effect is the constitution of 2000. On October 31, 1960, the National Assembly of Côte d'Ivoire adopted the Constitution establishing an independent republic. The 1960 Constitution calls for a strong, centralized presidential system with an independent judiciary and a national legislature. As in much of the Ivoirian political system, French influence weighed heavily in the preparation of the Constitution. HouphouëtBoigny and its other authors had received much of their formal political education and experience in France, and Houphouët-Boigny himself had served in successive French governments in the 1950s. Not unexpectedly, the 1960 Constitution was largely taken (often verbatim) from the 1958 constitution of the Fifth Republic of France. Like its French counterpart, the Ivoirian Constitution declares that all power derives from the people and is expressed through universal suffrage. It also mandates the separation of executive and legislative authority with limits on the power of the former. In its preamble, the Constitution proclaims its dedication to liberal democratic principles and inalienable human rights as expressed in the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Under the rubric "Of the State and Sovereignty," the initial articles of the Constitution describe the symbols of the state--the flag, the motto, and the national anthem--and name French the official language. Articles 3 through 7 delineate the fundamental rights and principles pertaining to Ivoirian citizenship: universal suffrage, popular sovereignty, and equality before the law.

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President Felix Houphouet-Boigny and Ambassador Georges Ouegnin.

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Charles Blé Goudé is an Ivoirien political leader, born in 1972 at Guibéroua, in the center west of the country. Blé Goudé studied English at the University of Cocody (Cocody is a section of Abidjan), where he began his political career leading strikes and violent demonstrations of the Student Federation of Cote d’Ivoire (FESCI), allied with the FPI during the 1990s. He succeeded Guillaume Soro as the Secretary General of FESCI from 1998 to 2000. He later founded the Coordination des jeunes patriotes in 2001, and the Congrès Panafricaine des Jeunes Patriotes (COJEP) in the same year. He had completed a university degree in English by this time, and later began a masters degree in Conflict Resolution Studies from Manchester University. Having gotten news of the coup d'État on 19 September 2002, he left England for Côte d'Ivoire, where he founded the Alliance des jeunes patriotes pour le sursaut national, which he directed with Serge Kuyo, an organization which he described as a mouvement de combat.

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