Ivory Coast i, officially Côte d'Ivoire i (French: République de Côte d'Ivoire, French: [kot d‿ivwaʁ] ( listen)), 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.
The Ivorian economy is largely market based and depends heavily on the agricultural sector. Almost 70% of the Ivorian people are engaged in some form of agricultural activity. Côte d'Ivoire is among the world's largest producers and exporters of coffee, cocoa beans, and palm oil. Consequently, the economy is highly sensitive to fluctuations in international prices for these products and to weather conditions. Despite attempts by the government to diversify the economy, it is still largely dependent on agriculture and related activities. GDP per capita grew 82% in the 1960s, reaching a peak growth of 360% in the 1970s. But this proved unsustainable and it shrank by 28% in the 1980s and a further 22% in the 1990s. This coupled with high population growth resulted in a steady fall in living standards. Gross national product per capita, now rising again, was about U.S. $727 in 1996. (It was substantially higher two decades ago.) After several years of lagging performance, the Ivorian economy began a comeback in 1994, due to the devaluation of the CFA franc and improved prices for cocoa and coffee, growth in nontraditional primary exports such as pineapples and rubber, limited trade and banking liberalization, offshore oil and gas discoveries, and generous external financing and debt rescheduling by multilateral lenders and France.
Jean-Baptiste Mockey (April 4, 1915 - January 29, 1981), chemist and politician, Secretary General of the PDCI-RDA and Deputy Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire in 1959
- ...that the Taabo Power Station is a hydroelectric power plant of the Bandama River in Ivory Coast. It has a power generating capacity of 210 MW (280,000 hp) enough to power over 141,000 homes
- ...that Radiodiffusion-Télévision ivoirienne (RTI) is the publicly owned radio and television authority of Côte d'Ivoire. It is financed through a combination of television and radio licences, advertisement, and taxes.
- ...that Magic System is a musical group from Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, founded in 1996. Magic System's recordings, in the Zouglou dance style, have featured in the charts throughout Africa (selling over 1.5 million CDs), the West Indies, and in France, where the band became one of the most popular modern African artists.
- ...that Stade d'Abidjan is an Ivorian football club based in Abidjan. It was founded in 1936 as ASFI Abidjan after fusion with PIC and OC Abidjan and called U.S.F. Abidjan, before was renamed in Olympique Club Abidjan, since 1959 played as Stade d'Abidjan. They play at the Stade Municipal d'Abidjan.