Africa: Ivory Coast

About Ivory Coast

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 tropical African states. Falling cocoa prices and political turmoil, however, sparked an economic downturn in 1999 and 2000. On 25 December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Cote d'Ivoire's history - overthrew the government led by President Henri Konan BEDIE. Presidential and legislative elections held in October and December 2000 provoked violence due to the exclusion of opposition leader Alassane OUATTARA. In October 2000, Laurent GBAGBO replaced junta leader Robert GUEI as president, ending 10 months of military rule.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Yamoussoukro; note - although
Population: 16,393,221
Percent below poverty: NA%
Language: French (official), 60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken
Date of independence: 7 August (1960) (from France)
Form of government: republic; multiparty presidential r
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, hydropower
Environmental 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
Agricultural Products: coffee, cocoa beans, bananas, palm kernels, corn, rice, manioc (tapioca), sweet potatoes, sugar, cotton, rubber; timber
Imports: food, consumer goods; capital goods, fuel, transport equipment
Exports: cocoa 33%, coffee, tropical woods, petroleum, cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, cotton, fish (1999)
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: France 26%, Nigeria 10%, China 7%, Italy 5%, Germany 4% (1999)
EXPORTS: France 15%, US 8%, Netherlands 7%, Germany 6%, Italy 6% (1999)


Ivory Coast Headlines

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