Ivory Coast

Cote D’Ivoire received independence from France in 1960, but still remains close with the country. It is located in western Africa, between Ghana and Liberia, and it borders the North Atlantic Ocean. Slightly larger than New Mexico, it has a total area of 322,463 sq km. Cote D’Ivoire has three seasons: from November to December it is warm and dry, from March to May it is hot and dry, and from June to October it is hot and wet. petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, and hydropower make up the country’s natural resources. Different ethnic groups in the Ivory Coast include Akan (42.1%), Voltaiques or Gur (17.6%), Northern Mandes (16.5%), Krous (11%), Southern Mandes (10%), and other (2.8%), which includes 130,000 Lebanese and 14,000 French. (Note: these figures are from 1998.) French is the official language, with 60 native dialects; of these 60, Dioula is the most widely spoken. The major religions of the Ivory coast are Islam (38.6%) and Christianity (32.8%), while only 11.9% of the population have indigenous beliefs, and 16.7% practice no religion. It has a population of 21,952,093 people, and Yamoussoukro is its capital. Its national symbol is the elephant.

  • Mark Tessler

    Mark Tessler

    Vice Provost, International Affairs
    Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor, Political Science
    Director, International Institute
    Research Professor, Center for Political Studies