Facts about Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire)

World Facts Index

Ivory CoastClose 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. Several thousand French and UN troops remain in Cote d'Ivoire to help the parties implement their commitments and to support the peace process.

Geography of Ivory Coast

Location:
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia
Coordinates:
8 00 N, 5 00 W
Area:
total: 322,460 sq km
water: 4,460 sq km
land: 318,000 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
Coastline:
515 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate:
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)
Terrain:
mostly flat to undulating plains; mountains in northwest
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Gulf of Guinea 0 m
highest point: Mont Nimba 1,752 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, hydropower
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
Geography - note:
most of the inhabitants live along the sandy coastal region; apart from the capital area, the forested interior is sparsely populated

Population of Ivory Coast

Population:
20,179,602 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 40.8% (male 3,546,674/female 3,653,990)
15-64 years: 56.4% (male 5,024,575/female 4,939,677)
65 years and over: 2.8% (male 238,793/female 251,134)
Median age:
19.2 years
Growth rate:
2.03%
Infant mortality:
89.11 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 48.82 years
male: 46.24 years
female: 51.48 years
Fertility rate:
4.5 children born/woman
Nationality:
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)
Religions:
Christian 20-30%, Muslim 35-40%, indigenous 25-40% (2001)
note: the majority of foreigners (migratory workers) are Muslim (70%) and Christian (20%)
Languages:
French (official), 60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 50.9%
male: 57.9%
female: 43.6% 

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Cote d'Ivoire
conventional short form: Cote d'Ivoire
local short form: Cote d'Ivoire
former: Ivory Coast
local long form: Republique de Cote d'Ivoire
Government type:
republic; multiparty presidential regime established 1960
Capital:
Yamoussoukro; 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
Independence:
7 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 7 August (1960)
Constitution:
new constitution adopted 4 August 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
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Laurent GBAGBO (since 26 October 2000)
head of government: Prime Minister Guillaume SORO (since 4 April 2007)
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
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held 26 October 2000 (next to be held 30 November 2008; elections were to be held in 2005 but have been repeatedly postponed by the government; the UN Security Council has extended the government's mandate); prime minister appointed by the president.
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (225 seats; members are elected in single- and multi-district elections by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
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 members

Economy

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. Despite government attempts to diversify the economy, it is still heavily dependent on agriculture and related activities, engaging roughly 68% of the population. Since 2006, oil and gas production have become more important engines of economic activity than cocoa. According to IMF statistics, earnings from oil and refined products were $1.3 billion in 2006, while cocoa-related revenues were $1 billion during the same period. Cote d'Ivoire's offshore oil and gas production has resulted in substantial crude oil exports and provides sufficient natural gas to fuel electricity exports to Ghana, Togo, Benin, Mali and Burkina Faso. Oil exploration by a number of consortiums of private companies continues offshore, and President GBAGBO has expressed hope that daily crude output could reach 200,000 barrels per day (b/d) by the end of the decade. 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 1.8% in 2006 and 1.7% in 2007. Per capita income has declined by 15% since 1999.

GDP:
$32.85 billion (2007 est.)
GDP growth rate:
1%
GDP per capita:
$1,600
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 27.9%
industry: 17.1%
services: 55%
Inflation rate:
3.9%
Labor force:
6.95 million
Unemployment:
13% in urban areas
Budget:
revenues: $2.434 billion
expenditures: $2.83 billion
Electricity production by source:
fossil fuel: 61.9%
hydro: 38.1%
other: 0% 
Industries:
foodstuffs, beverages; wood products, oil refining, truck and bus assembly, textiles, fertilizer, building materials, electricity
Agriculture:
coffee, cocoa beans, bananas, palm kernels, corn, rice, manioc (tapioca), sweet potatoes, sugar, cotton, rubber; timber
Exports:
cocoa, coffee, timber, petroleum, cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, fish
Export partners:
France 18.3%, US 14.1%, Netherlands 11%, Nigeria 8%, Panama 4.4%
Imports:
fuel, capital equipment, foodstuffs
Import partners:
France 27.7%, Nigeria 24.5%, Singapore 6.6% 
Currency:
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

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