Portal:Ivory Coast

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Ivory Coast Portal

The Ivory Coast portal

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Ivory Coast /ˌvri ˈkst/, officially Côte d'Ivoire /ˌkt dɪˈvwɑːr/ (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.

Selected article

Cacao-pod-k4636-14.jpg

Côte d'Ivoire leads the world in production and export of the cocoa beans used in the manufacture of chocolate, supplying 46% of cocoa produced in the world. West Africa, collectively supplies nearly 70% of the world's cocoa crop, with Côte d'Ivoire leading production at 1.3 million tonnes, followed by neighboring Ghana with 720 thousand tonnes. Large chocolate producers such as Cadbury, Hershey's, and Nestle buy Ivorian cocoa futures and options through Euronext whereby world prices are set. Cocoa is a shade-loving tree native to the understory of rainforests, growing at low elevation in the foothills of the Andes, and the great South American equatorial river basins the Amazon River Basin, and the Orinoco River Basin. The tree is a choice crop for areas of West Africa with low to slight elevations, good soils, and the constant humidity of the tropics. The crop is grown in Côte d'Ivoire mostly by smallholder farmers planting on 1-3 hectares. The pods containing the beans are harvested when a sufficient number are ripe, opened to separate the seeds and pulp from the outer rind, and the seeds and pulp are usually allowed to ferment somewhere on the farm, before the seeds are dried in a central location. The dried seeds are purchased by a traitant or buyer who travels among villages in an area to weigh, purchase and collect the crop.

Selected picture

Char Fanci entrée de Bonoufa.JPG

Remains of a tank of National Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire (FANCI) near Bonoufla (Vavoua, west-central Côte d'Ivoire)

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Selected biography

Alassane Ouattara.jpg

Alassane Dramane Ouattara (born 1 January 1942) is an Ivorian politician who was Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire from November 1990 to December 1993. He is currently the President of the Rally of the Republicans (RDR), a party which has its support base in the north of the country, and is a candidate in the upcoming 2009 presidential election. Besides being a politician he is also a technocrat, trained as an economist and having worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). According to Ouattara, he was born in the Ivorian town of Dimbokro, although others have suggested he was born in Sindou, Burkina Faso. He was an economist for the IMF in Washington, D.C. from 1968 to 1973, and afterwards he was the BCEAO's Chargé de Mission in Paris from 1973 to 1975. With the BCEAO, he was then Special Advisor to the Governor and Director of Research from February 1975 to December 1982 and Vice Governor from January 1983 to October 1984.

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