Cote d'Ivoire

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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, 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 runner-up 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, remain unresolved. The central government has yet to exert control over the northern regions and tensions remain high between GBAGBO and opposition leaders. Several thousand French and West African troops remain in Cote d'Ivoire to maintain peace and facilitate the disarmament, demobilization, and rehabilitation process.


Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia

Geographic coordinates:

8 00 N, 5 00 W


total: 322,460 sq km
land: 318,000 sq km
water: 4,460 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 3,110 km
border countries: Burkina Faso 584 km, Ghana 668 km, Guinea 610 km, Liberia 716 km, Mali 532 km


515 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm


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)


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, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, hydropower

Land use:

arable land: 10.23%
permanent crops: 11.16%
other: 78.61% (2005)

Irrigated land:

730 sq km (2003)

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


note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 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) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 19.2 years
male: 19.4 years
female: 18.9 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.03% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

35.11 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

14.84 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 89.11 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 105.73 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 71.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 48.82 years
male: 46.24 years
female: 51.48 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

4.5 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

7% (2003 est.)

people living with HIV/AIDS:

570,000 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

47,000 (2003 est.)

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, yellow fever, and others are high risks in some locations
water contact: schistosomiasis (2005)


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)


Muslim 35-40%, indigenous 25-40%, Christian 20-30% (2001)
note: the majority of foreigners (migratory workers) are Muslim (70%) and Christian (20%)


French (official), 60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 50.9%
male: 57.9%
female: 43.6% (2003 est.)

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Cote d'Ivoire
conventional short form: Cote d'Ivoire
local long form: Republique de Cote d'Ivoire
local short form: Cote d'Ivoire
former: Ivory Coast

Government type:

republic; multiparty presidential regime established 1960


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


7 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 7 August (1960)


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


18 years of age; universal

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)
elections: elections last held 10 December 2000 with by-elections on 14 January 2001 (next to be held by 31 October 2006)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FPI 96, PDCI-RDA 94, RDR 5, PIT 4, other 2, independents 22, vacant 2
note: a Senate is scheduled to be created in the next full election in 2006

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 - overview:

Cote 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 weather conditions. Despite government attempts to diversify the economy, it is still heavily dependent on agriculture and related activities, engaging roughly 68% of the population. Growth was negative in 2000-03 because of the difficulty of meeting the conditions of international donors, continued low prices of key exports, and severe civil war. In November 2004, the situation deteriorated when President GBAGBO's troops attacked and killed nine French peacekeeping forces, and the UN imposed an arms embargo. Political turmoil damaged the economy in 2005, with fear among Ivorians spreading, foreign investment shriveling, French businesses and expats fleeing, travel within the country falling, and criminal elements that traffic in weapons and diamonds gaining ground. The government will continue to survive financially off of the sale of cocoa, which represents 90% of foreign exchange earnings. Though the 2005 harvest was largely unaffected by past fighting, the government will likely lose between 10% and 20% of its cocoa harvest to northern rebels, who smuggle the cocoa they control to neighboring countries where cocoa prices are higher. The government remains hopeful that ongoing exploration of Cote d'Ivoire's offshore oil reserves will result in significant production that could boost daily crude output from roughly 33,000 barrels per day (b/d) to over 200,000 b/d by the end of the decade.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$26.11 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$16.13 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

0.8% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,500 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 27.7%
industry: 16.7%
services: 55.6% (2005 est.)

Labor force:

6.95 million (68% agricultural) (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate:

13% in urban areas (1998)

Population below poverty line:

37% (1995)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 28.8% (1995)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

45.2 (1998)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

8.7% of GDP (2005 est.)


revenues: $2.434 billion
expenditures: $2.83 billion; including capital expenditures of $420 million (2005 est.)

Public debt:

70.4% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products:

coffee, cocoa beans, bananas, palm kernels, corn, rice, manioc (tapioca), sweet potatoes, sugar, cotton, rubber; timber


foodstuffs, beverages; wood products, oil refining, truck and bus assembly, textiles, fertilizer, building materials, electricity, ship construction and repair

Industrial production growth rate:

15% (1998 est.)

Electricity - production:

5.127 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

3.418 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - exports:

1.35 billion kWh (2003)

Oil - production:

32,900 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - consumption:

20,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:

220 million bbl (2005 est.)

Natural gas - production:

1.3 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

1.3 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:

29.73 billion cu m (2005)

Current account balance:

-$289 million (2005 est.)


$6.49 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities:

cocoa, coffee, timber, petroleum, cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, fish

Exports - partners:

France 23.7%, Netherlands 10.8%, US 10.2%, Nigeria 7.5%, Italy 4.8% (2004)


$4.759 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:

fuel, capital equipment, foodstuffs

Imports - partners:

France 32.7%, Nigeria 20.3%, Thailand 2.8% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.95 billion (2005 est.)

Debt - external:

$13.26 billion (2005 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:

ODA, $1 billion (1996 est.)

Currency (code):

Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

238,000 (2004)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

1,531,800 (2004)

Telephone system:

general assessment: well developed by African standards but operating well below capacity
domestic: open-wire lines and microwave radio relay; 90% digitalized
international: country code - 225; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean); 2 submarine cables (June 1999)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 3 (1998)

Television broadcast stations:

14 (1999)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

2,015 (2005)

Internet users:

300,000 (2005)


35 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 7
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 28
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 15
under 914 m: 5 (2005)


condensate 107 km; gas 223 km; oil 104 km (2004)


total: 660 km
narrow gauge: 660 km 1.000 meter gauge
note: an additional 622 km of this railroad extends into Burkina Faso (2004)


total: 50,400 km
paved: 4,889 km
unpaved: 45,511 km (1999)


980 km (navigable rivers, canals, and numerous coastal lagoons) (2005)

Ports and terminals:

Abidjan, Aboisso, Dabou, San-Pedro

Military branches:

Army, Navy, Air Force

Disputes - international:

rebel and ethnic fighting against the central government in 2002 has spilled into neighboring states, driven out foreign cocoa workers from nearby countries, and, in 2004, resulted in 6,000 peacekeepers deployed as part of UN Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) assisting 4,000 French troops already in-country; the Ivorian Government accuses Burkina Faso and Liberia of supporting Ivorian rebels

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 70,402 (Liberia)
IDPs: 500,000-800,000 (2002 coup; most IDPs are in western regions) (2005)

Illicit drugs:

illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for local consumption; transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin to Europe and occasionally to the US, and for Latin American cocaine destined for Europe and South Africa; while rampant corruption and inadequate supervision leave the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, the lack of a developed financial system limits the country's utility as a major money-laundering center