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Countries > Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

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Capital: Abidjan
Population: 15,000,000
Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Map


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

Geographic coordinates: 8 00 N, 5 00 W

Map references: Africa

total: 322,460 sq km
land: 318,000 sq km
water: 4,460 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, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper

Land use:
arable land: 9%
permanent crops : 14%
other:77% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:730 sq km (1998 est.)

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 cleared by the timber industry); water pollution from sewage and industrial and agricultural effluents

Environment - international agreements:
party to : Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Desertification


Population: 16,804,784
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 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years :46% (male 3,874,651; female 3,847,080)
15-64 years: 51.8% (male 4,468,242; female 4,238,998)
65 years and over: 2.2% (male 185,306; female 190,507) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.45% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:39.99 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 16.74 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note : after Liberia's civil war started in 1990, more than 350,000 refugees fled to Cote d'Ivoire; by the end of 1999 most Liberian refugees were assumed to have returned (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years :1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 92.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 44.72 years
male :43.45 years
female: 46.03 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.61 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Ivorian(s)
adjective: Ivorian

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 20,000 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

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 48.5%


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

Data code: IV

Government type: republic; multiparty presidential regime established 1960

National capital: Yamoussoukro
note: although Yamoussoukro has been the capital since 1983, Abidjan remains the administrative center; foreign governments, including the US, maintain official presences in Abidjan

Administrative divisions: 58 departments (departements, singular - departement); Abengourou, Abidjan, Aboisso, Adiake, Adzope, Agboville, Agnibilekrou, Alepe, Bocanda, Bangolo, Beoumi, Biankouma, Bondoukou, Bongouanou, Bouafle, Bouake, Bouna, Boundiali, Dabakala, Dabou, Daloa, Danane, Daoukro, Dimbokro, Divo, Duekoue, Ferkessedougou, Gagnoa, Grand-Bassam, Grand-Lahou, Guiglo, Issia, Jacqueville, Katiola, Korhogo, Lakota, Man, Mankono, Mbahiakro, Odienne, Oume, Sakassou, San-Pedro, Sassandra, Seguela, Sinfra, Soubre, Tabou, Tanda, Tiebissou, Tingrela, Tiassale, Touba, Toulepleu, Toumodi, Vavoua, Yamoussoukro, Zuenoula

Independence: 7 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday: National Day, 7 August

Constitution: 3 November 1960; has been amended numerous times, last time November 1990

Legal system: based on French civil law system and customary law; judicial review in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Laurent GBAGBO (since 26 October 2000); note - took power following a popular overthrow of the interim leader Gen. Robert GUEI who had claimed a dubious victory in presidential elections; Gen. GUEI himself had assumed power on 25 December 1999, following a military coup against the government of former President Henri Konan BEDIE
head of government: Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Development Affi N'GUESSAN (since 27 October 2000)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 26 October 2000 (next to be held NA 2005); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Laurent GBAGBO elected president; percent of vote - Laurent GBAGBO 59.4%, Robert GUEI 32.7%, Francis WODIE 5.7%, other 2.2%

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 NA 2005)
note: a Senate is scheduled to be created in the next full election in 2005
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

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

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party of Cote d'Ivoire-African Democratic Rally or PDCI-RDA [Aime Henri Konan BEDIE]; Ivorian Popular Front or FPI [Laurent GBAGBO]; Ivorian Worker's Party or PIT [Francis WODIE]; Rally of the Republicans or RDR [Alassane OUATTARA]; Union for Democracy and Peace or UDPCI [Gen. Robert GUEI]; over 20 smaller parties

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WADB, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Youssoufou BAMBA
chancery: 2424 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 797-0300

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Arlene RENDER
embassy : 5 Rue Jesse Owens, Abidjan
mailing address: 01 B. P. 1712, Abidjan
telephone: [225] 21 09 79
FAX: [225] 22 32 59

Flag description: three equal vertical bands of orange (hoist side), white, and green; similar to the flag of Ireland, which is longer and has the colors reversed - green (hoist side), white, and orange; also similar to the flag of Italy, which is green (hoist side), white, and red; design was based on the flag of France


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 to weather conditions. Despite government attempts to diversify the economy, it is still largely dependent on agriculture and related activities, which engage roughly 68% of the population. After several years of lagging performance, the Ivorian economy began a comeback in 1994, due to the 50% devaluation of the CFA franc and improved prices for cocoa and coffee, growth in nontraditional primary exports such as pineapples and rubber, limited trade and banking liberalization, offshore oil and gas discoveries, and generous external financing and debt rescheduling by multilateral lenders and France. Moreover, government adherence to donor-mandated reforms led to a jump in growth to 5% annually during 1996-99. Growth was negative in 2000 and 2001 because of the difficulty of meeting the conditions of international donors, continued low prices of key exports, and post-coup instability. Political instability continues to impede growth.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $25.5 billion (2001)

GDP - real growth rate: -1% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,550 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 28%
industry: 20%
services : 28%

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 2.5% (2000 est.)

Labor force:68% agricultural (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate: 13% in urban areas (1998 est.)

revenues: $1.72 billion
expenditures:$2.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $420 million (2001 est.)

Industries: foodstuffs, beverages; wood products, oil refining, automobile assembly, textiles, fertilizer, construction materials, electricity

Industrial production growth rate: 15% (1998 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 1.17 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production:4.08 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 2.57 billion kWh (2000)

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

total value: $3.6 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: cocoa 36%, coffee 22%; tropical woods 4%, petroleum, cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, cotton, fish
partners : France 18%, Germany 11%, Italy 8%, Burkina Faso, Mali, US, UK, Netherlands

total value : $2.4 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: food, consumer goods; capital goods, fuel, transport equipment
partners: France 26%, Nigeria 10%, China 7%, Italy 5%, Germany 4% (1999)

Debt - external: $13.3 billion (2000 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $1 billion (1996 est.)

Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 742.79 (January 2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997); note - from 1 January 1999, the XOF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF per euro

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 263,700 (2000)

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

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 3 (1998)

Radios: 2.26 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 14 (1999)

Televisions: 1.09 million (2000)


total : 660 km
narrow gauge: 660 km 1.000-meter gauge; 25 km double track (1995 est.)
note: an additional 600 km of this railroad extends into Burkina Faso, ending at Kaya, north of Ouagadougou (2000 est.)

total: 50,400 km
paved:4,889 km
unpaved : 45,511 km (1996)

Waterways: 980 km navigable rivers, canals, and numerous coastal lagoons

Ports and harbors: Abidjan, Aboisso, Dabou, San-Pedro

Merchant marine:
total : 1 oil tanker (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,200 GRT/2,181 DWT (1996 est.)

Airports:36 (2001)

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 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 29
1,524 to 2,437 m:13
914 to 1,523 m: 11 (1996 est.)
under 914 m: 9 (2001)


Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, paramilitary Gendarmerie, Presidential Guard

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49:3,963,166 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 2,071,011 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 188,411 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $127.7 million (FY01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.3% (FY01)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for local consumption; minor transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin to Europe and occasionally to the US