General information about Côte d’Ivoire
The official name is the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (Ripublique de Cote d’lvoire, Republic of Cote d’lvoire) (until 1986 Ivory Coast).
Located in West Africa. The area is 322.5 thousand km2, the population is 16.8 million people. (2002). The official language is French. The capital is the city of Yamoussoukro (120 thousand people, 2002); all government offices are located in Abidjan (3.1 million people, 2002). Public holiday – Independence Day on August 7 (since 1960). The monetary unit is the African franc (equal to 100 centimes).
Member of the UN (since 1960), AU (since 1963), associate member of the EU, etc.
Geography of Ivory Coast
It is located between 4°20′ and 6°25′ West longitude and 2°45′ and 8°12′ North latitude. It borders Guinea and Liberia to the west, Mali and Burkina Faso to the north, and Ghana to the east. In the south it is washed by the waters of the Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean, the length of the coastline is 515 km. The south of Côte d’Ivoire is occupied by a hilly plain, in the north – a plateau with a height of 500-800 m. The highest point of the country – 1340 m – is located in the extreme west. The coastline is slightly indented: in the west – steep, rocky coasts, in the east – sandy coasts, devoid of natural harbors, with a chain of lagoons suitable for navigation. The river network is represented by the rivers Cavalli, Sasandra, Bandama, Komoe. Offshore deposits of oil (100 million tons), iron ore (2.5 billion tons), manganese ore (13 million tons), gold (15 tons), diamonds (0.5 million carats), ores of titanium, zirconium, nickel, bauxites. Red-yellow and red ferralitic soils predominate. In the south – evergreen equatorial forests, in the north – forest savanna with gallery forests along rivers and tall grass savannah. The fauna is rich and diverse: monkeys, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, antelopes, giraffes, zebras, lions, leopards, cheetahs, many birds and reptiles live here. The tsetse fly is widespread.
Population of Ivory Coast
According to Countryaah, the average annual growth rate in 2000–02 was 2.35%. Population density – 52 people. per 1 km2. Birth rate 40%, mortality 17%, infant mortality 92 people. per 1000 newborns. Life expectancy is 45 years (men – 44, women – 46). Sex and age structure: 0-14 years – 46% (ratio of men and women 1.01); 15-64 years – 52% (1.05); 65 years and older – 2% (0.97). The ratio of men and women in the entire population is 1.03. Among the adult population, 51.5% are illiterate (men – 43%, women – 60%).
There are more than 60 peoples speaking the Kwa languages (Bete, Baule, Anyi, Bakwe, Gere, inhabiting the southern and coastal regions), Gur (Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Kulango, Mosi – the northern part of the country), Mande (Mandinka, Dan, Queni, Diula, Bamana). Akan is a widely spoken language of interethnic communication.
35-40% of the population profess Islam, 25-40% adhere to traditional beliefs, 20-30% are Christians.
History of Ivory Coast
The situation in the country soon returned to normal. In January 2000, a transitional government was formed in which General Gay, President of the Republic and Chairman of the NKOS, became Minister of Defense. It was assumed that the transitional period would end in 2000 with the adoption of a new Constitution, presidential, parliamentary and local elections, after which the army would consider its mission accomplished. The further development of events was not so smooth: the difficult and contradictory political situation was aggravated by the deterioration of the country’s financial situation. However, all the planned stages were successfully overcome: in July 2000 a new Constitution was adopted, in October the president of the country was elected, he became L. Gbagbo, a representative of the Ivorian Popular Front, who scored approx. 60% of the vote, new government formed, in December 2000 and January 2001, elections to the National Assembly were held (the majority of mandates were received by the INF – 96, DPKI – 94, OR – 5, IPT – 4). After such a political marathon, Côte d’Ivoire again got a chance to return to peaceful nation-building. The Forum on National Reconciliation held in October 2001 was called upon to contribute to this. However, the September 2002 rebel uprising marked the beginning of an eight-month civil war that ended with the signing of a ceasefire in April 2003. In March 2003, a coalition government of national reconciliation was formed, headed by Prime Minister S. Diarra, which included representatives of the Ivorian Popular Front, the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire, rebel organizations and the Union of Republicans in opposition to the authorities.