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Ivory Coast

Terra Casta


Parc National de la Comoe: The premier game park in the Côte d'Ivoire is the Parc National de la Comoe, located in the elevated savanna and forest in the northeast. Comoe occupies over 4,300 square miles (11,00 sq. km.) and is home to a variety of big game animals (lions, elephants, hippos) as well as many species of birds.

Man: This western city is the centre of the Dan people, one of the most interesting tribal cultures of western Africa. The Dan are especially noted for their traditional masks and stilt dances. Man is also the focal point of a region of particular natural beauty. The surrounding area is thickly forested and mountainous, and its attractions include the striking rock formations of La Dent.

The Senufo are a traditional agricultural people of the northern savanna, renowned around the world for their woodcarving. Senufo masks, used in ritual forms of ancestor worship, are particularly prized by collectors. The Senufo are also widely celebrated for their music, which makes use of marimbas and tuned iron gongs in addition to an array of other instruments.


Along a Lagoon lies the chief port and capital of Cote d'Ivoire, Abidjan. Abidjan is called the New York of West Africa. This city became the capital of the French colony in 1934, and remained the economic capital after independence in 1960. The important districts are Plateau, Cocody (site of the National University of Cote d'Ivoire), Treichville, Adjame, Koumassi, and Marcory. Today, Abidjan is the financial center of French-speaking West Africa. There are many wide, shady streets and plenty of gardened squares in the city; the university (built in 1958) lies on the eastern mainland. Abidjan has modern six lane highways to move its population of almost 3 million but the traffic in the business center of Le Plateau is generally jammed. Abidjan holds a museum of traditional Ivorian art, a national library, and several agricultural and scientific research institutes. The city is a communications center and also has an international airport. Maquis - African style restaurants - are found everywhere, and are famous for their grilled chicken and fish. Popular local foods include aloco and attieke. "Hôtel Ivoire" in the upper class Cocody residential district west of Le Plateau is a famous hotel. This 750 room five star hotel has everything, an ice-skating rink, a bowling alley, seven tennis courts, a cinema, a casino, a luxury grocery store and a major art shop.

Charles de Gaule Bridge

Hotel Ivoir
Hotel Ivoir

Abidjan's various districts are separated by arms of the lagoon that makes it one of the finest ports in West Africa thanks to the Vridi canal giving access to the ocean. The Charles de Gaule bridge separates the skyscraper studded business center called "Le Plateau" from Treichville and Marcory to the south where workers live. Treichville renowned for its busy market and wild nightlife which is more safely enjoyed in a group than alone. Cocody and Le Plateau are well policed and relatively safe compared to Abidjan's other districts. A few years ago Abidjan was one of Africa's most dangerous cities along with Lagos and Johannesburg. The situation has now improved following a resolute campaign of brutal law enforcement which included the payment of bounties for the elimination of known criminals (without trial).


Yamoussoukro is the birth village of former president Houphouet-Boigny. He made this village the capital of his country. The biggest cathedral in the world was built in this place (the top of St Peters in Rome is a bit higher, but this cathedral has a big cross on top of it, making it higher). "Some say that nothing else could make Africa seem more absurd".



For many years, Ivory Coast had a very strong economy based on coffee and cocoa. There are many large international companies based in Africa, which are having good success, where Africans are having great careers allowing them to progress in life and take care of their family; their sons are able to go to school and play soccer or follow computer courses; successful managers in these companies shows the world of the competent Africans. A good example is SDV in Abidjan or SLSA in Freetown. This shows that with proper education, Africans can be competent managers and that investment does pay off.

Côte d'Ivoire has the biggest population as well as the largest economy of the West African Economic Monetary Union. The economy is largely dependent on agriculture; cocoa and coffee are the two main export crops providing over 40% of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the country. Ivory Coast is the world's largest cocoa producer and the 5th largest producer of coffee. In the summer of 2001 a dispute has raised serious concerns in the country which accounts for 41 percent of global output and is home to 620,000 plantations. Some six of the country's estimated 15 million population directly and indirectly live off the bean.

In addition, the country has developed other industrial crops including palm oil, rubber, cotton, sugarcane, pineapple and soya. The main exports are coffee, cocoa, timber, bananas, pineapples, and manganese. Since early 1999, Côte d’Ivoire has not received budgetary support due to poor economic management performance and governance problems. This, and a sharp deterioration of commodity prices (particularly cocoa), have led to a significant slowdown in growth in 1999. In the year 2000, political uncertainty (following the military coup in December 1999), compounded by a fiscal crisis and continued low commodity prices have further reduced Côte d’Ivoire’s short-term economic prospects. Following a period of prudent macroeconomic policies after the 1994 devaluation, slippages began to emerge in mid-1998, and soon thereafter, the effects of lower commodity prices became noticeable.

Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa producer, accounting for about 41 percent of global output, has been the target of much criticism in the international media recently, with allegations that up to 90 percent of Ivorian cocoa supplies are produced by child slaves. At least 200,000 children annually fall victim to traffickers in the west and central African slave trade, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates. Ivory Coast's cocoa production is expected to touch 1.16 million tonnes in 2000-01 against 1.30 million tonnes the previous year, according to a recent British study.

Response from Armel Kouassi

My opinion: "It is not slavery, and not an official government policy. The problem is more complex than a simple slavery. People from countries around Côte d'ivoire - Burkina Faso and Mali are so poor that Ivory Coast (despite of is own poverty in comparison with developed countries) is sorts of Eldora do for them, so many children are sent to plantation in Ivory Coast to earn money for their families abroad. Don't forget that more than 30% of Ivory Coast population are immigrants. So the problem is really a poverty problem. Sorry make more deep investigations before concluding about slavery in Ivory Coast. Even UNICEF doesn't have reliable statistics and information".


Cote d'Ivoire was one of the last countries of West Africa to be colonised, mostly because of the large swamps that form a barrier along the coast. The Kru people migrated eastward from Liberia in the 15th century at the time the Portuguese were trading ivory and slaves on the coast. In the 16th century the Senoufo and Lubi moved in from the north (Burkina Faso & Mali). In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Malinké came from the northwest (Guinea) and the Akan Baoulé arrived from the east (Ghana). Between 1887 and 1893 France managed to enter inland and Cote d’Ivoire became a French colony in 1899. Côte d'Ivoire became independent in 1960. The country's first President since independence, Houphouët-Boigny served as head of state for 33 years. He was succeeded after his death in 1993 by Mr. Henri Konan Bédié. Multi-party Presidential and Legislative elections were held in 1990, and were won by Houphouet-Boigny and his Parti Democratique de Cote d'Ivoire (PDCI). The opposition parties won only 10 seats out of 175 in the Ivorian parliament. Under President Houphouet-Boigny, Cote d'Ivoire had a reputation for moderate external policies, on good terms with all and particularly with France.

President Houphouet-Boigny died in 1993 and Henri Konan Bédié, became president. In the 1995 presidential and legislative elections, Henri Konan Bédié was elected President with 95.25% of the vote and his Party, the PDCI, won an overwhelming majority. M Ouattara, a rival to President Bedie, was not allowed to participate. In June 1998 the National Assembly passed fundamental changes to the 1960 Constitution to increase the power of the president to exclude the opposition. The Bédié Government was overthrown by a military coup d’état on December 24, 1999. In early January 2000, former army chief General Robert Guéi formed an interim coalition Government which was then reshuffled on May 18, replacing all ministers from the Republican party except one, who promptly resigned. The situation deteriorated in September 2000, when Ouattara, a leader of the opposition was banned and his supporters were arrested. There were two leaders of the opposition: Laurent Gbagbo for FPI and Ouattara for RDR, the first was allowed and the second was banned by constitution voted by more than 86% of participants, all major parties voted this constitution. Violent clashes with the police broke out, and armoured personnel carriers were deployed. Public demonstrations were banned.

On 24th December 1999 a mutiny broke out among the troops protesting for better pay. The situation turned into a military coup, ending forty years of civilian rule. A 'Government of National Unity' was formed. The international community quickly condemned the coup and called for a return to constitutional order. Following strong international pressure, General Guei announced that general elections would be completed by 31 October.

There is still a very large French community in Cote d'Ivoire as well as a French military base, with regular joint French-Ivorian military exercises taking place. Cote d'Ivoire has recently played an important regional role in West Africa in seeking a solution to the Sierra Leone crisis and has sent troops to join the international peacekeeping operation in the Central African Republic.

Enabling us to improve the quality of the content, if you have additonal information, remarks or suggestions, please share it with us by e-mail.

We could improve the quality of the content with help from the Ivorian Student Armel Koussi in Paris/France: Engineer degree in statistics and economics, and Master degree in management European School of Management (ESCP Paris).

Special thanks to: Dr Olivier OBROU

Brussels Airlines
In 2002 SN Brussels Airlines was created to continue in the steps of the two companies Sabena and DAT, who between them had an unequalled safety record. BRUSSELS AIRLINES was created following the merger of SN Brussels Airlines (SNBA) and Virgin Express. On 12 April 2005, SN Airholding, the company behind SNBA, signed an agreement with Richard Branson, giving it control over Virgin Express. On 7 November 2006, the new name, Brussels Airlines, was announced at a press conference at Brussels Airport. Brussels Airlines began operations on 25 March 2007. On September 15, 2008 it was announced that Lufthansa will acquire a 45% stake in Brussels Airlines with an option to acquire the remaining 55% from 2011. As a part of this deal Brussels Airlines will join Star Alliance. On March 13, Brussels Airlines announced that the airline will codeshare all their flights to Germany with Lufthansa. The codeshare agreement will start from March 29. This new step is part of the integration of Brussels Airlines into the Star Alliance network. Brussels Airlines becomes a Star Alliance member in 2009.

From 26 April 2002 SN Brussels Airlines opened frequent Africa connections and presently BRUSSELS AIRLINES serves safe and reliable flights to:

ANGOLA (Luanda) - BURUNDI (Bujumbura) - CAMEROON (Douala & Yaoundé) - CôTE D'IVOIR (Abidjan) - DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (Kinshasa) - THE GAMBIA (Banjul (Banjul) - GUINEA (Conakry) - KENYA (Nairobi) - LIBERIA (Monrovia) - RWANDA (Kigali) - SENEGAL (Dakar) - SIERRA LEONE (Freetown) - UGANDA (Entebbe)
For further information click here and please tell them we sent you!

Africa Best
In Dagbego at the Atlantic Coast, a 3 hour-drive from Abidjan, you can find "Best of Africa", a privately owned and managed charming hotel restaurant. Check this out: "A smiling Pearl"

Last update: 30 April, 2009

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