Côte d’Ivoire is a republic in the western part of Africa, with an area of 322,460 km². The country’s highest point is Nimba at 1,752 meters.
The interior of the country consists mostly of plains and lower plateaus, while the southern third is generally lower than 150 meters above sea level. The northern two thirds are on average approx. 300 meters above sea level.
The Man Mountains in the western part of the country, which is the eastern tributary of the Guinea Highlands, rise to over 1,200 meters. The highest point is Nimba at 1,752 meters, on the border with Liberia.
The largest rivers are Comoé, Bandama and Sassandra, all of which flow south to the Gulf of Guinea.
Agriculture contributes approx. one third of the economy. Cocoa production is the world’s largest, and the country is the world’s fifth largest coffee producer. Together, cocoa and coffee account for 40% of cocoa exports as the most important. The traditional farms mainly produce the root vegetables yams and cassava, as well as sugar cane, bananas, rice, corn, coconut, palm oil and cotton.
According to ethnicityology, Ivory Coast has long been one of the most stable and prosperous countries in Africa. In recent years, however, the country has been plagued by conflicts between guest workers and “true” Ivorians, and between Christians and Muslims.
The unrest, which began after the 2000 election, developed into civil war-like conditions, and since 2002 the country has been effectively divided into a southern part under government control and a northern one under the control of the predominantly Muslim insurgents.
1893 – Côte d’Ivoire is annexed to France as a colony, but opposition to colonial rule is strong. It was not until 1917 that the French managed to subjugate the area and administer the country until it gained its independence in 1960. For the next 30 years, the Ivory Coast was one of Africa’s richest countries, primarily as a result of cocoa exports. Large plantations were established and guest workers flocked from Burkina Faso and Mali.
1960 – August 7. Ivory Coast became independent from France.
1985 – October. Côte d’Ivoire’s government decided that the country’s name would henceforth be Côte d’Ivoire in all languages in order to avoid the confusion that the country had different names in different languages. The name change has only been partially successful, and it is doubtful whether it has had the desired effect.
2010 – November. The country once again experienced a serious political crisis in connection with the presidential election in November. Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refused to acknowledge his election defeat to rival Alassane Ouattara and leave the presidency. More than 1,500 were killed and several thousand fled to Liberia for fear of a bloody civil war before Gbagbo was captured by Ouattara’s militias in April 2011, backed by French forces.
2011 – May. Ouattara was installed as president. In the parliamentary elections later that year, Ouattara’s governing coalition won 80% of the seats in parliament; however, the election was boycotted by many, bllot approx. 35% cast their vote.