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Republic of Côte d'Ivoire
République de Côte d'Ivoire
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire
Coat of Arms of Cote d'Ivoire
Flag Coat of Arms
Motto: Union – Discipline – Travail
Anthem: L'Abidjanaise
Location of Cote d'Ivoire
Location of Cote d'Ivoire
Capital Yamoussoukro
Largest largest city Abidjan
Ethnic groups Akan, Voltaiques (Gur), Northern Mandes, Krous, Southern Mandes, Lebanese, French
Government Presidential oligarchy
• President
Sylvain Bastiani
• Vice President
Yolande Deharo
• Independence from France
7 August 1960
Area
• Total
322,463 km2 (124,504 sq mi)
• Water (%)
1.4
Population
• 2011 estimate
20,617,068
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
• Total
$248.291 billion
• Per capita
$12,043
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
• Total
$326.677 billion
• Per capita
$15,845
Gini 28.4
low
HDI (2011) 0.832
very high
Currency West African CFA franc (XOF)
Time zone GMT (UTC+0)
Daylight savings is not observed
Calling code 225
Internet TLD .ci
The Ivory Coast, also known as Cote d'Ivoire is a country located in West Africa. It has an area of 322,462 square kilometres (124,503 sq mi), and is bordered by Liberia, Mali, Ghana, and Burkina Faso. It is home to 20,617,068 citizens, and has the highest standard of living in the region. A former colony of France, the Ivory Coast was granted its independence in 1960 after a referendum by the French government was held in the French colonies. Today, the Ivory Coast has grown to be the most stable nation in West Africa, as well as the most affluient, moreso than its nearby neighbor, Nigeria. The Ivorian government led by President Sylvain Bastiani, who is the head of a presidential oligarchy.

The nation is regarded as model to other African states, for it success, stability, large middle class, and relatively low corruption rate. Though the nation has its moments in history, the Ivory Coast has managed to rebound and make remarkable recoveries over time. With a national gross domestic product of $326.677 billion, the Ivory Coast has the second-largest GDP after the South African Confederacy, as well as the second highest GDP per capita on the continent. With a large and well-trained military, the country is the recognized regional power in West Africa, and has taken up the role peace-keeper since the mid-1970s.

History

Post-War Era

Following the Second World War, Ivory Coast's decision to remain loyal to the French government-in-exile after the German occupation of France in 1940 led to several far-reaching reforms at the war's end. As graditude for the colony's loyalty, the French government grant all African "subjects" the right to organize government authorities on the local lever. Forced labor was abolished, and the right organize political forces at home was allowed, permitting the locals to have a greater say in how their government operated. Additionally, the French also made moves to remove the last voting inequalities from the colony, allowing most of the population to influence the outcome of elections. The French were keen to ensure that the small, but highly influential elite in Ivory Coast were satisfied with the status quo. Before 1958, the French handled most if not all policy-making decisions in Ivory Coast.

Governors were elected in Paris, and the Ivorians were left out of the political side of their colony. This also went hand-in-hand with the French's use of divide-and-rule tactics to keep the educated elite in their place, and assimilating them to keep the rest of the population in line. Despite these efforts and the few reforms, the small elite class were dissatified with French rule, but suffered it with the belief that they would be accepted as the equal of their French overseers one day through assimilation rather than through complete independence from France. However, many of them soon realized that this would mean the superiority of French culture, and that discrimination and inequality would end only with the colony's independence.

Independence & Growth

In 1958, Ivory Coast was grant autonomy, and was amitted as a member of the French Community, and organization that all of Franche's colonies with the exception of Guinea joined. The Ivorians were granted independence on August 7, 1960, after a region-wide referendum was held by the French government June 11, 1960, in which France agreed to grant Code d'Ivoire and several of its colonies independence. The commerical city of Abidjan was established as the capital until 1983. Félix Houphouët-Boigny was the first president of Code d'Ivoire until 1993, during which the nation experienced the "Ivorian miracle", called so for that fact that the nation saw economic and politicial successes seen by few other nations on the continent. The country was able to begin moving toward a brighter future as the new government began making sound choices over the next couple of decades.

During the Houphouët-Boigny administration, the nation was hard at work establishing economical and political ties with its neighbors, and promoting economical growth amoungst them. Forseeing a possible bump in trade revenue as Israel and the Arab nations moved toward a possible war, Ivory Coast and its allies sought to diversify their economies, and avoid becoming over-relient on the trade of agricultural goods and oil. The investment into other industries such as car manufacturing, computers, banking, and fishing saw the nation establish itself on solid ground before OPEC decided to cease it trade of oil as punishment for the Western nations decision to aid Israel. Whereas many of the African nation relient on the trade of oil saw the prices drop, and thus lose hundreds of millions in revenue, Ivory Coast was able to avoid the regional crash, and thus expand its influence.

Ivorian Civil War

After Houphouët-Boigny died in 1993, the government had no one else who it believed could fill the shoes of the previous president, and thus, was left open to anyone who could secure themselves in the position of president. A former army commander, Donat Florent, attempted to cease power, and this lead to a fight between the forces loyal to Florent, and the popularly-elected Sylvain Bastiani. During the Ivorian Civil War, Bastiani sought to keep the fighting constrained to the northeastern provinces, seeking to better developed and densely-populated southern provinces far from the fighting. Florent was able to establish a presense in the city of Bondoukou, and began marching toward the capital of Yamoussoukro. This could not be allowed, and the 2nd and 4th army groups were immediately dispatched to stop Florent.

Florent's force was stopped outside of the city of Satama-Sokoro, in which 3,000 troops of the 13th Army Division and 27th Armored Regiment faced off against 7,000 rebels. The battle went on for some two weeks, in which 600 government forces were killed, but 2,500 rebel soldiers killed and wounded in the process. The government was able to push Florent back to the town of Tanda, where Florent had his men hold the government forces back long enough for him to flee to Burkina Faso. Florent was capture by the Burkinabé military, and returned to Cote d'Ivoire to face justice. He was sentenced to death for high treason, and executed April 4th of 1994. His aides were also tried, and seven were given the death sentence, and 23 others given life sentences.

Though the war only lasted for about six months, some 75,000 people were killed in the fighting, and another 400,000 displaced. It was the deadliest conflict in Ivorian history, and was the only civil war in the nation's history. The Ivorian government made moved to ensure that after the death or resignation of a president, a system of succession was put in place. However, today that system unproven as Bastiani has governed the nation for nearly twenty years, using popular opnion and political favors to remain in power. Despite this, no uprising has occured since 1993, ensuring that the nation has been able to both recover and prosper.

Recent History

The nation has been relatively quite by African standards. No political incidents or military scandals have plagued the country since 1993, and economic growth has been steady. The government instituted a number of low-reforms, generally regarded as rather trivial and not of much merit, other nations performing more ground-sweeping reforms. However, the development of the nation's first fusion weapon in 2007, and the development of a defense industry during the 1990s. The country is also moving toward region hegemony as increases its ties with the neighboring countries, and talks of forming a super-state in the region are underway in Accra. Aside from these few things, Cote d'Ivoire appears rather calm.

Geography

Climate

Cote d'Ivoire is a relatively warm and humid country with thrre specific seasons; warm and dry (November to March), hot and dry (March to May), and hot and wet (June to October). The tempatures in the country generally average between 77 and 89.6 °F to 50 to 104 °F. Raining is typical in Cote d' Ivoire as with the other West African nations, and flooding is periodic at times but typically unusual. One can expect seasonal rains to be exceptionally heavy at times though.

Environment

The nation is mostly forested, and has three major rivers running through it; the Sassandra River, the Bandama River, and the Komoe River. The country has plentiful resources, which have made the nation very prosperous as well. Most of the farmland is located in the south, as well as most of the population, meaning the enviromental footprint left behind is usually minimal at most. The country is very flat, and in the north, one can find lots of hilly and mountainous lands.

Politics

Government

Law & Criminal Justice

Foreign Relations

Military

The Ivorian Armed Forces (Ivoirienne des Forces armées), is the official military force of Cote d'Ivoire, responsible for maintaining national integrity and keeping the peace. It is divided into four branches, each of which is tasked with handling a specific operational capacity. The military consists of 375,000 personnel, and is headed by the President of Cote d'Ivoire, though during peace-time, it is overseen by the Minister of Defense, the post currently held by Jules Cougelet. The headquarters of the military is located in the capital city of Yamoussoukro. After the events of the Ivorian Civil War, generals and other high-ranking officers undergo a thorough background check every two to three years to check loyalty, competence, and morale. Also, to minimize their impact in politics, military commanders are not allowed to hold a political post, or join a political party until after their commission with the military is over.

The Ivorian Army (Armée ivoirienne), tasked with handling all ground-based combat operations, is made up of some 250,000 troops. It maintains a number of bases throughout the country, and has bases in Liberia and Burkina Faso, and as of the uprising in Mali, a military base in Bamako to prevent the collapse of the government there, and to keep the rebels out of government lands. The army is supplied by the Ivorian Defense Industry (IDI), and recieves all of its equipment from local sources. Some of the standard-issue weapons are M-16s, M60 Pattons, and AK-74s, all of which are produced with licenses aquired from the governments where the items were patented. Efforts to development locally development weapons without the need lisences are underway.

The Ivorian Navy (Marine ivoirienne), which is tasked with handling maritime operations, consists of 20,000 personnel, and some 58 vessels. The navy is based out of Yamoussoukro as the rest of the military branches, but has the bulk of its assets in Abidjan. Attempts to develop naval bases in other coastal cities are underway, but the costs have been very prohibitive, and have stunned the navy's progress in diversifying its abilities. Most of the ships are of the littoral class, but a few are frigates and others cruisers. Plans to modernize the navy with the purchase of several French warships are on the table, and planned to go ahead in 2013.

The Ivorian Air Force (Armée de l'Air ivoirienne) is the branch of the military tasked with maintaining air superiority, and overseeing the maintainance of the country's 17 fusion warheads. Consisting of 45,000 personnel and 540 aircraft, and thought the air force is the third-largest branch of the military, it is generally regarded as the pride of the military. The air force is rather pretigeous for having some of the most cutting-edge equipment of the entire force, and with its stock of locally-built jet fighters, a certain level of national pride has been attatched to the air force and its role in keeping the skies clear, as no army simply comes by sea anymore.

The National Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie Nationale) is the military police force of Cote d'Ivoire, and consists of 60,000 guardsmen. The force is tasked with enforcing martial law and defending government building and offices during emergencies. It is usually viewed as the personal army of the President, but this has been denied multiple times, though the president has used the force to maintain control and keep the numerous political officials under watch. Despite this, the gendarmerie is highly respected, and regarded as the army of the people, defending the citizens from the rebels and illegal immigrants trying to enter the country.

Economy

The Ivorian economy is largely a market-based one, which account 58% of the nation's economic output. The industrial sector which was developed during the mid-1970s has grown to account for nearly 30% of the economy. The Minister of the Treasury is tasked with putting together the national budget, which sets aside how the nation will spend its money for the given year. Since the adoption of the West African CFA franc as the nation currency, the happenings in the neighboring countries have a great effect on the value of that money. This means that the Ivorian government is highly engaged in the maintaining of peace in places like Liberia and Mali to keep the CFA franc strong and stable.

The city of Abidjan is the commerical capital of the nation, and the largest port of Cote d'Ivoire as well. Most of the nation's finacial institutions are located in Abidjan, and nearly 40% of the country's economic output comes from or around Abidjan, making the city highly important to the economic safety of Cote d'Ivoire. Plans were developed in the 1980s to spread the economic facilities of the nations around to prevent over-reliance on Abidjan. The cities of Bouake and San-Pedro have been expanded to include numerous refineries and commercial districts to attract investment into other parts of the nation.

Infrastructure

Science & Technology

Transportation

Cote d'Ivoire's transportation system is highly developed for an African nation. Numerous highway criss-cross of the countryside, and miles upon mile rail link the most productive parts of the nation to the capital. Plans to build a series of railways into neighboring countries were drawn up for the next few years, but peace-keeping activities around the nation have scared investors from pushing ahead with the plan. Ivory Coast has plenty of paved roadways, and the most development transportion systems are located in the south around Abidjan. Bus transportation systems are highly regulated, with several thousands of buses active throughout the nation providing affordable transportation to urbanized areas.

Energy

Cote d'Ivoire is the only in West Africa that recieves the greater portion of it energy from nuclear and fusion sources. There are three nuclear power plants in Ivory Coast, one in Abidjan, another in Yamoussoukro, and one in Bouake. The only fusion power plant in the country in located outside of Abidjan, and is currently at 75% operation capacity. The development of wind and solar power plants has been suggested by many of the political authorities in the government, but the burning of coal and wood by most of the population is still common. There have been efforts to make electricity more accessible for those living in the rural areas of Ivory Coast, and some two million still rely on the burning of wood or dung for power.

Demographics

Language

French is the official language of Cote d'Ivoire, taught in nearly all schools in the country, and regarded as the lingua franca by many. However, there are some seventy other spoken languages, all of which fall into the Niger-Congo language families. The Kwa lanuages are most common in the southeastern part of the nation, with some 2-4 million speakers, and part of a dialect continuum with the Ashante people. Baoulé is spoke around Lake Kossou and the capital city. There are some half a million Kru speakers, and a quarter of a million Dida speakers. There are also three million or so speakers of immigrant languages, mostly from neighboring countries and above all from Burkina Faso. Ethnic tensions in the north between immigrant and native Ivoirians, as well as between the Mande/Senoufo north and the Kru/Kwa south.

Religion

Health

Education

Culture

Art

Music

Cuisine

Media

Sports

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