Cote d'Ivoire [Country Flag of Cote d'Ivoire]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Cote d'Ivoire]

Cote d'Ivoire


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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: 8%
permanent crops: 4%
permanent pastures: 41%
forests and woodland: 22%
other: 25% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 680 sq km (1993 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, Desertification, 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: none of the selected agreements


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Population: 15,446,231 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 47% (male 3,629,286; female 3,590,782)
15-64 years: 51% (male 4,049,355; female 3,842,508)
65 years and over: 2% (male 170,120; female 164,180) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.41% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 42.15 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 16.12 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.96 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)
note: of the more than 350,000 refugees that fled to Cote d'Ivoire since 1989 to escape the civil war in Liberia, only about 210,000 remained in Cote d'Ivoire according to a 1997 census

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: 1.03 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 95.95 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 46.24 years
male: 44.73 years
female: 47.8 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.97 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Ivorian(s)
adjective: Ivorian

Ethnic groups: Baoule 23%, Bete 18%, Senoufou 15%, Malinke 11%, Agni, foreign Africans (mostly Burkinabe and Malians, about 3 million), non-Africans 130,000 to 330,000 (French 30,000 and Lebanese 100,000 to 300,000)

Religions: Muslim 60%, Christian 12%, indigenous 25% (some of these are also numbered among the Christians and Muslims)

Languages: French (official), 60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 40.1%
male: 49.9%
female: 30% (1995 est.)


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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; the US, like other countries, maintains its Embassy in Abidjan

Administrative divisions: 50 departments (departements, singular—departement); Abengourou, Abidjan, Aboisso, Adzope, Agboville, Agnibilekrou, Bangolo, Beoumi, Biankouma, Bondoukou, Bongouanou, Bouafle, Bouake, Bouna, Boundiali, Dabakala, Daloa, Danane, Daoukro, Dimbokro, Divo, Duekoue, Ferkessedougou, Gagnoa, Grand-Lahou, Guiglo, Issia, Katiola, Korhogo, Lakota, Man, Mankono, Mbahiakro, Odienne, Oume, Sakassou, San-Pedro, Sassandra, Seguela, Sinfra, Soubre, Tabou, Tanda, Tingrela, Tiassale, Touba, Toumodi, Vavoua, Yamoussoukro, Zuenoula
note: Cote d'Ivoire may have a new administrative structure consisting of 56 departments; the following additional departments have been reported but not yet confirmed by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN); Adiake', Ale'pe', Dabon, Grand Bassam, Jacqueville, Tiebussan

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 Henri Konan BEDIE (since 7 December 1993); note—succeeded to the presidency following the death of President Felix HOUPHOUET-BOIGNY, who had served continuously since November 1960
head of government: Prime Minister Daniel Kablan DUNCAN (since 10 December 1993)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 22 October 1995 (next to be held October 2000); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Henri Konan BEDIE elected president; percent of vote—Henri Konan BEDIE 96%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (175 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: elections last held 27 November 1995 (next to be held November 2000)
election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—PDCI 150, RDR 13, FPI 12

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour Supreme)

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party of the Cote d'Ivoire or PDCI [Henri Konan BEDIE]; Rally of the Republicans or RDR [Djeny KOBINA]; Ivorian Popular Front or FPI [Laurent GBAGBO]; Ivorian Worker's Party or PIT [Francis WODIE]; Ivorian Socialist Party or PSI [Morifere BAMBA]; 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, WAEMU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

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

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Lannon WALKER
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


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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 attempts by the government to diversify the economy, it is still largely dependent on agriculture and related activities, which engage roughly 85% of the population. After several years of lagging performance, the Ivorian economy began a comeback in 1994, due to 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. The 50% devaluation of Franc Zone currencies on 12 January 1994 caused a one-time jump in the inflation rate to 26% in 1994, but the rate fell to 7% in 1996 and an estimated 3.4% in 1997. Moreover, government adherence to donor-mandated reforms led to a jump in growth rates—6.5% in GDP in 1996 and again in 1997.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$25.8 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 6.5% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,700 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 31%
industry: 20%
services: 49% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3.4% (1997 est.)

Labor force: NA

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $2.4 billion
expenditures: $2.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $600 million (1996 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 9% (first half of 1996)

Electricity—capacity: 1.173 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 1.875 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 127 kWh (1995)

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

total value: $4.2 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: cocoa 36%, coffee 22%; tropical woods 4%, petroleum, cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, cotton, fish
partners: France 18%, Germany 8%, Italy 8%, Netherlands 8%, Burkina Faso, Mali, US, UK

total value: $3.2 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: food, consumer goods; capital goods, fuel, transport equipment
partners: France 32%, Nigeria 20%, US 6%, Ghana, Germany, Italy

Debt—external: $16.1 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $552 million (1993)

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

Exchange rates: CFA francs (CFAF) per US$1—608.36 (January 1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1996), 499.15 (1995), 555.20 (1994), 283.16 (1993)
note: beginning 12 January 1994, the CFA franc was devalued to CFAF 100 per French franc from CFAF 50 at which it had been fixed since 1948

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 87,700 (1987 est.)

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

Radio broadcast stations: AM 71, FM 0, shortwave 13

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 18

Televisions: 810,000 (1993 est.)


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total: 660 km
narrow gauge: 660 km 1.000-meter gauge; 25 km double track (1995 est.)

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

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/1,500 DWT (1997 est.)

Airports: 36 (1997 est.)

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 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 29
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 9 (1997 est.)


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

Military manpower—military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 3,583,410 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 1,866,896 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 172,000 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $140 million (1993)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 1.4% (1993)

Transnational Issues

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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, and for Latin American cocaine destined for Europe