[Country map of Cote d'Ivoire]

Cote d'Ivoire

(also known as Ivory Coast)


Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia

Map references: Africa

total area: 322,460 sq km
land area: 318,000 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries: total 3,110 km, Burkina 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

International disputes: none

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

Natural resources: petroleum, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper

Land use:
arable land: 9%
permanent crops: 4%
meadows and pastures: 9%
forest and woodland: 26%
other: 52%

Irrigated land: 620 sq km (1989 est.)

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
natural hazards: coast has heavy surf and no natural harbors; during the rainy season torrential flooding is possible
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83; signed, but not ratified - Desertification


Population: 14,791,257 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 48% (female 3,506,147; male 3,534,751)
15-64 years: 50% (female 3,619,759; male 3,820,999)
65 years and over: 2% (female 142,366; male 167,235) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.38% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 46.17 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 14.95 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)
note: since 1989, over 350,000 refugees have fled to Cote d'Ivoire to escape the civil war in Liberia; if a lasting peace is achieved in Liberia in 1995, large numbers of refugees can be expected to return to their homes

Infant mortality rate: 93.1 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 48.87 years
male: 46.52 years
female: 51.29 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.61 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Ivorian(s)
adjective: Ivorian

Ethnic divisions: 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: indigenous 25%, Muslim 60%, Christian 12%

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

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1988)
total population: 34%
male: 44%
female: 23%

Labor force: 5.718 million
by occupation: over 85% of population engaged in agriculture, forestry, livestock raising; about 11% of labor force are wage earners, nearly half in agriculture and the remainder in government, industry, commerce, and professions


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

Digraph: IV

Type: republic; multiparty presidential regime established 1960

Capital: Yamoussoukro
note: although Yamoussoukro has been the capital since 1983, Abidjan remains the administrative center; foreign governments, including the United States, maintain presence 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

Independence: 7 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday: National Day, 7 December

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) constitutional successor who will serve during the remainder of the term of former President Felix HOUPHOUET-BOIGNY who died in office after continuous service from November 1960 (next election October 1995)
head of government: Prime Minister Daniel Kablan DUNCAN (since 10 December 1993)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the prime minister

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale): elections last held 25 November 1990 (next to be held November 1995); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (175 total) PDCI 163, FPI 9, PIT 1, independents 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour Supreme)

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party of the Cote d'Ivoire (PDCI), Henri Konan BEDIE; Rally of the Republicans (RDR), Djeny KOBINA; Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), Laurent GBAGBO; Ivorian Worker's Party (PIT), Francis WODIE; Ivorian Socialist Party (PSI), Morifere BAMBA; over 20 smaller parties


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

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Hume A. HORAN
embassy: 5 Rue Jesse Owens, Abidjan
mailing address: 01 B. P. 1712, Abidjan
telephone: [225] 21 09 79, 21 46 72
FAX: [225] 22 32 59

Flag: 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


Overview: Cote d'Ivoire is among the world's largest producers and exporters of coffee, cocoa beans, and palm-kernel oil. Consequently, the economy is highly sensitive to fluctuations in international prices for coffee and cocoa and to weather conditions. Despite attempts by the government to diversify, the economy is still largely dependent on agriculture and related industries. After several years of lagging performance, the Ivorian economy began a comeback in 1994, due to improved prices for cocoa and coffee, growth in non-traditional primary exports such as pineapples and rubber, trade and banking liberalization, offshore oil and gas discoveries, and generous external financing and debt rescheduling by multilateral lenders and France. The 50% devaluation in January 1994 caused a one time jump in the inflation rate. Government adherence to a renewed structural adjustment program has led to a budget surplus for the first time in several years, a smaller personnel budget, and an increase in public investment. While real growth in 1994 was only 1.5%, the IMF and World Bank expect it will surpass 6% in 1995.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $20.5 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 1.5% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $1,430 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment rate: 14% (1985)

revenues: $1.9 billion
expenditures: $3.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $408 million (1993)

Exports: $2.7 billion (f.o.b., 1993)
commodities: cocoa 30%, coffee 20%, tropical woods 11%, petroleum, cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, cotton
partners: France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Burkina, US, Belgium, UK (1992)

Imports: $1.6 billion (f.o.b., 1993)
commodities: food, capital goods, consumer goods, fuel
partners: France, Nigeria, Japan, Netherlands, US (1992)

External debt: $17.3 billion (1993 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 0% (1993 est.); accounts for 20% of GDP, including petroleum

capacity: 1,170,000 kW
production: 1.8 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 123 kWh (1993)

Industries: foodstuffs, wood processing, oil refining, automobile assembly, textiles, fertilizer, beverages

Agriculture: most important sector, contributing one-third to GDP and 80% to exports; cash crops include coffee, cocoa beans, timber, bananas, palm kernels, rubber; food crops - corn, rice, manioc, sweet potatoes; not self-sufficient in bread grain and dairy products

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis; mostly for local consumption; some international drug trade; transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin to Europe and occasionally to the US

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $356 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-88), $5.2 billion

Currency: 1 CFA franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (CFAF) per US$1 - 529.43 (January 1995), 555.20 (1994), 283.16 (1993), 264.69 (1992), 282.11 (1991), 272.26 (1990)
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


total: 660 km (25 km double track)
narrow gauge: 660 km 1.000-meter gauge

total: 46,600 km
paved: 3,600 km
unpaved: gravel, crushed stone, improved earth 32,000 km; unimproved earth 11,000 km

Inland waterways: 980 km navigable rivers, canals, and numerous coastal lagoons

Ports: Abidjan, Aboisso, Dabou, San-Pedro

Merchant marine:
total: 5 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 49,671 GRT/69,216 DWT
ships by type: chemical tanker 1, container 2, oil tanker 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 1

total: 40
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
with paved runways under 914 m: 11
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 6
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 16


Telephone system: 87,700 telephones; well-developed by African standards but operating well below capacity; consists of open-wire lines and radio relay microwave links
local: NA
intercity: NA microwave radio relay
international: 2 INTELSAT (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) earth stations; 2 coaxial submarine cables

broadcast stations: AM 71, FM 0, shortwave 13
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 18
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, paramilitary Gendarmerie, Presidential Guard, Military Fire Group

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 3,318,314; males fit for military service 1,724,020; males reach military age (18) annually 154,120 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $140 million, 1.4% of GDP (1993)