Cote d'Ivoire

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Côte d'Ivoire is a country in West Africa. It has a southerly facing North Atlantic Ocean coast, and is surrounded by Ghana to the east, Liberia to the west, Guinea to the northwest, Mali to the north, and Burkina Faso to the northeast.

Population: 22,400,835 people
Area: 322,463 km2
Highest point: 1,752 m
Coastline: 515 km
Life expectancy: 57.66 years
GDP per capita: $1,800
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About Cote d'Ivoire

History

Close ties to France since independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment made Côte d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the tropical African states, but did not protect it from political turmoil.

In December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Côte d'Ivoire's history - overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert Guei blatantly rigged elections held in late 1999 and declared himself the winner. Popular protest forced him to step aside and brought runner-up Laurent Gbagbo into liberation. Ivorian dissidents and disaffected members of the military launched a failed coup attempt in September 2002. Rebel forces claimed the northern half of the country, and in January 2003 were granted ministerial positions in a unity government under the auspices of the Linas-Marcoussis Peace Accord. President Gbagbo and rebel forces resumed implementation of the peace accord in December 2003 after a three-month stalemate, but issues that sparked the civil war, such as land reform and grounds for citizenship, remain unresolved.

The northern government has yet to exert control over the northern regions and tensions remain high between Gbagbo and opposition leaders. Several thousand French and West African troops, and a moderately-sized United Nations contingent, remain in Côte d'Ivoire to maintain peace and facilitate the disarmament, demobilization, and rehabilitation process.

Elections were finally held in 2010. The first round of elections were held peacefully, and widely hailed as free and fair. Runoffs were held 28 November 2010, after being delayed one week from the original date of 21 Nov. Laurent Gbagbo, as president, ran against former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. On 2 Dec, the Electoral Commission declared that Ouattara had won the election by a margin of 54% to 46%. The majority of the rest of the world's governments supported that declaration, but the Gbagbo-aligned Constitutional Council rejected it and then announced that country's borders had been sealed. An Ivorian military spokesman said, "The air, land and sea border of the country are closed to all movement of people and goods."

There has been an armed insurgency ever since, with pro-Ouattara forces on the one side and pro-Gbagbo forces on the other. By 1 Apr 2011, pro-Ouattara forces had penetrated Abidjan and street-level combat between the two sides was occurring. Most governments are still advising their citizens against travel to the country.

Climate

Tropical along coast, semiarid in far north; three seasons - warm and dry (Nov-Mar), hot and dry (Mar-May), hot and wet (Jun-Oct). The coast has heavy surf and no natural harbours; during the rainy season torrential flooding is possible.

Food

Good eats are cheap and you can find very good restaurants in Abidjan. You should get a vaccine for Hepatitis A before coming but even street foods are fairly clean. Try the national dishes like "garba", "alloco" and "attiéké". Alloco is simply fried plantains, mostly accompanied by a spicy vegetable sauce and boiled eggs. L'attiéké—grated cassava that look like couscous but taste slightly sour—is often served with grilled fish and vegetables (tomatoes, onions, cucumber) and a must-try. Braised fishes and chickens are also very good and can be found on every corner. The most established chain is Coq Ivoire. When you order, make sure that you let them know whether you want the intestines. You can always ask for extra vegetables, especially avocados, which are amazing during the season. Another speciality is the excellent "shoukouilla" a blend of charbroiled meat! For the ones who are not adventurous you can find the Hamburger House or the French restaurant at the Sofitel Hotel.

Drinks

Travellers from the west might want to take a security detail with them when visiting bars and night clubs. Bidul Bar, Havana Club and others are in Zone 4 or Zone Quatre. If you do go, be aware of prostitutes that will want to talk to you. Other places are in Treicheville and Cocody but you should have private transportation or a cab. If you do drive at night do not stop fully at lights or signs. Be aware of car jackers. Keep a brisk pace so they cannot carjack you.

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The West African CFA franc (XOF) is used by Côte d'Ivoire. It is also used by Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. While strictly a separate currency from the Central African CFA franc (XAF), the two currencies are used interchangeably at par throughout all CFA franc (XAF & XOF) using countries.

Both CFA francs are guaranteed by the French treasury and are pegged to the euro at €1 = XOF655.957

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Côte d'Ivoire on Wikivoyage.

Popular cities in Cote d'Ivoire

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States in Cote d'Ivoire

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Points of Interest in Cote d'Ivoire

Fine beaches, tourist villages and wildlife preserves are the principal attractions of Côte d'Ivoire.

  • Taï National Park has the largest tropical rainforest in West Africa.
  • Comoë National Park is the biggest and best-known national park in Côte d'Ivoire. It has plenty of wildlife including birds, elephants, giraffes, lions, monkeys and antelopes.
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