Geographic and Governmental Profile of Cote d'Ivoire

Background
Close ties to France since independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment made Cote d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the West African states but did not protect it from political turmoil. In December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Cote d'Ivoire's history - overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert GUEI blatantly rigged elections held in late 2000 and declared himself the winner. Popular protest forced him to step aside and brought Laurent GBAGBO into power. 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, remained unresolved. In March 2007 President GBAGBO and former New Forces rebel leader Guillaume SORO signed the Ouagadougou Political Agreement. As a result of the agreement, SORO joined GBAGBO's government as Prime Minister and the two agreed to reunite the country by dismantling the zone of confidence separating North from South, integrate rebel forces into the national armed forces, and hold elections. Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of rebel forces have been problematic as rebels seek to enter the armed forces. Citizen identification and voter registration pose election difficulties, and balloting planned for November 2009 was postponed to 2010. On 28 November 2010, Alassane Dramane OUATTARA won the presidential election, defeating then President Laurent GBAGBO. GBAGBO refused to hand over power, resulting in a five-month stand-off. In April 2011, after widespread fighting, GBAGBO was formally forced from office by armed OUATTARA supporters with the help of UN and French forces. Several thousand UN peacekeepers and several hundred French troops remain in Cote d'Ivoire to support the transition process.
Location
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia
Geographic coordinates
8 00 N, 5 00 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
322,463 sq km
rank:
69
land:
318,003 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
territorial sea:
12 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 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:
Monts Nimba 1,752 m
Natural resources
petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, hydropower
Land use
arable land:
10.23%
permanent crops:
11.16%
other:
78.61% (2005)
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Irrigated land
730 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
81 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.93 cu km/yr (24%/12%/65%)
per capita:
51 cu m/yr (2000)
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 heavily logged); water pollution from sewage and industrial and agricultural effluents
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
most of the inhabitants live along the sandy coastal region; apart from the capital area, the forested interior is sparsely populated
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
pronounced coat-div-whar
former:
Ivory Coast
Government type
republic; multiparty presidential regime established 1960
Capital
name:
Yamoussoukro
geographic coordinates:
6 49 N, 5 16 W
time difference:
UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
although Yamoussoukro has been the official capital since 1983, Abidjan remains the commercial and administrative center; the US, like other countries, maintains its Embassy in Abidjan
Administrative divisions
19 regions; Agneby, Bafing, Bas-Sassandra, Denguele, Dix-Huit Montagnes, Fromager, Haut-Sassandra, Lacs, Lagunes, Marahoue, Moyen-Cavally, Moyen-Comoe, N'zi-Comoe, Savanes, Sud-Bandama, Sud-Comoe, Vallee du Bandama, Worodougou, Zanzan
Independence
7 August 1960 (from France)
Constitution
approved by referendum 23 July 2000
Legal system
civil law system based on the French civil code; judicial review in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction under Article 12(3)of the Rome Statute
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Alassane Dramane OUATTARA (since 4 December 2010)
head of government:
Prime Minister Jeannot Kouadio-AHOUSSOU (since 13 March 2012)
cabinet:
Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections:
president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 31 October and 28 November 2010 (next to be held in 2015); prime minister appointed by the president
election results:
Alassane OUATTARA elected president; percent of vote - Alassane OUATTARA 54.1%, Laurent GBAGBO 45.9%; note - President OUATTARA was declared winner by the election commission and took the oath of office on 4 December, Prime Minister SORO resigned from the incumbent administration and was subsequently appointed to the same position by OUATTARA; former president GBAGBO refused to cede resulting in a 5-month stand-off, he was finally forced to stand down in April 2011
Legislative branch
unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (225 seats; members elected in single- and multi-district elections by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections:
elections last held on 11 December 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RDR 127, PDCI 93, independents 5; note - certified results have yet to be posted
Judicial branch
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme consists of four chambers: Judicial Chamber for criminal cases, Audit Chamber for financial cases, Constitutional Chamber for judicial review cases, and Administrative Chamber for civil cases; there is no legal limit to the number of members
Political parties and leaders
Citizen's Democratic Union or UDCY [Theodore MEL EG]; Democratic Liberty for the Republic or LIDER [Mamadou KOULIBALY]; Democratic Party of Cote d'Ivoire or PDCI [Henri Konan BEDIE]; Freedom and Democracy for the Republic or LIBRE [Mamadou KOULIBALY]; Ivorian Popular Front or FPI [Miaka OURETO]; Ivorian Worker's Party or PIT [Francois KOUABLAN]; Opposition Movement of the Future or MFA [Innocent Augustin ANAKY]; Rally of the Republicans or RDR [Alassane OUATTARA]; Union for Democracy and Peace in Cote d'Ivoire or UDPCI [Toikeuse MABRI]; over 144 smaller registered parties
Political pressure groups and leaders
Federation of University and High School Students of Cote d'Ivoire or FESCI [Serges KOFFI]; National Congress for the Resistance and Democracy or CNRD [Bernard DADIE]; Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace or RHDP [Alphonse DJEDJE MADY]; Young Patriots [Charles BLE GOUDE]
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Daouda DIABATE
chancery:
2424 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 797-0300
FAX:
[1] (202) 244-3088
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Philip CARTER
embassy:
Cocody Riviera Golf 01, Abidjan
mailing address:
B. P. 1712, Abidjan 01
telephone:
[225] 22 49 40 00
FAX:
[225] 22 49 43 32
Flag description
three equal vertical bands of orange (hoist side), white, and green; orange symbolizes the land (savannah) of the north and fertility, white stands for peace and unity, green represents the forests of the south and the hope for a bright future
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
National symbol(s)
elephant
National anthem
name:
"L'Abidjanaise" (Song of Abidjan)
lyrics/music:
Mathieu EKRA, Joachim BONY, and Pierre Marie COTY/Pierre Marie COTY and Pierre Michel PANGO
adopted 1960; although the nation's capital city moved from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro in 1983, the anthem still owes its name to the former capital
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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