The Ivory Coast is a country located in West Africa. Its official name is the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, a name it was given when French merchant-explorers of the 1400 and 1500s when ivory was the main export of the region. The Ivory Coast is bordered by several other African countries including Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, and Liberia. The administrative and political capital of the Ivory Coast is Yamoussoukro and the largest city and economic capital of the Ivory Coast is Abidjan. The Ivory Coast is a mostly flat country of 124,502 square miles of land, including mountains in the north-west region.
As of 1 January 2017, the population of Cote d’Ivoire was estimated to be 23,518,859 people.
The ethnic groups that make up the Ivory Coast from the least to greatest proportion of the population include Lebanese, French, Southern Mandes, Krous, Northern Mandes, Voltaiques or Gur, and Akan.
It is bordered by Guinea and Liberia in the west, Burkina Faso and Mali in the north, and Ghana in the east and the Atlantic Ocean in the south.
It is the 68th largest country in the world in terms of land area with 322,463 square kilometers (124,504 square miles).
The official language of the Ivory Coast is French. Other languages that are spoken in the Ivory Coast include Anyin, Dan, Baoule, and Dioula.
The most dominant religion of the Ivory Coast is Islam, followed by Christianity.
Agriculture is important to the economy of the Ivory Coast. Major exports include palm oil, coffee, and cocoa beans.
Fishing and forestry are also important to the country’s economy.
The Ivory Coast celebrates its independence on August 7th each year, signifying the day it gained its independence from France on August 7th, 1960.
The Ivory Coast produces more cocoa than any other country in the world, making it known for its chocolate.
The currency of the Ivory Coast is the West African Franc, a currency also used by Togo, Senegal, Niger, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Burkina Faso, and Benin.
The highest elevation is Mount Richard-Molard, at 1,752 meters (5,748 feet) in the far west of the country along the border with Guinea and Liberia.
The largest Basilica in the world is located in Yamoussoukro, in the Ivory Coast. It is the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace. It is 323,000 square feet in size.
The Ivory Coast’s landscape consists of large flat areas of Savannah, excellent for farming and agriculture, forests, and mountains in north-west regions.
Ivory Coast has 590 kilometers (370 miles) of coastline.
The Ivory Coast is considered to be one of the most advanced countries in Africa in terms of economy, and the most advanced in sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite gaining independence from France in 1960 the Ivory Coast had a supreme leader until 1993 when he died. After his death formal elections were held for the first time.
A major food market is held in Abidjan where traders from all along the coast come to buy and sell.
Little is known about Ivory Coast’s first inhabitants, but weapon and tool fragments confirm the presence of early settlements (15,000 to 10,000 BC.).
Abidjan is the fashion capital of the Ivory Coast and of sub-Saharan Africa. Designer clothing can be purchased in boutiques in the city.
Although the name for the Ivory Coast is derived from the ivory trade that was once its biggest trade export, the ivory trade died out in the 1700s.
The name ‘Les Elephants’ which means ‘the elephants’ is the nickname for the Ivory Coasts’ national football team.
Between 1000 to 1500 AD, Muslim merchants established trade routes from northern Africa to Ivory Coast. They came for gold, ivory and slaves.
There have been several civil wars in the Ivory Coast since its independence from France in 1960, including the 2011 Civil War.