Did you know- Cote d’Ivoire covers about 124, 502 square miles ( 322, 460 square kilometers), and has about 21 million people. This African state is surrounded by Mali (former French colony) and Burkina Faso (Upper Volta until August 1984) to the north, Ghana (a democratic nation since the 2000s) to the west, Guinea (ex French territory) and Liberia (an independent nation since 1847) to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Vast tropical forest cover much of the land there. Major river include the Sassandra, the Cavally, the Bardama, and the Comoe.
Did you know- There are more than 60 ethnic groups in the country.
Arts & Media
Did you know- The African nation of Cote d’Ivoire was the first black republic in the world to win an Oscar, the world’s most popular award. In early 1977, surprisingly, the country’s film “Black & White in Color” made the world headlines when it won an Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film in Los Angeles, CA. It had been hand-picked by several American experts. In addition, Cote d’Ivoire was one of the first non English-speaking nations to win the American prize, ahead of Brazil and Argentina, as well as India and South Korea.
Former Ivory Coast
Did you know- Known as Ivory Coast until October 1985, it was one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most stable countries from 1960 to 1985, along with Botswana, Mauritius, Morocco, and Liberia. By that time, Cote d’Ivoire did not have military coups and civil conflicts. In fact, unlike Cambodia and Zaire, it was one of the most peaceful French-speaking countries on the Planet. During the Cold War, it played a prominent role in African affairs.
Did you know- It was part of the French Federation of West Africa. After a 118-year French occupation, the African nation gained its independence, with Felix Houphouet-Boigny as Head of State, in the early 1960s. From then onwards, the country has strong diplomatic relations with Paris.
Did you know- The African nation is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since the 1960s. Athletes from Cote d’Ivoire have competed at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games, 1968 Mexico City Olympics, 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, 1988 Seoul Games, 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, 1996 Atlanta Games, 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2004 Athens Games, and 2008 Beijing Olympics. Cote d’Ivoire is home to some African champs, among them Gabriel Tiacoh, one of the continent’s top sprinters in the mid-1980s. This legendary athlete won the country’s first medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, CA.
Did you know- With its transformation to a modern country, Cote d’Ivoire joined the United Nations in the early 1960s. In the succeeding years, it became one of the members of the UN Security Council (1964-1965). In the meantime, between 1960 and 1990,the republic was better known for its pro-Western policies, alongside African states as Kenya, Senegal, and the Kingdom of Swaziland. Finally, Amara Essy, the nation’s former minister of Foreign Relations, was one of the well-known international leaders in the 1990s. Thus he was named president of the 49th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Did you know- The French is the official language, but Cote d’Ivoire has a large non-French speaking population (Dioula and other African dialects). Each region of the nation has its own dialect.
Did you know- Without a doubt, under the leadership of Didier Yves Drogba Tebily, the national squad is one of Western Africa’s most popular teams, alongside other squads like Ghana and Nigeria. According to the results of the 2006 World Cup, Cote d’Ivoire ranks among the world’s nineteen-best soccer teams, ahead of Poland and Saudi Arabia, as well as Japan. So far, Drogba is the most important football player in the country. He hails from Abidjan. Soccer is a popular sport among adults and children.
Did you know- Marie-Therese Houphouet-Boigny, the country’s Firs Lady from 1969 to 1993, was one of Africa’s most popular women in the latter half of the 20the century. During that period of time, she was a promoter of national culture and an outspoken champion for children. Because of her elegance and perfect French, the international press dubbed her “The Jacqueline Kennedy of Africa”.
Did you know- Yamoussoukro is home of Cote d’Ivoire’s capital. However, Abidjan (ex capital of the country) is the largest city.
Did you know- Over 70% of the nation’s population depends on agriculture and tourism. Meanwhile, this French-speaking nation is one of the world’s top producers of cocoa. Recently, bananas and palm oil have become significant crops as well. Otherwise, France is one of the two largest investors in Cote d’Ivoire.