One of the larger nations along the coast of west Africa, Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s biggest cocoa producer. An image of stability was rocked by civil war in 2002–2005.
Geography: Sandy coastal strip backed by a largely rain-forested interior, and a savanna plateau in the north.
Climate: High temperatures all year round. South has two wet seasons; north has one, with lower rainfall.
People and Society: There are over 60 tribes; the largest is the Baoulé (an Akan group). Southern Christians harbor resentment against non-Ivorian Muslims in the north. Plantations employ millions of migrant workers (including children), though thousands fled back to Burkina during the civil war. Rebels joined a transitional government in 2007.
The Economy: Main crops are cocoa and coffee. Oil is now major export. Good infrastructure. Lack of professional training. Instability deters investment.
Insight: The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro is the largest church in the world
Official Name: Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
Date of Formation: 1960
Population: 21.1 million
Total Area: 124,502 sq. miles (322,460 sq. km)
Density: 172 people per sq. mile
Languages: Akan, French*, Krou, other
Religions: Muslim 38%, Christian 31%, traditional beliefs 25%, other 6%
Ethnic Mix: Akan 42%, Voltaïque 18%, Mandé du Nord 17%, Krou 11%, other 12%
Government: Transitional regime
Currency: CFA franc = 100 centimes