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Facts About Ivory Coast

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Ivory Coast or the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire is a country located in the western area of the African continent. The population of the Ivory Coast is almost 22,000,000, thus making it quite a big country, but in area terms, it is just a bit larger than New Mexico. While it is known as the Ivory Coast for many years, in 1985 it was officially declared the “Republic of Cote d’Ivoire” and French was made the official language. The former capital, Abidjan, is the republic’s largest city, while the present capital, Yamoussoukro is smaller.

Map of Ivory CoastMap of Ivory Coast (view online).

They are famous for producing cocoa

When you drink your next cup of hot chocolate or cocoa, thank the republic, as it is one of the largest cocoa-producing nations in the world. Recently the country has added bananas and palm oil to its exports, which enables it to bring in much more revenue.

The geography and language

The republic borders the North Atlantic Ocean and is situated between Ghana and Liberia. Although the official language is French, other tongues vie for attention. They include Dan, Anyin, Cebaara Senufo, Baoule and Dioula. So a visit to the republic will afford the traveler an exotic mix of sounds.

Flag of Ivory CoastFlag of Ivory Coast.

Miss World Pageant

An interesting incident occurred in 1986, when the country sent its first contestant to the Miss World Pageant in Panama City. Marie Francoise Koume was the young lady chosen to represent the republic. This marked an important step forward in the area of independence for the women of the republic.

Soccer is a popular sport

In sports, the country became a member of the International Olympic Committee in the 1960′s, and has been sending athletes there to participate in important events ever since. Soccer is the most popular sport, and the most celebrated star is Chelsea’s Didier Yves Drogba Tebily, although there are many up-and-coming soccer stars in the wings.

They won an Oscar

The Republic of Cote d’Ivoire won an American Academy Award for its film “Black and White in Color” which was awarded the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Another first for a the republic with non-English speaking actors.

Paintings

The Republic of Cote d’Ivoire has been depicted in art works by such painters as Nancy Manning, a Canadian; Helios Darndanel, from Greece; Patrick Harrison O’Malley, an Irish artist who lived-in the Cote for many years, and Hannaford McMillan, an English artist known for paintings of African countries.

The weather

For visitors to the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, the country has three seasons: dry and warm from November to March; dry and hot from March to May,and wet and hot from June to October. So in planning a visit be sure that you are aware of the weather changes and when they occur.

But it is a violent place

However, in view of the fact that civil unrest is rampant in the country, visitors should consult news sources before traveling to the republic. In 2002, the First Ivorian Civil War erupted. Stemming from human rights violations, this was a bloody battle which didn’t see a tentative end until two years later, when rebels and the government came to an agreement to cease hostilities. But in 2011, the Second Ivorian Civil War started, this time because of suspected election problems.