Flag of Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Côte d'Ivoire (officially the République de Côte d'Ivoire) is a country in West Africa bounded by Mali and Burkina Faso to the north, Ghana to the east, the Gulf of Guinea to the south and Liberia and Guinea to the west. The southern and western parts of the country feature undulating countryside rising to meet the savannah plains of the north and the mountainous western border. Major rivers flow into a series of lagoons.

Côte d'Ivoire was a French colony from 1893 until its independence in 1960, and its official language remains as French. Previously known in the English-speaking world as the Ivory Coast, in 1985, the country's government requested that it be known as Côte d'Ivoire in every language. Its economy is largely market-based and relies heavily on agriculture, with smallholder cash crop production being dominant. For a developing country, it has an excellent infrastructure. However, since 2002, it has undergone two coups (1999 and 2001) and a civil war, which has hampered its economic development.

The administrative capital is Yamoussoukro, about 230 km (143 miles) north of Abidjan, the former capital and the largest city. Yamoussoukro has a bustling market and an international-standard golf course, whilst Abidjan enjoys a lively nightlife and a number of lagoon-side tourist resorts. The older, more traditional heart of Abidjan is Treichville, home of many bars, restaurants and nightclubs as well as the colourful central market. In the west of the country is the attractive town of Man, situated in a region of forested mountains and plateaux. The nearby waterfalls are very popular tourist excursions.

Traditional dishes are kedjenou (chicken cooked with different vegetables and sealed in banana leaves) and attieké (cassava dish).

Map of Cote d'Ivoire