Côte d'Ivoire

By Richard (Rick) Mills
Ahead of the herd

As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information

The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, commonly known in English as the Ivory Coast, is a country in West Africa. It has an area of 322,462 km2, and borders the countries of Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana; its southern boundary is along the Gulf of Guinea. The country's population was estimated to be 20,617,068 in 2009.

 

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In 1893, Côte d'Ivoire  became a French colony as part of the European scramble for Africa. Côte d'Ivoire is a republic with a strong executive power invested in the President. Its capital city is Yamoussoukro and the biggest city is the port city of Abidjan. The official language is French and is taught in schools.

 

The terrain is mostly flat to undulating plains with mountains in the northwest. Côte d'Ivoire is the westernmost country bordering on the Gulf of Guinea. Côte d'Ivoire's geographic make-up is fairly simple - from a coastal lowland, including many fine beaches, the terrain gradually rises to a smooth forest plateau in the central region and then to upland savannas in the north. The country is tropical along the coast, semiarid in the far north and has three seasons - warm and dry between November to March, hot and dry from March to May and is hot and wet during June into October.

 

Most of the countries inhabitants live along the sandy coastal region. Apart from the capital area, the forested interior is sparsely populated

 

77% of the population are considered Ivoirians. They represent several different peoples and language groups - Akan 42.1%, Voltaiques or Gur 17.6%, Northern Mandes 16.5%, Krous 11%, Southern Mandes 10%. An estimated 65 languages are spoken in the country. One of the most common is Dyula, which acts as a trade language as well as a language commonly spoken by the Muslim population.

 

The native born population is roughly split into three groups of Muslim, Christian (primarily Roman Catholic) and animist. In 2008, 38.6% of Côte d'Ivoire is Muslim, followed by 32.8% Christian, 11.9% practicing indigenous religions and 16.7% with no religion

Resources: petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, hydropower

Communications are well developed by African standards.

 

Through production of coffee and cocoa, the country was an economic powerhouse in West Africa during the 1960s and 1970s. However, Côte d'Ivoire went through an economic crisis in the 1980s, leading to the country's period of political and social turmoil. Today the 21st century Ivoirian economy is largely market-based and relies heavily on agriculture, with smallholder cash crop production being dominant.

 

Côte d'Ivoire became independent on 7 August 1960. From 1960 to 1993, the country was led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny. It maintained close political and economic association with its West African neighbors, while at the same time maintaining close ties to the West, especially to France. Since the end of Houphouët-Boigny's rule, Côte d'Ivoire has experienced one coup d’état, in 1999, and a civil war, which broke out in 2002.

 

Presidential elections were held in November 2010. The UN-certified results were a loss for ruling Prime Minister Gbagbo in favour of his rival, former prime minister Alassane Ouattara. Gbagbo has refused to stand down and cede power to Ouattara.

 

This has raised fears of a resurgence of the civil war that in 2002 split the country into a Government-held south and a rebel-controlled north.  More than 75,000 refugees have fled Côte d'Ivoire, mainly to Liberia. Hundreds of thousands more are internally displaced in Côte d'Ivoire.

 

After four months of stalemate, the UN and France acted. Gbagbo was forcibly removed from the presidential mansion and placed under arrest. Ouattara has assumed the Presidency and conditions are returning to normal.

 

Richard (Rick) Mills
rick@aheadoftheherd.com
www.aheadoftheherd.com

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Richard is host of www.aheadoftheherd.com and invests in the junior resource sector. His articles have been published on over 300 websites, including: Wall Street Journal, SafeHaven, Market Oracle, USAToday, National Post, Stockhouse, Lewrockwell, Casey Research, 24hgold, Vancouver Sun, SilverBearCafe, Infomine, Huffington Post, Mineweb, Resource Investor, 321Gold, Kitco, Gold-Eagle, The Gold/Energy Reports, Calgary Herald, Resource Investor, FNArena, MetalsNews and Financial Sense.

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Legal Notice / Disclaimer

This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. Richard Mills has based this document on information obtained from sources he believes to be reliable but which has not been independently verified.

 Richard Mills makes no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. Expressions of opinion are those of Richard Mills only and are subject to change without notice. Richard Mills assumes no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission.

Furthermore, I, Richard Mills, assume no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage or, in particular, for lost profit, which you may incur as a result of the use and existence of the information provided within this Report.

Richard Mills does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this report



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