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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Cote d'Ivoire

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Close ties to France since independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment made Cote d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the West African states, but did not protect it from political turmoil. In December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Cote d'Ivoire's history - overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert GUEI blatantly rigged elections held in late 2000 and declared himself the winner. Popular protest forced him to step aside and brought Laurent GBAGBO into power. Ivorian dissidents and disaffected members of the military launched a failed coup attempt in September 2002. Rebel forces claimed the northern half of the country, and in January 2003 were granted ministerial positions in a unity government under the auspices of the Linas-Marcoussis Peace Accord. President GBAGBO and rebel forces resumed implementation of the peace accord in December 2003 after a three-month stalemate, but issues that sparked the civil war, such as land reform and grounds for citizenship, remained unresolved. In March 2007 President GBAGBO and former New Force rebel leader Guillaume SORO signed the Ouagadougou Political Agreement. As a result of the agreement, SORO joined GBAGBO's government as Prime Minister and the two agreed to reunite the country by dismantling the zone of confidence separating North from South, integrate rebel forces into the national armed forces, and hold elections. Several thousand French and UN troops remain in Cote d'Ivoire to help the parties implement their commitments and to support the peace process. (from the CIA)


Economic Overview

Cote d'ivoire is the world's largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans and a significant producer and exporter of coffee and palm oil. consequently, the economy is highly sensitive to fluctuations in international prices for these products, and, to a lesser extent, in climatic conditions. despite government attempts to diversify the economy, it is still heavily dependent on agriculture and related activities, engaging roughly 68% of the population. since 2006, oil and gas production have become more important engines of economic activity than cocoa. according to imf statistics, earnings from oil and refined products were $1.3 billion in 2006, while cocoa-related revenues were $1 billion during the same period. cote d'ivoire's offshore oil and gas production has resulted in substantial crude oil exports and provides sufficient natural gas to fuel electricity exports to ghana, togo, benin, mali and burkina faso. oil exploration by a number of consortiums of private companies continues offshore, and president gbagbo has expressed hope that daily crude output could reach 200,000 barrels per day (b/d) by the end of the decade. since the end of the civil war in 2003, political turmoil has continued to damage the economy, resulting in the loss of foreign investment and slow economic growth. gdp grew by 1.8% in 2006 and 1.7% in 2007. per capita income has declined by 15% since 1999.

Environmental Issues

Deforestation (most of the country's forests - once the largest in west africa - have been heavily logged); water pollution from sewage and industrial and agricultural effluents

Government Type

Republic; multiparty presidential regime established 1960 note: the government is currently operating under a power-sharing agreement mandated by international mediators


20,179,602 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to aids; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (july 2008 est.)


Western africa, bordering the north atlantic ocean, between ghana and liberia


Total: 322,460 sq km land: 318,000 sq km water: 4,460 sq km

Slightly larger than new mexico

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: republic of cote d'ivoire conventional short form: cote d'ivoire local long form: republique de cote d'ivoire local short form: cote d'ivoire note: pronounced coat-div-whar former: ivory coast


Name: yamoussoukro geographic coordinates: 6 49 n, 5 17 w time difference: utc 0 (5 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time) note: although yamoussoukro has been the official capital since 1983, abidjan remains the commercial and administrative center; the us, like other countries, maintains its embassy in abidjan

Military Service

18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service (2008)

International Disputes

Despite the presence of over 9,000 un forces (unoci) in cote d'ivoire since 2004, ethnic conflict still leaves displaced hundreds of thousands of ivorians in and out of the country as well as driven out migrants from neighboring states who worked in ivorian cocoa plantations; the march 2007 peace deal between ivorian rebels and the government brought significant numbers of rebels out of hiding in neighboring states

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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