The Ivory Coast


The Ivory Coast is one of Africa's leading countries in industry and
agriculture. This small country is located in West Africa on the Coast of
Guinea where it is bordered by Mali and Burkina Faso on the north and by
Guinea and Liberia on the west. The land itself is approximately 322,463
sq.kilometers and 124,504 sq.miles in size. With a population of around
12,600,000 people, of which 2,000,000 are foreigners from Burkina Faso and
Ghana, the Ivory Coast is known for it's cultural diversity which started
back in 1637 when it became a French Missionary contact. Then, in
1843-1845, it became an official proctrate of France. Thus, in 1893, the
Ivory Coast became a French colony and remained part of French West Africa
from 1904-1958. Finally in 1960, independence was gained from the overseas
country of France.

In the Ivory Coast, which is a Republic, they have a semi-democratic
system. The position of president, currently being held by Felix
Houphocet-Boigny, is elected to serve 5-year terms. Also, the president can
run for re-election as many times as he chooses. For example, the current
president was re-elected to serve a seventh term in 1990. Plus, there is a
National Assembly comprised of about 120 people who help to govern the
country.

The nation has a tremendously stable economy because of the great amount
of products that they produce for exporting. The Ivory Coast is the world's
largest cocoa producer and the third largest coffee producer. These
products alone bring in more than half of all export earnings. In addition,
sugarcane, pineapples, oil palms, rubber, cotton, and bananas are also
grown for export. The major problem of the country is the foreign debt
which has grown extremely large due to massive amounts of loans given to
the country by France. Plus, this increases taxes. The country's per capita
is $ 740 and it's GNP (Gross National Product) is $ 8.59 billion.