Cote d'Ivoire

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON DECEMBER 1, 2011
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Location of Cote d'Ivoire
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Map of Cote d'Ivoire
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Introduction

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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. Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of rebel forces have been problematic as rebels seek to enter the armed forces. Citizen identification and voter registration pose election difficulties, and balloting planned for November 2009 was postponed to 2010. On 28 November 2010, Alassane Dramane OUATTARA won the presidential election, defeating then President Laurent GBAGBO. GBAGBO refused to hand over power, resulting in a 6-month stand-off. In April 2011, after widespread fighting, GBAGBO was formally forced from office by OUATTARA supporters with the support of UN and French forces. Several thousand UN troops and several hundred French remain in Cote d'Ivoire to support the transition process.
 
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Geography

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Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia
 
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8 00 N, 5 00 W
 
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total: 322,463 sq km
country comparison to the world: 69
land: 318,003 sq km
water: 4,460 sq km
 
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slightly larger than New Mexico
 
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total: 3,110 km
border countries: Burkina Faso 584 km, Ghana 668 km, Guinea 610 km, Liberia 716 km, Mali 532 km
 
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515 km
 
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territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
 
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tropical along coast, semiarid in far north; three seasons - warm and dry (November to March), hot and dry (March to May), hot and wet (June to October)
 
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mostly flat to undulating plains; mountains in northwest
 
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lowest point: Gulf of Guinea 0 m
highest point: Monts Nimba 1,752 m
 
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petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, hydropower
 
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arable land: 10.23%
permanent crops: 11.16%
other: 78.61% (2005)
 
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730 sq km (2008)
 
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81 cu km (2001)
 
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total: 0.93 cu km/yr (24%/12%/65%)
per capita: 51 cu m/yr (2000)
 
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coast has heavy surf and no natural harbors; during the rainy season torrential flooding is possible
 
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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
 
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
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most of the inhabitants live along the sandy coastal region; apart from the capital area, the forested interior is sparsely populated
 
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People and Society

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noun: Ivoirian(s)
adjective: Ivoirian
 
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Akan 42.1%, Voltaiques or Gur 17.6%, Northern Mandes 16.5%, Krous 11%, Southern Mandes 10%, other 2.8% (includes 130,000 Lebanese and 14,000 French) (1998)
 
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French (official), 60 native dialects of which Dioula is the most widely spoken
 
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Muslim 38.6%, Christian 32.8%, indigenous 11.9%, none 16.7% (2008 est.)
note: the majority of foreigners (migratory workers) are Muslim (70%) and Christian (20%)
 
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21,504,162 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
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
 
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0-14 years: 39.8% (male 4,312,133/female 4,240,500)
15-64 years: 57.2% (male 6,262,802/female 6,039,458)
65 years and over: 3% (male 320,396/female 328,873) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 19.6 years
male: 19.7 years
female: 19.5 years (2011 est.)
 
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2.078% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
 
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30.95 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42
 
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10.16 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
 
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0 migrant(s)/1,000 population NA (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
 
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urban population: 51% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 3.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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ABIDJAN (seat of government) 4.009 million; YAMOUSSOUKRO (capital) 808,000 (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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470 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 30
 
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total: 64.78 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 24
male: 71.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 57.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 56.78 years
country comparison to the world: 195
male: 55.79 years
female: 57.81 years (2011 est.)
 
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3.92 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
 
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5.1% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 137
 
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0.144 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
country comparison to the world: 158
 
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0.4 beds/1,000 population (2006)
country comparison to the world: 174
 
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improved:
urban: 93% of population
rural: 68% of population
total: 80% of population
unimproved:
urban: 7% of population
rural: 32% of population
total: 20% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 36% of population
rural: 11% of population
total: 23% of population
unimproved:
urban: 64% of population
rural: 89% of population
total: 77% of population (2008)
 
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3.4% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
 
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450,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16
 
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36,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12
 
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degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever
water contact: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
 
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16.7% (2006)
country comparison to the world: 46
 
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4.6% of GDP (2008)
country comparison to the world: 77
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 48.7%
male: 60.8%
female: 38.6% (2000 est.)
 
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total: 6 years
male: 8 years
female: 5 years (2000)
 
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Government

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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
 
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republic; multiparty presidential regime established 1960
note: the government is currently disputed as of 31 January 2011, with both candidates in the runoff claiming victory
 
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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
 
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19 regions; Agneby, Bafing, Bas-Sassandra, Denguele, Dix-Huit Montagnes, Fromager, Haut-Sassandra, Lacs, Lagunes, Marahoue, Moyen-Cavally, Moyen-Comoe, N'zi-Comoe, Savanes, Sud-Bandama, Sud-Comoe, Vallee du Bandama, Worodougou, Zanzan
 
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7 August 1960 (from France)
 
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Independence Day, 7 August (1960)
 
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approved by referendum 23 July 2000
 
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civil law system based on the French civil code; judicial review in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court
 
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accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction under Article 12(3)of the Rome Statute
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: President Alassane OUATTARA (since 4 December 2010);
head of government: Prime Minister Guillaume SORO (since 4 April 2007);
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 31 October and 28 November 2010 (next to be held in 2015); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Alassane OUATTARA elected president; percent of vote - Alassane OUATTARA 54.1%, Laurent GBAGBO 45.9%; note - President OUATTARA was declared winner by the election commission and took the oath of office on 4 December, Prime Minister SORO resigned from the incumbent administration and was subsequently appointed to the same position by OUATTARA; former president GBAGBO refused to cede resulting in a 6-month stand-off, he was finally forced to stand down in April 2011
 
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unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (225 seats; members elected in single- and multi-district elections by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: elections last held on 10 December 2000 with by-elections on 14 January 2001 (elections originally scheduled for 2005 have been repeatedly postponed by the government)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FPI 96, PDCI-RDA 94, RDR 5, PIT 4, other 2, independents 22, vacant 2
note: a Senate was scheduled to be created in October 2006 elections that never took place
 
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Supreme Court or Cour Supreme consists of four chambers: Judicial Chamber for criminal cases, Audit Chamber for financial cases, Constitutional Chamber for judicial review cases, and Administrative Chamber for civil cases; there is no legal limit to the number of members
 
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Citizen's Democratic Union or UDCY [Theodore MEL EG]; Democratic Party of Cote d'Ivoire or PDCI [Henri Konan BEDIE]; Freedom and Democracy for the Republic or LIBRE [Mamadou KOULIBALY]; Ivorian Popular Front or FPI [vacant]; Ivorian Worker's Party or PIT [Francis WODIE]; Opposition Movement of the Future or MFA [Innocent Augustin ANAKY]; Rally of the Republicans or RDR [Alassane OUATTARA]; Union for Democracy and Peace in Cote d'Ivoire or UDPCI [Toikeuse MABRI]; over 144 smaller registered parties
 
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Federation of University and High School Students of Cote d'Ivoire or FESCI [Serges KOFFI]; Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace or RHDP [Alphonse DJEDJE MADY]; Young Patriots [Charles BLE GOUDE]
 
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ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Daouda DIABATE
chancery: 2424 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 797-0300
FAX: [1] (202) 244-3088
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Wanda L. NESBITT
embassy: Cocody Riviera Golf 01, Abidjan
mailing address: B. P. 1712, Abidjan 01
telephone: [225] 22 49 40 00
FAX: [225] 22 49 43 32
 
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three equal vertical bands of orange (hoist side), white, and green; orange symbolizes the land (savannah) of the north and fertility, white stands for peace and unity, green represents the forests of the south and the hope for a bright future
note: similar to the flag of Ireland, which is longer and has the colors reversed - green (hoist side), white, and orange; also similar to the flag of Italy, which is green (hoist side), white, and red; design was based on the flag of France
 
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elephant
 
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name: "L'Abidjanaise" (Song of Abidjan)
lyrics/music: Mathieu EKRA, Joachim BONY, and Pierre Marie COTY/Pierre Marie COTY and Pierre Michel PANGO
note: adopted 1960; although the nation's capital city moved from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro in 1983, the anthem still owes its name to the former capital
 
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Economy

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Cote d'Ivoire is heavily dependent on agriculture and related activities, which engage roughly 68% of the population. 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. Cocoa, oil, and coffee are the country's top export revenue earners, but the country is also producing gold. 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 more than 2% in 2008 and around 4% per year in 2009-10. Per capita income has declined by 15% since 1999, but registered a slight improvement in 2009-10. Power cuts caused by a turbine failure in early 2010 slowed economic activity. Cote d'Ivoire in 2010 signed agreements to restructure its Paris Club bilateral, other bilateral, and London Club debt. Cote d'Ivoire's long term challenges include political instability and degrading infrastructure.
 
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$37.02 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
$36.09 billion (2009 est.)
$34.79 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$22.82 billion (2010 est.)
 
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2.6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
3.8% (2009 est.)
2.3% (2008 est.)
 
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$1,800 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
$1,800 (2009 est.)
$1,700 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 28%
industry: 21.3%
services: 50.7% (2010 est.)
 
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8,509 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 216
 
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agriculture: 68%
industry and services: NA (2007 est.)
 
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NA%
note: unemployment may have climbed to 40-50% as a result of the civil war
 
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42% (2006 est.)
 
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lowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 31.8% (2008)
 
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41.5 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 54
36.7 (1995)
 
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11.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
 
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revenues: $4.571 billion
expenditures: $5.027 billion (2010 est.)
 
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20% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
 
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-2% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
 
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63.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
66.2% of GDP (2009 est.)
 
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1.1% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
0.9% (2009 est.)
 
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4.25% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
4.25% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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4.3% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
4.3% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$5.575 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
$5.143 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$8.458 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
$7.712 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$5.778 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
$5.504 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$7.099 billion (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 77
$6.141 billion (31 December 2009)
$7.071 billion (31 December 2008)
 
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coffee, cocoa beans, bananas, palm kernels, corn, rice, manioc (tapioca), sweet potatoes, sugar, cotton, rubber; timber
 
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foodstuffs, beverages; wood products, oil refining, truck and bus assembly, textiles, fertilizer, building materials, electricity, ship construction and repair
 
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4.5% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
 
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5.548 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
 
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3.584 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
 
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599 million kWh (2008 est.)
 
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599 million kWh (2008 est.)
 
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44,880 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
 
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25,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
 
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70,800 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
 
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85,190 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
 
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100 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
 
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1.6 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59
 
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1.6 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208
 
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28.32 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
 
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$541.4 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
$1.67 billion (2009 est.)
 
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$10.47 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
$10.5 billion (2009 est.)
 
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cocoa, coffee, timber, petroleum, cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, fish
 
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US 10.2%, Netherlands 10%, Nigeria 7.7%, Ghana 6.7%, Germany 6.2%, France 6.2%, Burkina Faso 4.5% (2010)
 
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$6.925 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
$6.318 billion (2009 est.)
 
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fuel, capital equipment, foodstuffs
 
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Nigeria 22.4%, France 12.6%, China 7.1%, Thailand 4.8% (2010)
 
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$3.624 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
$3.267 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$11.52 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
$11.7 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$NA
 
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$NA
 
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Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
495.28 (2010)
472.19 (2009)
447.81 (2008)
481.83 (2007)
522.89 (2006)
 
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Communications

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223,200 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 125
 
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14.91 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 51
 
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general assessment: well developed by African standards; telecommunications sector privatized in late 1990s and operational fixed-lines have increased since that time with two fixed-line providers operating over open-wire lines, microwave radio relay, and fiber-optics; 90% digitalized
domestic: with multiple mobile-cellular service providers competing in the market, usage has increased sharply to roughly 65 per 100 persons
international: country code - 225; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) (2009)
 
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state-owned television operates 2 stations; no private terrestrial TV stations, but satellite TV subscription service is available; state-owned radio operates 2 stations; some private radio stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available (2007)
 
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.ci
 
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9,865 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 121
 
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967,300 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 103
 
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Transportation

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27 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 122
 
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total: 7
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2010)
 
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total: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 3 (2010)
 
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condensate 86 km; gas 180 km; oil 92 km (2010)
 
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total: 660 km
country comparison to the world: 104
narrow gauge: 660 km 1.000-m gauge
note: an additional 622 km of this railroad extends into Burkina Faso (2010)
 
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total: 80,000 km
country comparison to the world: 60
paved: 6,500 km
unpaved: 73,500 km
note: includes intercity and urban roads; another 20,000 km of dirt roads are in poor condition and 150,000 km of dirt roads are impassable (2006)
 
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980 km (navigable rivers, canals, and numerous coastal lagoons) (2009)
country comparison to the world: 67
 
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Abidjan, Espoir, San-Pedro
 
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Military

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Republican Forces of Cote d'Ivoire (Force Republiques de Cote d'Ivoire, FRCI): Army, Navy, Cote d'Ivoire Air Force (Force Aerienne de la Cote d'Ivoire)
note: FRCI is the former Armed Forces of the New Forces (FAFN) (2011)
 
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18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary male and female military service; voluntary recruitment of former rebels into the new national army is restricted to ages 22-29 (2011)
 
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males age 16-49: 5,247,522
females age 16-49: 5,047,901 (2010 est.)
 
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
males age 16-49: 3,360,087
females age 16-49: 3,196,033 (2010 est.)
 
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
male: 247,011
female: 242,958 (2010 est.)
 
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
1.5% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 100
 
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Transnational Issues

Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
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 Ivoirians 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
 
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
refugees (country of origin): 25,615 (Liberia)
IDPs: 709,000 (2002 coup; most IDPs are in western regions) (2007)
 
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for local consumption; utility as a narcotic transshipment point to Europe reduced by ongoing political instability; while rampant corruption and inadequate supervision leave the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, the lack of a developed financial system limits the country's utility as a major money-laundering center (2008)
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