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Brief History of Cote_dIvoire:
The first Europeans to arrive in the land that is today called Cote d'Ivoire were the French in 1637. The first to make contact were missionaries. Over time, French traders, explorers, soldiers, and missionaries moved into the land; mostly from nearby areas and bordering countries. The land became a French colony in 1893, but would not be under complete French control until 1915.
The first governor of Cote d'Ivoire was Caption Binger, an explorer who had mapped and explored the coast line of the country and the Gold Coast area around it. Cote d'Ivoire would remain under French control until 1960, but would retain close relationships with France for many years.
The 2000's have been a time of unrest and turmoil in the country. There have been many military coups, uprisings, and fixed elections. United Nations and French troupes have been in the country to try and maintain peace.
The Geography of Cote_dIvoire
Total Size: 322,460 square km
Size Comparison: slightly larger than New Mexico
Geographical Coordinates: 8 00 N, 5 00 W
World Region or Continent: Africa
General Terrain: mostly flat to undulating plains; mountains in northwest
Geographical Low Point: Gulf of Guinea 0 m
Geographical High Point: Mont Nimba 1,752 m
Climate: 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)
Major cities: ABIDJAN (seat of government) 4.009 million; YAMOUSSOUKRO (capital) 808,000 (2009)
The People of Cote_dIvoire
Type of Government: republic; multiparty presidential regime established 1960
Languages Spoken: French (official), 60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken
Independence: 7 August 1960 (from France)
National Holiday: Independence Day, 7 August (1960)
Religions: Muslim 35-40%, indigenous 25-40%, Christian 20-30% (2001)
National Symbol: elephant
National Anthem or Song: L'Abidjanaise (Song of Abidjan)
Economy of Cote_dIvoire
Major Industries: foodstuffs, beverages; wood products, oil refining, truck and bus assembly, textiles, fertilizer, building materials, electricity, ship construction and repair
Agricultural Products: coffee, cocoa beans, bananas, palm kernels, corn, rice, manioc (tapioca), sweet potatoes, sugar, cotton, rubber; timber
Natural Resources: petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, hydropower
Major Exports: cocoa, coffee, timber, petroleum, cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, fish
Major Imports: fuel, capital equipment, foodstuffs
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the
National GDP: $36,070,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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