Ivory Coast: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, history, size, population, and government of the country Ivory Coast.

IVORY COAST

NITTY GRITTY

Location--In the southern part of West Africa, it is bounded on the south by Liberia and Guinea, on the north by Mali and Upper Volta, on the east by Ghana, and on the south by the Gulf of Guinea.

How Created--The borders evolved from the arbitrary lines drawn in 1904 within the West African territory grabbed by the French.

Size--127,483 sq. mi. (319-822 sq. km.).

Population--5,800,000: Baule, 23.2%; Bete, 17.6%; Senuto, 15.2%; Malinke, 11.4%; Dan and Guro, 9.8%; Lobi, 5.8%; Lagoon, 5.2%; Ngere, 4.5%; Bakwe, 4.5%; over 50 other groups, 2.8%. 65% Animist, 23% Muslim, 12% Christian.

Who Rules--Republican constitution. Full executive power is held by President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, founder and party leader of the interterritorial RDA (Rassemblement Democratique Africain).

The Legislative Assembly has 70 members, all of whom belong to the Parti Democratique de Cote d'Ivoire (territorial section of the RDA). Citizens of European descent (1/300 of the national population) hold 1/4 of Assembly seats.

Who REALLY Rules--Foreign industrialized nations. France, the old colonial power, is still very much the principal economic and financial controller, but her importance is diminishing in favor of the U.S., whose interests are manifested in major banks, insurance companies, and industrial development. Other investors: West Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, Israel, Italy.

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