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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Ivory Coast

Queen Abla Pokou is the legendary founder of the Ivory Coast and is said to have led the Baoulé people there from Ghana in the mid-18th century. She is said to have sacrificed her own child to river spirits to lead them across the Comoé River.

The name of Ivory Coast came from European merchants who divided the West of Africa into five coasts reflecting their main areas of trade. Ivory Coast was between Pepper Coast and Gold Coast.

The trade in ivory which gave the country its name had almost died out by the 18th century.

In the 1840s, the French concluded a series of treaties with local West African rulers that enabled the them to build fortified posts along the Gulf of Guinea to serve as permanent trading centers. The first posts in Ivory Coast included one at Grand Bassam, which became the colony's first capital.

By the end of the 1880s, France had established what came through for control over the coastal regions of Ivory Coast, amid the European scramble for Africa. In 1889 Britain recognized French sovereignty in the area.

From 1904 to 1958, Ivory Coast was a constituent unit of the Federation of French West Africa. It was a colony and an overseas territory under the Third Republic.

The 1956 Overseas Reform Act (Loi Cadre) transferred a number of powers from Paris to elected territorial governments in French West Africa . Ivory Coast achieved independence from France on August 7, 1960.

The flag was adopted in 1959, just prior to independence.


August 7th is celebrated as Republic Day by the people of Ivory Coast.

Polygamy was abolished in Ivory Coast in 1964. Polygamous marriages before then are still valid.

The world’s largest church was completed in 1989. Our Lady of Peace Basilica in  The Ivory Coast capital of Yamoussoukro,is taller than and has double the floor area of St Peter’s, Rome, the previous largest.

The Kingdom of Sanwi in the Ivory Coast declared Michael Jackson a king in 1993.

The official language of the country is French, which is why they prefer to call it Côte d’Ivoire.

Côte d’Ivoire is an anagram of “erotic video”.

Yamoussoukro is the nation’s political capital while Abidjan is its economic capital and the largest city.

Abidjan is the fourth most populous city in Africa, with about 4.7million people living there.

Ivory Coast is the world’s leading producer of cocoa beans, supplying 37 per cent of the total.

Ivory Coast won its first Olympic medal, a silver in the men’s 400 metres, in 1984.

The Ivory Coast national football team is nicknamed “Les Eléphants” (the elephants). They have twice won the Africa Cup of Nations, in 1995 and 2015, both times beating Ghana on penalties in the final.

Sources WikipediaDaily Express

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