West Africa is renowned for its unusual Islamic architecture – these are the sights you shouldn't miss.Read more...
Ivory Coast - At a glance
Ivory Coast at a glance
Location On the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, 400km from the equator
Neighbouring countries Liberia, Guinea Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana
Land Area 322,463 km² (about the size of New Mexico or the UK and Ireland combined)
Climate Hot and humid, a little cooler in the west and north. Rainy season from June to October, with dry, harmattan conditions in the north and centre from December to February.
Terrain The south and centre of the country are fl at and fertile, home to most of the country’s commercial plantations. Tropical forests lie in the southwest while the west is mountainous, its highest point Mount Nimba (1,752m). The further north you go, the drier and dustier the savannah becomes.
Status Multi-party republic
Population 22,671,331 (2014 census)
Life expectancy 51
Capital Abidjan (economic capital; population 4,707,404 including Yopougon, Abobo and other suburbs); Yamoussoukro (political capital; population 355,573)
Other main towns and cities Bouaké (536,189), Daloa (319,427) San-Pédro (261,616)
Economy Mainly agriculture and some mineral oil, fuel and distillation product exports
GDP $1,528.94 per capita (PPP) (2014); 8.3% annual growth (2015)
Languages French is the lingua franca used in politics, law, business, the media and mainstream education. 70 vernacular African languages are also spoken, including Baoulé, Anyin, Mandé dialects and Senari.
Religion 38.6% of Ivorians follow Islam – the vast majority Sunni – and 32.6% Christianity (Roman Catholicism the most common denomination). The rest follow pagan animism.
Currency West African CFA franc (shared with Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea- Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo – see www.xe.com for exchange rate)
National airline Air Côte d’Ivoire
International telephone code +225
Time GMT +0
Electrical voltage 220V, 50Hz
Weights and measures Metric
Flag Three vertical bands modelled on the French tricolore: the orange to the left represents the savannah, the white in the middle refers to the country’s rivers and the green to the right symbolises the forests of the south and southwest.
National anthem L’Abidjanaise (The Song of Abidjan)
Public holidays Ivory Coast officially celebrates a mix of 15 Islamic, Christian and secular public holidays