COUNTRIES BRIEFS
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THE REPUBLIC OF COTE D'IVOIRE - BRIEFS

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FACTS TO IVORY COAST POLITICAL CRISIS
Houphouet Boigny As Head Of State / Henri Konan Bedie Rivalry With Ouattara
Linas_Marcoussis / Accra Agreement / UN Resolution 1464 Endorses Marcoussis
PRESENTATION

The Republic of Cote d'Ivoire is located in the Western African region and expands over a total area of: 322,460 sq.km (land: 318,000 sq.km water: 4,460 sq. km)

Its population numbers 15,818,068 (1999) 16,962,491 (July 2003 est.) Population (2008 est.): 21,624,000. With a population growth rate of 2.133% (2009 est.)

The bordering countries are: in the East: the Republic of Ghana over 668 km; in the Northeast the Republic of Burkina Faso over 584; in the Northwest the Republic of Mali over 532; in the West the Republics of Guinea over 610 and Liberia over 716
It has a coastline of 515 km alongside the Gulf of Guinea.

Independence from France on August 7, 1960
National holiday:August 7

Natural resources:petroleum, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper.

Agriculture production:coffee, cocoa beans (first world producer), bananas, palm kernels, corn, rice, manioc (tapioca), sweet potatoes, sugar, cotton, rubber; timber.

Industrial production:foodstuffs, beverages; wood products, oil refining, automobile assembly, textiles, fertilizer, construction materials, electricity.

Cote-d'Ivoire is the the economic heavyweight of West-Africa's French speaking countries.

Table below outlined (source) Ivory Coast's contribution (in million FCFA) to the economy in the West African Economic Union (UEMOA), which members' states are: Benin, Niger, Burkina-Faso, Mali, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and Togo.

Contribution to the UEMOA Economy
  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Ivory Coast 1937,2 2080,9 2297,8 2836,5 2997,5 3127
Others 5979,8 6434,5 7170,8 8511,6 9327,2 9704,0
% Ivory Coast 32,4 32,34 32,0 33,33 32,14 32,22

The economic performance is based on agriculture development - Ivory Coast is one of the world's largest producer and exporter of coffee, cocoa beans, and palm oil that assist he country enjoying twenty five years of sustained economic growth from 1960 to 1985. That lengthy period of economic performance steadily increased the country's per capita GNP to up to US$ 1,200 (1999) against an average of US$ 400 in surrounding countries.

From 1986, the economy began to stagnate and nose dived to experiencing negative growth. The 100% devaluation of Zone Franc's currency (F.CFA) on January 12, 1994, triggered a reverse of the downward trend and boosted the export of agricultural commodities: cocoa, coffee, pineapple, and natural rubber.

The national budget then garnered "huge" liquidity coming from the privatization of state's owned enterprises, the liberalization of the banking system, the discoveries of offshore oil and gas in addition to generous external financing and debt rescheduling granted by bilateral and international institutions financing bodies.

Government compliance to reforms requested by the IMF and the World Bank coupled with the impact of the F.CFA's 100% devaluation boosted the economic growth rate to 6% annually two years running - from 1996 to 1998.

However, from mid 1999 the economy slid backwards again. That was the direct consequence of the refusal by international aid donors to continue financing contribution - unless the Ivorian government takes necessary measures to stamp out corruption and strictly adhere to donor-mandated reforms.

From the same period the economic situation further deteriorated due to the political tension arising from obstacles set up by Bedie's regime to eliminate the main opposition leader - RDR's Alassane Dramane Ouattara - from October 2000's presidential ballot.

On December 24, 1999 a bloodless "coup" cooled down the political tension, ousting Bedie from power. However, it was just a short term reprieve as the political situation did not clarified. Gueî, the beneficiary of the coup, backed by southerner political leaders added to the confusion: they adopted the "Ivoirité concept - cooked by Bedie - which is in the center of the political crisis since 1996.

Feeling strangers in their own country, Northerners staged a rebellion on September 19, 2002 and succeeded capturing 60% of national territory.

- MEDIATIONS FAILED TO RECONCILE THE ANTAGONISTIC PARTIES

Since September 19, 2002, several diplomatic meetings - Accra I, Accra II, Accra III - Pretoria I and Pretoria II, etc.; had been staged by the international community, to mending fences between the antagonistic parties. They all failed to do so. Then Gbagbo himself took the initiative to request the mediation of Burkina Faso's Compaoré, which lead to the the so-called Ouagadougou Agreement, translated on October 21, 2005, into UN' Security Council Resolution 1633 that could be summarized in four points:


1- Laurent Gbagbo's mandate as Ivory Coast's President ends on October 30, 2005. However, he should stay as Head of State for another year.

2- He has to transfer some executive powers to a new prime minister acceptable to all Ivorian parties.

3- The ministers of the new Reconcilement Government (designated by the parties which attended and signed Linas Marcoussis Agreement) would report to the Prime Minister.

4- The new Reconcilement Government to execute Linas Marcoussis and Accra III Agreements.

And the Agreement's important decision was that a presidential ballot would be scheduled for October 2006, the latest.

However, Gbagbo succeeded for 5 years running, to postponing the ballot, and only agree, under intense international pressure, to accepting the ballot to be scheduled for October 31, 2010.


- PRESIDENTIAL BALLOT SECOND LEG HELD ON NOVEMBER 28, 2010

The first leg of the ballot took place as scheduled on October 31, 2010, under fairly good transparency conditions - according to international supervising bodies. However, some observers did noticed "minor" violence and disturbances in the south-west region, the stronghold of Gbagbo's FPI party, where balloters from Alassane Ouatara's RDR had been molested and stopped from casting votes by FPI activists. Bedié's PDCI is also crying fool.

Main Parties StrongholdsNevertheless, the Independent Electoral Commission, (CEI) proclaimed on November, 3, 2010, the ballot result that shows Gbagbo leading with 38%, Ouatarra closing on with 32%, and Bedié standing behind at 25%

Image at the left side of this paragraph (courtesy of abidjan.net) outlines the strongholds of the three main contenders. The RDR dominating the Northern part. FPI and PDCI parting in the South of the country.

A run-off took place as scheduled on November 28, 2010 between Ouatara and Gbagbo.

Bédié kept his words and provide a strong support to Ouatara, who run as the candidate of the Heirs of Houphouet (the founding father of modern Ivory Coast.)

According to the run-off results released by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), Ouatara won with 54.10% of cast votes against 45.9% for Gbabgo. The result had been verified and certified "correct and true" by the UN's representative in Ivory Coast - in charge of supervising the political crisis, according to a certification agreement procedure agreed upon between all parties and included in Pretoria Agreement

Then Gbagbo, arguing that the results had been released beyond the time-frame imparted to make the announcement - four days after the end of the ballot, instead of three days as requested by the rules, asked the Ivory-Coast's Constitutional Council - whose Head is a fervent militant of his political party - FPI, to invalidate the results exposed by the CEI.

This was swiftly carried out, together with the suppression of the total of votes cast in the North (a stronghold of Ouatara,) to declaring Gbagbo the winner - with 51.45% against 48.55% for Ouatara

A blatant Coup d'Etat, backed by three Army's chiefs who are Gbagbo's straw men. That is the situation now. Gbagbo lost the presidential ballot but is hanging on power - at the time of this writing, on January 14, 2011,

- THE END OF THE ROAD FOR GBAGBO

On April 11, 2011, Gbagbo was captured by the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast (FRCI) the new army established by Ouattara. That is the end of the road for Gbagbo. Click here for more.

Click here to read about There will be no civil war in Ivory Coast following the downfall of Gbagbo.

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SOME FIGURES


GNP:
US$ 8.09 billion (2002); 7.40 billion (2003); 6.47 billion (2004); 7.47 billion (2008)
GNP-real growth rate: -1.5% (2001); -8.5 (2003) -12.5 (2004); -8.5 (2006) -2.5 (2008)
GNP-per capita: US$ 520 (2000); 512 (2001); 505 (2002); 404 (2004); 390 (2008)

Click here for the difference between GNP and Parity Purchasing Power

GDP-composition by sector

  1. agriculture: 28%

  2. industry: 21%
  3. services: 51%

Exports: US$ 11.96 billion (f.o.b., 2008)
Commodities: cocoa 36%, coffee, tropical woods, petroleum, cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, cotton, fish
Imports: US$ 7.948 billion (f.o.b., 2008)
Commodities: food, consumer goods; capital goods, fuel, transport equipment, machinery.

FOR CURRENCY EQUIVALENCE CLICK HERE

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ENTRY POLICY / HEALTH POLICY


A passport - valid for at least six months after intended period of stay - and a visa are required for most nationalities.
International certificate of vaccination (yellow fever and cholera) is also required. To get more information contact the following Cote d'Ivoire's diplomatic representations

Canada
Cote d'Ivoire's Embassy
9 Marlborough Avenue, Ottawa,
Ontario K1N 8E6

Tel: +(1) 613 2369919
Fax: +(1) 613 5638287
ambaci@ican.net

England
Cote d'Ivoire's Embassy
2 Upper Belgrave St.
London SW1X 8BJ

Tel: +(44) 171 2356991
Fax: +(44) 171 2595320

USA
Cote d'Ivoire's Embassy
2424 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008
Tel: +(1) 202 7970300
Fax: +(1) 202 2652454

France
Cote d'Ivoire's Embassy
24 Boulevard Suchet
75016 PARIS
Tel: +(33) 1 44 14 93 93
Fax: +(33) 1 45 20 21 60
http://www.cotedivoire.com/

AIR-LINKING / TRANSSHIPPING


The following companies service Abidjan:

AIR IVOIRE INTERNATIONAL, AIR SENEGAL INTERNATIONAL, AIR MAROC, BRITISH AIRWAYS, TAP, MEA, KLM, SWISSAIR, CATHAY PACIFIC, CORSAIR.

The port of Abidjan - the first and most active one for the UEMOA region - is a transshipping port for the landlocked countries of Burkina Faso and Mali.

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INVESTOR CONTACTS

Comité de Privatisation
Privatization Committee
01 BP 1141 ABIDJAN 01
Tel: +(225) 20 22 22 31 /
+(225) 20 22 22 32
Fax: +(225) 20 21 40 71

Centre de Promotion des Investissements en Côte d'Ivoire (CEPICI)
Investments Promotion in Ivory Coast
BP V 152 ABIDJAN
Tel: +(225) 20 21 40 70
Fax: +(225) 20 21 40 71

Chambre de Commerce & d'industrie
Chamber of Commerce and Industry
01 BP 1390 ABIDJAN 01
Tel: +(225) 20 33 16 00
Fax: +(225) 20 32 39 42

Click here to review funding available to rebuild power generation system
ACCOMMODATION


There are many hotels equipped and serviced to international standards located at the country economic center - Abidjan.
Total hotel capacity: 7300 rooms, of which 4000 are in Abidjan. Click here to choose an hotel in the hinterland or contact the Tourism office below listed.

Below are listed the Abidjan's most important hotels:

Ivoire Inter-Continental Abidjan
Boulevard de la Corniche
PO Box 1
Abidjan 08
Cote D'Ivoire
Tel: +(225) 20 44 10 45
Fax: +(225) 20 44 00 50
ivoire@interconti.com

Golf Hotel Inter-Continental
PO Box 18
La Riviera
Abidjan 08 Cote D'Ivoire
Tel: +(225) 20 43 10 44
Fax: +(225) 20 43 05 44
abidjan@interconti.com

Office du Tourisme (OITH)
01 BP 8538 ABIDJAN 01
Tel: +(225) 20 20 65 00
Fax: +(225) 20 22 56 24

Hotel SOFITEL
Boulevard de la Corniche
Tel: +(225) 20 22 11 22
Fax: +(225) 20 21 20 28


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