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Tuesday 12th December
Cote d'Ivoire Information - Page 2
History
The Portuguese arrived in the Ivory Coast in the 1460s.

France extended a Protectorate over the coastal area of the country in 1842. The Ivory Coast was made a French Colony in 1893 and became part of French West Africa.

In 1958 the Ivory Coast was declared a republic within the French Community. Independence was achieved in 1960.

A civil war in 2002 divided Cote d'Ivoire into the north and south; government troops held the south and a UN peacekeeping force was deployed in the country in 2004.

In March 2007 the government and former rebel leader Guillaume Soro signed the Ouagadougou Political Agreement. Soro joined the government and it was agreed to reunite the country by dismantling the zone separating North and South. This was not an easy process and the presidential election was not held until 2010. Alassane Dramane Ouattara won the election but President Gbagbo refused to hand over power; Gbagbo was forced from office by Quattara supporters and UN and French forces.

Economy
Cote d'Ivoire's agricultural sector provides employment for a large percentage of the population. Principal crops are cocoa, coffee and palm oil.

Oil and natural gas are exported. Other industries include ship construction, truck and bus assembly, building materials, fertilizer, wood products, textiles, food processing and beverages. (2011)

Arts
Crafts in Cote d'Ivoire include wood carving, metalwork, leather goods, batik and jewellery. The National Museum has a collection of local art and crafts.

Cultural festivals and folklore performances can be seen in theatres in Abidjan.

Sport
Football is the most popular sport in Cote d'Ivoire. Basketball is also played.

Holidays
All religious holidays are celebrated. Independence Day (from France - 1960) is on 7 August.

News
News from Cote d'Ivoire is available from Newslink.

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