جمعه، آذر ۰۹، ۱۳۸۶

C ô t e d ' I v o i r e

Little is known about Côte d'Ivoire before the arrival of Portuguese ships in the 1460s. The major ethnic groups came relatively recently from neighbouring areas: the Kru people from Liberia around 1600; the Senoufo and Lobi moved southward from Burkina Faso and Mali. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the Akan people, including the Baoulé, migrated from Ghana into the eastern area of the country, and the Malinké from Guinea into the north-west.
During the 17th and 18th centuries the French established coastal settlements and began a long relationship that would change the culture, and for that matter, the economic future (and name) of this African nation.
Even after declaring independence in 1960, Cote d'Ivoire retained close economic (export/import) ties with France, and became one of the most prosperous African countries.
Over the centuries it suffered through very little political turmoil, but recently, a few poorly-timed military coups and subsequent internal conflicts increased its national debt, and dramatically curtailed its once profitable tourism industry.
Long famed for its coastal scenery, beautiful national parks and abundant wildlife, Cote d'Ivoire is, or was, a true slice of African culture, once visited by travelers from around the world.

Facts and Figures
Official Name Republic of the Cote d'Ivoire, formerly the Ivory Coast. The country was originally known in English as Ivory Coast. In October 1985 the government requested that the country be known in every language as Côte d'Ivoire, without a hyphen between the two words (thereby contravening the standard rule in French that geographical names with several words must be written with hyphens).

Population 17,654,843 (56 out of 192)
Capital City Yamoussoukro (190,000)
Largest Cities Abidjan, Bouaké, Daloa, Yamoussoukro, Korhogo
Currency CFA Franc
Latitude/Longitude 5º33' N, 4º03' W
Languages French (official), and local dialects
National Day 7 August; Independence Day
Religions Christian, Muslim, others
Land Area 320,763 sq km (67 out of 192)
Landforms Most of Cote d'Ivoire (north to south) is a forested plateau, one that gradually slopes down to the Atlantic Ocean coastal areas. Exceptions are the edges of the Guinea Highlands (4000 - 5000 ft. peaks) on its western border with Guinea, and in the far northwest, and the elevated savanna and forest of the northeast.
Major rivers drain the plateau, including the Bandama, Komoe and Sassandra. Large lakes include Loc de Ebire and Loc de Kossou.

Highest Pt. Mt. Nimba (1,752 m) (5,748 ft)
Lowest Pt. Gulf of Guinea (0 m) (0 ft)

Climate The coastal regions of Cote d'Ivoire are warm throughout the year, with average highs near 80º. Rainfall here is heavy May through July, with up to 80 inches commonplace,
The forested central region is a bit warmer, with heavy rains March through May (70 inches on average). In the northern reaches of the country the daily high temperatures reach into the 90s, with somewhat more moderate rainfall amounts.