Despite its size, the Ivory Coast has a wide variety of physical features. It is 322,463 square kilometers. In Africa, the Ivory Coast is located on the western part of its coast. The eastern part of its coast is flat and very sandy. On the western part of its coast, it is extremely rocky and filled with mountains. Beyond the coast, there is a tropical forest that is 95 to 185 miles wide. Mount Nimba is the tallest mountain in the Ivory Coast reaching the height of 5,749 feet. The Gulf of Guinea meets the coast of the country. It is 1,300 feet above sea level on some parts of the east and west sides of the Ivory Coast. Liberia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso border this country. It is evident that the Ivory Coast has many varied physical properties.
There are many sources of water in the Ivory Coast. The largest lake in the Ivory Coast is the Kossou Lake. Due to the rapids and falls, each river allows only about 40 miles of its whole expansion to be traveled. 500 miles is the length of the longest river in this country. That river is called the Bandama River. The Bandama flows through almost all of the Ivory Coast. Other main rivers in the Ivory Coast include the Cavally, the Komoe , and the Sassandra. The Atlantic Ocean surrounds the entire coast of this country. Clearly, the Ivory Coast is not short on water. It flourishes throughout the country leaving the vegetation mostly moist.
The country of the Ivory Coast contains many natural resources. One of the main natural resources found is petroleum. Petroleum is the base of the gasoline used in the cars we drive today. Part of the petroleum found is exported out to the United States of America. Diamonds, the hardest known rock in the world, is another natural resource found in this country. Copper and iron ore are two very useful resources unearthed in this small country. The main natural resource that is not excavated from the ground is found in the rivers of this country, fish. This greatly affects the eating habits of Ivorians. One other natural resource found in the Ivory Coast is cobalt. The diversity of natural resources is very large in the Ivory Coast.
The year round climate of the Ivory Coast is mildly hot and humid. Temperatures range from 76 to 83 degrees fahrenheight. Every year they receive a range from 79 to 128 inches of rainfall, except in the central tropical rainforest. In the central tropical forest, it rains from 39 to 98 inches of rain a year. The temperatures may vary from 57 to 103 degrees farenheight. The hottest place in the Ivory Coast is the northern savanna where the temperature usually gets up to 120 degrees. Due to the blistering heat in the northern savanna, the rainfall is limited to 50 inches of rain a year tops. In the Ivory Coast, the climate varies only a small amount.
There were several ancient kingdoms in the Ivory Coast. Many of these Kingdoms were located in the north and south regions of this country. Since the north was rich in salt they traded some to the south, which had barely any. In return, the south gave the north a good supply of kola nuts. The Senufo people established the ancient kingdom of Kong in the 11th century. Kong was located in the northern part of the central region of the Ivory Coast. This made it very easy for the north and south to trade. Even though many years have passed since ancient times, Kong is till the main trading center for the north and the south. There were a few other ancient kingdoms in the Ivory Coast, but there is very little information about them.
Even though France was the only country that actually settled in the Ivory Coast, many other countries, like Portugal, set foot in this country before France. It was a French governed colony for 73 years. In 1887, Louis Bringer, a highly regarded French official, made some protectorate agreements with certain African chiefs. Bringer, later in 1893, became the first French governor of their territory in the Ivory Coast. The Ivory Coast finally won their independence on August 7, 1960. Felix Houph˙ uett-Boigny became the first president of the independent country and served from 1960-1993. As you can see, the Ivory Coast was not taken over by another country for a long period of time.
The Ivory Coastıs government is very similar to the United States of Americaıs government. Yamoussoukro has been the official capital of the Ivory Coast since 1983, even though Abidjan has been the working capital for the country until Yamoussoukro is a well-organized city. This country has a Democratic Party. The president of this country is elected for a five-year term, however, the president can be appointed for as many years as they are re-elected. Every president appoints a Prime Minister and a Counsel of Ministers. There is a 175-menmber legislature called the National Assembly. These people work together to make the Ivory Coast well organized.
The people of the Ivory Coast eat a wide variety of foods. Since they grow a wide diversity of tropical fruits, their diet contains a large amount of fruit. Ivorians especially enjoy having pineapples and bananas in every meal of the day. In addition to fruit, Ivorians eat many different kinds of meats ranging from monkey to dog. Since they were a French governed colony for a long time, Ivorians took up some French eating traditions including snails. For a common lunch they would dine on manioc (root star) and fish stew. It is evident that the people of the Ivory Coast eat a wide selection of foods.
Except for in the cities, most everyone lives in compounds. Compounds are groups of very resistant mud huts. The roofs of these mud huts are usually metal or thatched straw. The owners of the hut usually made it by hand. In major cities people would live in an apartment or a house. However, if these city people were poor, they would live in a compound. If they were extremely rich, they would live in a house even in the small cities. Clearly, most everyone lived in a compound.
The climate and the Ivoriansı traditions greatly affected their apparel. All year round, men would generally wear shorts or light weight pants with a T-shirt. Their shorts and pants would be woven with traditional cloth or sewn with modern cloth, which we see in stores today. The traditional cloth would usually have patterns or be quilted. Women, on the other hand, would generally wear traditional woven skirts and a shirt. If they were Muslim, their whole body (except for their eyes and nose) would be draped in black or white cloth. In major cities, non-Africans would wear modern clothing. Climate and tradition did in fact effect the Ivoriansı clothing.
Most of the major exports for the Ivory Coast are items that are grown from the ground. Ivory Coastıs two main exports are cocoa and coffee. Actually, some of the chocolate made in America comes from the Ivory Coastıs cocoa. Some of the other products grown are pineapples, rice, yams, corn, cotton, rubber, and tobacco. This country also exports a good amount of lumber. Since most of their exports are grown a good part of the population are farmers. Farmers generally donıt get a lot of money so the Ivory Coastıs GNP is only $630. A lot of paint, beer, cements, fabric, and chemicals are man made in the Ivory Coast. It is very visible that most Ivorians made a living farming.
Compared to the other countries in Africa, the Ivory Coastıs school system is fantastic. This country has one of the highest adult literacy rates in West Africa. The government makes great efforts to see that everyone learns to read and write. To enforce this, the country has made a law saying that all children must go to elementary school if one is near their house. Since their independence the number of children attending school has greatly increased. Now 75% of the children go to elementary school. Sadly, only 20% of the children advance to high school and college. The best college in the country is the National University of the Ivory Coast. As you can see the Ivory Coast has a great school system.
The Ivory Coast practices many different beliefs. 60% of the population practices their traditional beliefs that were developed in their villages many years ago. Out of the Ivory Coast population, 6,670,912 million, about 20% practice the Muslim religion. These would mean covering your whole body in cloth if you were women. Only about 10% of the people practice Christianity and Roman Catholicism. Even though only a small percentage of the population practices Christianity, the largest Christian church in all of Africa is located in Yamoussoukro. This church is called Our Lady of Peace, and people from far away sometimes go there to worship their Lord. Many beliefs are practiced in this country.
There are over 60 languages spoken in the Ivory Coast. The official language of the Ivory Coast is French. Since it is the official language, French is used in the government offices and in all of the educational institutions. Around 24% of the population speak a language called Baule. Only 18% of the 6,670,912 million people speak their village languages. This is surprising because 40% of the people who practice their traditional religion donıt even practice their own language. The two other main languages spoken are Malinke and Senoufo. Around 10% of each of these languages are spoken in this country. Clearly, there are many languages spoken in the Ivory Coast.
Masks making and sculpturing are the two most enjoyed crafts done in the Ivory Coast. Masks would be made in all different kinds of materials, but the most popular are gold and silver. These masks would be made with religious meaning, and would be used at traditional village funerals. Ivorians would love to sculpture wood and statues. Statues would be made with certain metals or stone. Along with masks, statues would also have religious meanings. Another eventful craft that Ivorians loved to do was to weave cloth. With skill they would weave complicated patterns and designs. It is evident that Ivorians enjoyed doing many crafts.
From this paper you should have learned a lot about the Ivory Coast. You should have learned how Ivorians mostly live in mud huts called compounds even in cities. Also, you should have learned about their school system and how the government works extra hard to make sure that everyone learns to read and write. It should have been clear that the Ivory Coast is being run by a president and a Prime Minister and that they had a Democratic Party. The most important thing you should have seen throughout this paper was that even though the Ivory Coast is a growing country the old traditional beliefs are still in practice for a good percentage of the population.