Located in West Africa, Côte d'Ivoire covers an area of 322,462 km² with a population of over 28 million inhabitants (RGPH 2021).Independent since August 7, 1960, the country is bordered to the north by Mali and Burkina Faso, to the west by Liberia and Guinea, to the east by Ghana and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean.
Its economy is essentially based on agriculture, especially coffee and cocoa, which ensured a remarkable development from the very first hours of its independence, making it the leading country in the West African sub-region.
Five (5) heads of state have succeeded each other since its independence: Félix Houphouët-Boigny (1960-1993), Henri Konan Bédié (1993-1999), Robert Guéi (1999-2000), Laurent Gbagbo (2000-2010), and Alassane Ouattara since 2011.
Yamoussoukro, in the center of the country, is the political and administrative capital and Abidjan, in the southern part, the economic capital.
Renowned as the "Country of hospitality," as proclaimed in its national anthem, l'Abidjanaise, Côte d'Ivoire is truly a melting pot of cultures. With almost a quarter of its population consisting of people from other nations, even foreigners are unlikely to feel out of place, as they are sure to encounter fellow compatriots who have long since made this nation their home, ready to provide them with a refreshing change of scenery at every turn.
In the evenings, the warmth of Ivorian hospitality comes to life in the lively "maquis," where one can indulge in local delicacies such as "attiéké" (cassava semolina) and "kédjénou" (a savory broth made with chicken, fish, or snails) that are simply irresistible.
Côte d'Ivoire, a land of lush forests interwoven with meandering streams and five magnificent rivers (Cavally, Bandama, Agnéby, Sassandra, Comoé), boasts an exceptional culinary heritage that has earned it the distinction of being a destination for connoisseurs of fine cuisine. This diversity of flavors adds to the Ivorian way of life, which never fails to evoke a sense of nostalgia. Even the bustling economic capital, Abidjan, is not left out, with its sizzling nightlife that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
The Ebrié lagoon, which borders the city of Abidjan, is home to several attractions that are worth discovering during a leisurely stroll. These include the 'Baie des Milliardaires', the 'Ile Boulay', and the 'Ile flottante'.
Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d'Ivoire, is nicknamed "The Pearl of the Lagoons" and is a cosmopolitan city with a population of nearly six million people.
It serves as the country's economic hub and business center, hosting the regional headquarters and offices of major international institutions such as the African Development Bank (BAD), the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AIFD), UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), IMF (International Monetary Fund), World Bank, FIBA-Africa (International Basketball Federation), and more. Abidjan boasts around forty high-end hotels, including three 5-star rated ones, and dozens of luxury residences, totaling over 4,000 rooms. These accommodations are well distributed throughout the city. In the outskirts of Abidjan, there are coastal sites with kilometers of beaches, perfect for relaxation and escape.
Bouaké, along with Abidjan, served as a host city for the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations. It is located in the central part of the country, 350 km from the economic capital, and 100 km from Yamoussoukro, the political capital.
With a population of over 600,000 inhabitants, Bouaké is the second-largest city in the country and third-largest in terms of its economic significance. The city's hotel network includes several well-regarded establishments that offer comfortable and welcoming accommodations. The creation of CAN (Africa Cup of Nations) villages significantly increased its capacity to host visitors.
Bouaké, served by the Abidjan-Ouagadougou railway line, is a regional hub for commerce and culture. It acts as a vibrant center for trade and serves as a cultural meeting point for the region.
Korhogo, known as the "Pôrô" city, named after a tradition of the local Sénoufo ethnic group, is the capital of the Savanes region. It is located approximately 207 km from Mali and 242 km from Burkina Faso, with an estimated population of around 300,000 inhabitants.
Yamoussoukro, the birthplace of the first President of the Republic, the late Félix Houphouët-Boigny, serves as the political and administrative capital of Côte d'Ivoire. It is located 240 km north of Abidjan and has an estimated population of over 260,000 inhabitants. The city is renowned for its state-of-the-art educational institutions dedicated to training the country's and the continent's elite, such as the Félix Houphouët-Boigny National Polytechnic Institute, the Scientific High School, Mamie Adjoua High School, and more.
Yamoussoukro is not only an educational hub but also a tourist and cultural destination. It is home to the largest basilica in the world, the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, as well as the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research, the Lac aux Caïmans, and a world-class golf course. The city offers quality accommodations, including the famous Hôtel Président and Hôtel des Parlementaires, for visitors to enjoy their stay.
Located in the southwest of Côte d'Ivoire, 350 km from Abidjan, San Pédro is a coastal and tourist city with a population of just over 265,000 inhabitants. It is home to the country's second-largest port and the world's leading cocoa export port.