Editor's note: Witnesses say ex-Burkina Faso president Blaise Compaore has been seen in Ivory Coast, according to an @AFP report. Burkina's army chief of staff Gen. Honore Traore had said he would take over the presidency on a temporary basis after Compaore was forced to step down Friday; since then, a commander in his presidential guard has also announced he is in power. We are watching for further reports on this unfolding political crisis. - Tricia
Ivory Coast (/ˌaɪvəriˈkoʊst/) or Côte d'Ivoire (/ˌkoʊtdɨˈvwɑr/; KOHTdee-VWAHR; French: [kot divwaʁ]), officially the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire (French: République de Côte d'Ivoire), is a country in West Africa. Ivory Coast's de jure capital is Yamoussoukro and its biggest city is the port of Abidjan.
Prior to its colonization by Europeans, Ivory Coast was home to several states, including Gyaaman, the Kong Empire, and Baoulé. There were two Anyi kingdoms, Indénié and Sanwi, which attempted to retain their separate identity through the French colonial period and after independence. Ivory Coast became a protectorate of France in 1843–44 and was later formed into a French colony in 1893 amid the European scramble for Africa. Ivory Coast achieved independence in 1960, led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who ruled the country until 1993. It maintained close political and economic association with its West African neighbours, while at the same time maintaining close ties to the West, especially France. Since the end of Houphouët-Boigny's rule in 1993, Ivory Coast has experienced one coup d'état, in 1999, and two religiously-grounded civil wars: the first taking place between 2002 and 2007, and the second during 2010-2011.
Ivory Coast is a republic with a strong executive power invested in its president. Through the production of coffee and cocoa, the country was an economic powerhouse in West Africa during the 1960s and 1970s. Ivory Coast went through an economic crisis in the 1980s, contributing to a period of political and social turmoil. The 21st-century Ivorian economy is largely market-based and still relies heavily on agriculture, with smallholder cash-crop production being dominant.
The official language is French, with indigenous local languages also widely used, including Baoulé, Dioula, Dan, Anyin and Cebaara Senufo. The main religions are Islam, Christianity (primarily Roman Catholicism) and various indigenous religions.