Abidjan is the economic capital of Ivory Coast and one of the most populous French-speaking cities in Africa. According to the 2014 census, Abidjan's population was 4.7 million, 20 percent of the overall population of the country, this makes it the sixth most populous city proper in Africa, after Lagos, Kinshasa, Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg. A cultural crossroads of West Africa, Abidjan is characterised by a high level of industrialisation and urbanisation; the city expanded after the construction of a new wharf in 1931, followed by its designation as the capital city of the then-French colony in 1933. Abidjan remained the capital of Côte d'Ivoire after its independence from France in 1960; the completion of the Vridi Canal in 1951 enabled Abidjan to become an important sea port. In 1983, the city of Yamoussoukro was designated as the official political capital of Cote d'Ivoire; however all political institutions and foreign embassies continue to be located in Abidjan. Because Abidjan is the largest city in the country and the centre of its economic activity, it has been designated as the "economic capital" of the country.
The Abidjan Autonomous District, which encompasses the city and some of its suburbs, is one of the 14 districts of Côte d'Ivoire. Abidjan lies on the Gulf of Guinea; the city is located on the Ébrié Lagoon. The business district, Le Plateau, is the center of the city, along with Cocody, Deux Plateaux, Adjamé, a slum on the north shore of the lagoon. Treichville and Marcory lie to the south, Locodjro, Abobo Doume and Yopougon to the west, Île Boulay is located in the middle of the lagoon. Further south lies Port Bouët, home to the airport and main seaport. Abidjan is located at 4 ° 2 ′ West. Abidjan experiences a tropical dry climate, according to the Köppen climate classification. Abidjan has nonconsecutive rainy seasons (precipitation above 60 millimetres with a long rainy season from March to July and a short rainy season from September to December, three dry months. Precipitation is abundant during the summer months, except for August, due to activation of the Benguela Current, which reduces the precipitation total throughout the month.
The Benguela Current lowers the mean temperature during August, making it the coolest month of the year, averaging 24.5 °C. Abidjan has two additional dry months. Abidjan is humid, with average relative humidity above 80% throughout the year. Abidjan is composed of southern Abidjan; each has communes, each being run by a mayor. Abobo consists of public housing. Abobo has a large population of low-income migrants; this area has developed spontaneously. Adjamé developed from the village of Ébrié. Although polluted and small in size, this commune is commercially important for the Ivorian economy, it contains a varied shopping district and its bus station is the Côte d'Ivoire's main hub for international bus lines. Yopougon is the most populous commune of Abidjan, lying in Northern Abidjan and across the lagoon in Southern Abidjan, it is home to both residential areas. The research station ORSTOM, the Pasteur Institute, a training hospital are located in this commune. Plateau is Ivory Coast's business center, with modern, tall buildings.
Although the governmental and administrative capital of Côte d'Ivoire transferred to Yamoussoukro in 1983, the institutions of the republic such as the Presidency and National Assembly are still located in Plateau. It is the main administrative and financial center of Ivory Coast. Attécoubé contains Banco forest, classified as a national park. Cocody is famous for Deux-Plateaux and Riviera; the University of Cocody, a public institution, some private universities are located within the commune. Radio Television Ivoirienne is located in Cocody; the President of the Republic resides in this commune, which contains the embassy district. Koumassi: This commune has an important industrial area. Marcory: This commune is residential, contains the upscale Biétry and Zone 4 neighborhoods where many foreigners live. Port-Bouët: This commune includes the (SIR refinery and the Félix Houphouët-Boigny International airport. There is an established office of the IRD, the centre of Little Bassam; the famous lighthouse sweeps the Gulf of Guinea for several nautical miles out.
The Vridi beach area is busy every weekend although the ocean is rough. From 1950 on, Vridi has been the primary employment hub in Abidjan because of its increasing number of factories and warehouses. Treichville: This commune is home to the Autonomous Port of Abidjan and to many stores; the port area is industrial. There is the Treichville state swimming pool, the Treichville sports palace, the Palace of Culture, the Abidjan racetrack. Île Boulay. Towns near Abidjan include Grand-Lahou and Dabou in the west; the towns of Anyama, Brofodoumé and Songon are within the Abidjan Department, co-extensive with the autonomous district. According to oral tradition of the Tchaman as reported in the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Côte d'Ivoire, the name "Abidjan" results from a misunderstanding. Legend states that an old man carrying branches to repair the roof of his house
Kossou is a town in central Ivory Coast. Since 2013, it has been one of two sub-prefectures of Yamoussoukro Department, Yamoussoukro Autonomous District; the town is named after nearby Lake Kossou. Kossou was a commune until March 2012, when it became one of 1126 communes nationwide that were abolished. Villages in the sub-prefecture include Zatta
Grand-Bassam is a town in south-eastern Ivory Coast, lying east of Abidjan. It was the French colonial capital city from 1893 to 1896, when the administration was transferred to Bingerville after a bout of yellow fever; the town remained a key seaport until the growth of Abidjan from the 1930s. Grand-Bassam is the seat of Grand-Bassam Department; the town has the aura of a ghost town. In 1896, the French capital was moved to Bingerville, commercial shipping declined until it ceased in the 1930s. In 1960, with independence, all remaining administrative offices were transferred to Abidjan, for many years Grand-Bassam was inhabited only by squatters. Beginning in the late 1970s, the town began to revive as a tourist craft centre; the town is divided by the Ébrié Lagoon into two halves: Ancien Bassam is the former French settlement, facing the Gulf of Guinea. It is home to the grander colonial buildings; the district is home to a cathedral and the Ivory Coast National Museum of Costume. Nouveau Bassam, linked to Ancien Bassam by a bridge, lies on the inland, northern side of the lagoon.
It is now the main commercial centre of the town. The town is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand-Bassam; the diocese's cathedral is the Cathédrale Sacré Cœur in Grand-Bassam. In 2012, it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In March 2016, the town was targeted in a terrorist attack. Grand-Bassam travel guide from Wikivoyage
Félix Houphouët-Boigny, affectionately called Papa Houphouët or Le Vieux, was the first President of Ivory Coast, serving for more than three decades until his death. A tribal chief, he worked as a medical aide, union leader, planter before being elected to the French Parliament, he served in several ministerial positions within the French government before leading Côte d'Ivoire following independence in 1960. Throughout his life, he played a significant role in politics and the decolonization of Africa. Under Houphouët-Boigny's politically moderate leadership, Ivory Coast prospered economically; this success, uncommon in poverty-ridden West Africa, became known as the "Ivorian miracle". However, reliance on the agricultural sector caused difficulties in 1980, after a sharp drop in the prices of coffee and cocoa. Throughout his presidency, Houphouët-Boigny maintained a close relationship with France, a policy known as Françafrique, he built a close friendship with Jacques Foccart, the chief adviser on African policy in the de Gaulle and Pompidou governments.
He aided the conspirators who ousted Kwame Nkrumah from power in Ghana in 1966, took part in the failed coup against Mathieu Kérékou in Benin in 1977, was suspected of involvement in the 1987 coup d'état that removed Thomas Sankara from power in Burkina Faso, provided assistance to UNITA, a United States-supported, anti-communist rebel movement in Angola. Houphouët-Boigny maintained a strong anti-communist foreign policy, which resulted in, among other things, severing diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union in 1969 and refusing to recognise the People's Republic of China until 1983, he re-established relations with the Soviet Union in 1986. In the West, Houphouët-Boigny was known as the "Sage of Africa" or the "Grand Old Man of Africa". Houphouët-Boigny moved the country's capital from Abidjan to his hometown of Yamoussoukro and built the world's largest church there, the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro, at a cost of US$300 million. At the time of his death he was the longest-serving leader in Africa's history, the third longest-serving leader in the world after Fidel Castro of Cuba and Kim Il-sung of North Korea.
In 1989, UNESCO created the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize for the "safeguarding and seeking of peace". After his death, conditions in Côte d'Ivoire deteriorated. Between 1994 and 2002, there were a number of coups d'état, a currency devaluation and an economic recession. According to his official biography, Houphouët-Boigny was born on 18 October 1908, in Yamoussoukro to a family of hereditary chiefs of the Baoulé people. Unofficial accounts, place his birth date up to seven years earlier. Born into the animist Akouès tribe, he was named Dia Houphouët: his first name Dia means "prophet" or "magician", his father was N'Doli Houphouët. Dia Houphouët was the great-nephew through his mother of Queen Yamousso and the village chief, Kouassi N'Go; when N'Go was murdered in 1910, Dia was named to succeed him as chief. Due to his young age, his stepfather Gbro Diby ruled as regent until Dia came of age. Houphouët-Boigny descended from tribal chiefs through his mother, Kimou N'Drive, she died much in 1936.
Doubts remain as to the identity of his father, N'Doli. A native of the N'Zipri of Didiévi tribe, N'Doli Houphouët died shortly after the birth of his son Augustin, although no reliable information regarding his death exists. Houphouët-Boigny had two elder sisters and Adjoua, as well as a younger brother Augustin; the French colonial administration recognised tribal leaders. In 1915, he was transferred to the école primaire supérieure at Bingerville in spite of his family's reluctance to have him go to boarding school; the same year, at Bingerville, Houphouët converted to Christianity. He chose to be christened Félix. First in his class, Houphouët was accepted into the École William Ponty in 1919, earned a teaching degree. In 1921, he attended the École de médecine de l'AOF in French Senegal, where he came first in his class in 1925 and qualified as a medical assistant; as he never completed his studies in medicine, he could qualify only as a médecin africain, a poorly paid doctor. On 26 October 1925, Houphouët began his career as a doctor's aide at a hospital in Abidjan, where he founded an association of indigenous medical personnel.
This undertaking proved short-lived as the colonial administration viewed it unsympathetically, considering it a trade union. As a consequence, they decided to move Houphouët to a lesser hospital in Guiglo on 27 April 1927. After he proved his considerable talents, however, he was promoted on 17 September 1929 to a post in Abengourou, which until had been reserved for Europeans. At Abengourou, Houphouët witnessed the mistreatment of indigenous cocoa farmers by the colonists. In 1932, he decided to act, leading a movement of farmers against the influential white landowners and for the economic policies of the colonial government, who favoured the farmers. On 22 December, he published an article
The Sahara is a desert located on the African continent. It is the largest hot desert in the world, the third largest desert overall after Antarctica and the Arctic, its area of 9,200,000 square kilometres is comparable to the area of the United States. The name'Sahara' is derived from a dialectal Arabic word for ṣaḥra; the desert comprises much of North Africa, excluding the fertile region on the Mediterranean Sea coast, the Atlas Mountains of the Maghreb, the Nile Valley in Egypt and Sudan. It stretches from the Red Sea in the east and the Mediterranean in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, where the landscape changes from desert to coastal plains. To the south, it is bounded by the Sahel, a belt of semi-arid tropical savanna around the Niger River valley and the Sudan Region of Sub-Saharan Africa; the Sahara can be divided into several regions including: the western Sahara, the central Ahaggar Mountains, the Tibesti Mountains, the Aïr Mountains, the Ténéré desert, the Libyan Desert.
For several hundred thousand years, the Sahara has alternated between desert and savanna grassland in a 41,000 year cycle caused by the precession of the Earth's axis as it rotates around the Sun, which changes the location of the North African Monsoon. The area is next expected to become green in about 15,000 years. There is a suggestion that the last time that the Sahara was converted from savanna to desert it was due to overgrazing by the cattle of the local population; the Sahara covers large parts of Algeria, Egypt, Mali, Niger, Western Sahara and Tunisia. It covers 9 million square kilometres, amounting to 31% of Africa. If all areas with a mean annual precipitation of less than 250 mm were included, the Sahara would be 11 million square kilometres, it is one of three distinct physiographic provinces of the African massive physiographic division. The Sahara is rocky hamada. Wind or rare rainfall shape the desert features: sand dunes, dune fields, sand seas, stone plateaus, gravel plains, dry valleys, dry lakes, salt flats.
Unusual landforms include the Richat Structure in Mauritania. Several dissected mountains, many volcanic, rise from the desert, including the Aïr Mountains, Ahaggar Mountains, Saharan Atlas, Tibesti Mountains, Adrar des Iforas, the Red Sea Hills; the highest peak in the Sahara is Emi Koussi, a shield volcano in the Tibesti range of northern Chad. The central Sahara is hyperarid, with sparse vegetation; the northern and southern reaches of the desert, along with the highlands, have areas of sparse grassland and desert shrub, with trees and taller shrubs in wadis, where moisture collects. In the central, hyperarid region, there are many subdivisions of the great desert: Tanezrouft, the Ténéré, the Libyan Desert, the Eastern Desert, the Nubian Desert and others; these arid areas receive no rain for years. To the north, the Sahara skirts the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt and portions of Libya, but in Cyrenaica and the Maghreb, the Sahara borders the Mediterranean forest and scrub eco-regions of northern Africa, all of which have a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot summers and cool and rainy winters.
According to the botanical criteria of Frank White and geographer Robert Capot-Rey, the northern limit of the Sahara corresponds to the northern limit of date palm cultivation and the southern limit of the range of esparto, a grass typical of the Mediterranean climate portion of the Maghreb and Iberia. The northern limit corresponds to the 100 mm isohyet of annual precipitation. To the south, the Sahara is bounded by the Sahel, a belt of dry tropical savanna with a summer rainy season that extends across Africa from east to west; the southern limit of the Sahara is indicated botanically by the southern limit of Cornulaca monacantha, or northern limit of Cenchrus biflorus, a grass typical of the Sahel. According to climatic criteria, the southern limit of the Sahara corresponds to the 150 mm isohyet of annual precipitation. Important cities located in the Sahara include the capital of Mauritania; the Sahara is the world's largest low-latitude hot desert. It is located in the horse latitudes under the subtropical ridge, a significant belt of semi-permanent subtropical warm-core high pressure where the air from upper levels of the troposphere tends to sink towards the ground.
This steady descending airflow causes a drying effect in the upper troposphere. The sinking air prevents evaporating water from rising, therefore prevents adiabatic cooling, which makes cloud formation difficult to nearly impossible; the permanent dissolution of clouds allows thermal radiation. The stability of the atmosphere above the desert prevents any convective overturning, thus making rainfall non-existent; as a consequence, the weather tends to be sunny and stable with a minimal chance of rainfall. Subsiding, dry air masses associated with subtropical high-pressure systems are unfavorable for the development of convectional showers; the subtropical ridge is the predominant factor that explains the hot desert climate (Köppen climate classifica
French colonial empire
The French colonial empire constituted the overseas colonies and mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward. A distinction is made between the "first colonial empire," that existed until 1814, by which time most of it had been lost, the "second colonial empire", which began with the conquest of Algiers in 1830; the second colonial empire came to an end after the loss in wars of Indochina and Algeria, peaceful decolonizations elsewhere after 1960. Competing with Spain, the Dutch United Provinces and England, France began to establish colonies in North America, the Caribbean and India in the 17th century. A series of wars with Britain and others resulted in France losing nearly all of its conquests by 1814. France rebuilt a new empire after 1850, concentrating chiefly in Africa as well as Indochina and the South Pacific. Republicans, at first hostile to empire, only became supportive when Germany started to build their own colonial empire; as it developed, the new empire took on roles of trade with France supplying raw materials and purchasing manufactured items as well as lending prestige to the motherland and spreading French civilization and language and the Catholic religion.
It provided manpower in the World Wars. A major goal was the ‘Mission civilisatrice’ the mission to spread French culture and religion, this proved successful. In 1884, the leading proponent of colonialism, Jules Ferry, declared. Full citizenship rights – assimilation – were offered, although in reality "assimilation was always receding the colonial populations treated like subjects not citizens." France sent small numbers of settlers to its empire, contrary to Great Britain and Spain and Portugal, with the only notable exception of Algeria, where the French settlers nonetheless always remained a small minority. At its apex, it was one of the largest empires in history. Including metropolitan France, the total amount of land under French sovereignty reached 11,500,000 km2 in 1920, with a population of 110 million people in 1939. In World War II, Charles de Gaulle and the Free French used the overseas colonies as bases from which they fought to liberate France. Historian Tony Chafer argues: "In an effort to restore its world-power status after the humiliation of defeat and occupation, France was eager to maintain its overseas empire at the end of the Second World War."
However, after 1945 anti-colonial movements began to challenge European authority. The French constitution of 27 October 1946, established the French Union which endured until 1958. Newer remnants of the colonial empire were integrated into France as overseas departments and territories within the French Republic; these now total altogether 119,394 km², which amounts to only 1% of the pre-1939 French colonial empire's area, with 2.7 million people living in them in 2013. By the 1970s, says Robert Aldrich, the last "vestiges of empire held little interest for the French." He argues, "Except for the traumatic decolonization of Algeria, what is remarkable is how few long-lasting effects on France the giving up of empire entailed." During the 16th century, the French colonization of the Americas began. Excursions of Giovanni da Verrazzano and Jacques Cartier in the early 16th century, as well as the frequent voyages of French boats and fishermen to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland throughout that century, were the precursors to the story of France's colonial expansion.
But Spain's defense of its American monopoly, the further distractions caused in France itself in the 16th century by the French Wars of Religion, prevented any constant efforts by France to settle colonies. Early French attempts to found colonies in Brazil, in 1555 at Rio de Janeiro and in Florida, in 1612 at São Luís, were not successful, due to a lack of official interest and to Portuguese and Spanish vigilance; the story of France's colonial empire began on 27 July 1605, with the foundation of Port Royal in the colony of Acadia in North America, in what is now Nova Scotia, Canada. A few years in 1608, Samuel De Champlain founded Quebec, to become the capital of the enormous, but sparsely settled, fur-trading colony of New France. New France had a rather small population, which resulted from more emphasis being placed on the fur trade rather than agricultural settlements. Due to this emphasis, the French relied on creating friendly contacts with the local First Nations community. Without the appetite of New England for land, by relying on Aboriginals to supply them with fur at the trading posts, the French composed a complex series of military and diplomatic connections.
These became the most enduring alliances between the First Nation community. The French were, under pressure from religious orders to convert them to Catholicism. Through alliances with various Native American tribes, the French were able to exert a loose control over much of the North American continent. Areas of French settlement were limited to the St. Lawrence River Valley. Prior to the establishment of the 1663 Sovereign Council, the territories of New France were developed as mercantile colonies, it is only after the arrival of intendant Jean Talon in 1665 that France gave its American colonies the proper means to develop population colonies comparable to that of the British. Acadia itself was lost to the British in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Back in France there was littl
Regions of Ivory Coast
The regions of Ivory Coast are the second-level subdivisions of Ivory Coast. There are 31 regions, each region is subdivided into two or more departments, the third-level division in Ivory Coast. Two to four regions are combined to make up the first-level subdivision; the two autonomous districts of Ivory Coast are not divided into regions. The first 16 regions were established in 1997. In 2000, four of the regions were divided to create three more regions, bringing the total to 19. Prior to the 2011 reorganisation of the subdivisions of Ivory Coast, the 19 regions were the first-level subdivision of the country. In the reorganisation, districts were created and replaced regions as the first-level subdivisions and the 19 regions were reorganized into 30. In 2012, one region was divided to create a 31st region; the executive of each region is headed by a prefect, appointed by the council of ministers of the national government. For departments that house regional capitals, the prefect of the department is the same individual as the prefect of the region, though the two offices of prefect remain distinct.
The legislative body of the region is the Regional Council, elected and headed by a President. The government of each region is responsible for designing and implementing programmes to improve the economic and cultural life of the region. Regions are responsible for coordinating and harmonising the activities of their departmental governments and for implementing public interest projects established by the district or the national government. Precise distinctions in the jurisdiction of regions as compared to districts has yet to be established; the governments of the non-autonomous districts have not yet begun to function. Apart from governors for the two autonomous districts, no district governor has yet been nominated. There are 31 regions of Ivory Coast. Two areas of the country, the autonomous districts of Abidjan and Yamoussoukro, are not divided into regions; the regions are as follows, with the date of creation in parentheses: The 14 districts and the 31 regions are listed below, with their regional seats and populations at the 2014 census.
Before a reorganization in 2011, the regions were the first-level subdivisions of Ivory Coast. The 19 regions that existed prior to the reorganisation were as follows, with their creation date in parentheses: As is the case now, regions were further divided into departments. From 1997 to 2011, departments were the second-level administrative subdivisions. ISO 3166-2:CI