laurent-gbagboIvory Coast or the Republic of Cote D'Ivoire is a beautiful country in the western part of Africa. The Republic of Ivory Coast shares borders with the Republic of Ghana in the east, the Republics of Burkina Faso and Mali in the north and the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Guinea in the south. Cote D'Ivoire has a total land area of about 322,463squared kilometers with about 515kilometers of coast line.

Ivory Coast or the Republic of Cote D'Ivoire has an estimated population of about 21.5 million people with the population growth rate around 2.08%. About 51% of the total population of Ivory Coast live in urban areas with the annual rate of urbanization around 3.7%.

Abidjan (a major city. the former capital of Ivory Coast and the current seat of government) contains about 4.5 million people. Yamoussoukro the capital of Ivory Coast contains about 1 million people. Majority of the total population live along the sandy coastal regions. In the exception of the capital area, the forested interior regions of Ivory Coast are sparsely populated.

Like its east neighboring country Ghana, Ivory Coast or the Republic of Cote D'Ivoire is blessed with abundance of natural resources such as gold, diamond, manganese, hydropower, copper, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, etc. Ivory Coast is the world's leading producer of cocoa beans followed by Ghana its neighboring country.

Despite the beauty of Ivory Coast and the abundance of natural resources, Ivory Coast remains one of the poorest countries in the world today with about 50% of the total population living below poverty line. Ivory Coast or the Republic of Coat D'Ivoire has a literacy rate of about 48.7% with the female literacy rate around 38.6% (worse than in most other African countries). In other words, only about 38.6% of females in Ivory Coast above the age 15 can read and write. Poor education especially the poor girl-child education explains the high teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rates in Ivory Coast today. Most school dropouts especially girls become pregnant and end up hawking on the streets. Most of the boys who drop out of school end up working like slaves in cocoa farms across the country.

About 500,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Ivory Coast today with about 40,000 deaths recorded every year. Ivory Coast remains one of the malaria killing zones in Africa and the deadly malaria continues to kill people in record numbers in Ivory Coast today. Typhoid fever, bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, etc. continue to threaten several lives in Ivory Coast today.

Ivory Coast's forests which used to be the largest in West Africa are almost gone due to rampant deforestation (in response to international demands of timber) and overpopulation. Most of the water bodies in Ivory Coast today are polluted due to sewage, industrial and agricultural effluents.

The numerous Political and religious conflicts especially between the Muslims in the north and the Christians in the South do not help at all in the democratic process and the development of peace in Ivory Coast today.

Corruption levels remain at all-time high in Ivory Coast today. Incompetent leadership, mismanagement of funds, poor governance, etc. continue to tear Ivory Coast apart.

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