Côte d'Ivoire

• Population: 22 Million • Language: French • Religions: Animism, Catholicism, Islam • Economic Capital: Abidjan • Political Capital: Yamoussoukro • Tribes: 62 •

Officially known as Côte d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast is situated in sub-Saharan West Africa. Located about 100 miles from the equator, it is approximately the size of New Mexico. Economically, Côte d’Ivoire is a Third World country. It won its independence from France in 1960. Côte d’Ivoire is considered to be a republic, and officials are elected to 5-year terms. The country's tropical climate is often described in terms of dry (Oct.-May) and rainy (June-September) seasons.

The Ivoirian people speak French, and there are 62 different ethnic groups in Côte d’Ivoire. Most Ivoirians claim to be either Muslim or Catholic, but whatever their religion, 95% practice traditional animism (witchcraft). Average monthly income is $100-$200. The life expectancy is 55 years, and the literacy rate is 56%. The population of Côte d’Ivoire is 22 million with 5 million being foreigners from nearby West African countries. One quarter of the population lives in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire’s largest city.

Regarding wildlife, African big game animals can no longer be found in the wild. Common wildlife includes crocodiles, bats, lizards, poisonous snakes (black mamba, green mamba, cobra, viper), monkeys, fish, doves, and pigeons.