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Sparkling Star of Africa- Republic of Côte d’Ivoire

Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, or shortly Ivory Coast, is an independent country located on the Western Africa.

Population is around 18 million. Ivory Coast, which is the most developed country of the area, comes first in the world in cacao production.

It borders the countries Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana.

Because of its impact on Western African economy, France and the United States of America have been maintaining close observation on this country’s political problems in the last years.

Félix Houphouët-Boigny who was a key factor in country’s independence struggle had world’s biggest basilica built here (the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro). This basilica is seven times bigger than the basilica in Vatican.

Ivory Coast is a republic. Following the declaration of independence from France in 7 August 1960, multi-party presidency system was set up in the country. Alassane Ouattara took charge of presidency since 11 April 2011 and Guillaume Soro is the prime minister since 4 April 2007.

Although Yamoussoukro is the capital city since 1983, Abidjan is country’s commercial and administrative center.

Constitution of Ivory Coast came into force after it was adopted by the referendum held in 23 July 2000.

Economy

Coffee, cacao beans, banana, palm kernel, corn, rice, manioc (tapioca), sweet potato, sugar, cotton, rubber and timber are the leading manufacturing products of agricultural sector.

With a daily oil production of 32 thousand 900 barrels, Ivory Coast is estimated to have an oil reserve of 220 million barrels. Unemployment ratio in the cities is around 13%, and 68% of labor force, which is 6 million 738 thousand, lives off agriculture. 7 out of 35 airports built in the country have asphalt landing fields.

With an intention to recognize Republic of Côte d’Ivoire better, we carried out an interview with Christelle Loukou who is a 2nd year student in the Department of Economics in Akdeniz University about her beautiful country; Christelle, who is a member of AFROTALYA group that consists of African students living in Antalya, was born in 1993 in Man in Côte d’Ivoire, but she lived in Yamoussoukro, the capital city.

Can you give us some information about your birth place, Man?

Leading source of income is agriculture. Tourism destinations are notable and cacao and coffee production in the city is at tremendous levels. It is such a lovely city that it is ideal to live in. You can spend a humble life when compared to other big cities.

What kind of a city is Abidjan, which is also one of the most beautiful cities of the Ivory Coast?

Abidjan is mostly a trading city; it has a big port, because it has a coast. The free trade zone has notably increased the trading volume coming here. This is the reason why it is such a lively and modern city.

Abidjan has hypermarkets and best universities. Airport is the other reason boosting the number of foreign tourists. Consequently, it differs from other cities [of Ivory Coast] in terms of development level.

What were you thinking when you decided to come Turkey?

I wanted to study abroad by winning state scholarship. Going to Europe was my first preference; but since life in other countries is more expensive, I decided to come to Turkey.

I am really happy to be here, because Antalya is fantastic. Our university is a successful and desired educational institution.

What do you think about the unemployment problem, what do you expect of the investments to be promoted in the country?

There are too many unemployed people throughout my country. Youth is waiting for job opportunities. We expect prospective investors to help us rid of unemployment problem. For example, they should employ people of this country instead of preferring foreign employees for their companies being established here.

Companies and businessmen coming to Ivory Coast for investment purposes have to understand our culture and recognize us well. We respect nature and life.

Also, agriculture is vital for us. But for the acceleration of agricultural activities, we need modern agricultural machinery.

* This article was taken from “Africa Time” magazine (November 2014 Edition) by demanding all necessary permissions for copyright.

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