Ivory Coast or Côte d'Ivoire, officially the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, is a country located on the south coast of West Africa. Ivory Coast's political capital is Yamoussoukro in the centre of the country, while its economic capital and largest city is the port city of Abidjan. It borders Guinea and Liberia to the west, Burkina Faso and Mali to the north, Ghana to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) to the south.
Before its colonization by Europeans, Ivory Coast was home to several states, including Gyaaman, the Kong Empire, and Baoulé. The area became a protectorate of France in 1843 and was consolidated as a French colony in 1893 amid the European scramble for Africa. It achieved independence in 1960, led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who ruled the country until 1993. Relatively stable by regional standards, Ivory Coast established close political and economic ties with its West African neighbors while at the same time maintaining close relations to the West, especially France. Ivory Coast experienced a coup d'état in 1999 and two religiously-grounded civil wars, first between 2002 and 2007 and again during 2010–2011. In 2000, the country adopted a new constitution.
Côte d'Ivoire (the Ivory Coast) is a sub-Saharan nation in southern West Africa located at 8 00°N, 5 00°W. The country is shaped like a square and borders the Gulf of Guinea in the north Atlantic Ocean to the south (515 km of coastline) and five other African nations on the other three sides, with a total of 3,110 km of borders: Liberia to the southwest (716 km), Guinea to the northwest (610 km), Mali to the north-northwest (532 km), Burkina Faso to the north-northeast, and Ghana to the east (668 km). In total, Côte d'Ivoire comprises 322,460 km2, of which 318,000 km2 is land and 4,460 km2 is water, which makes the country slightly larger than the U.S. state of New Mexico, or about the size of Germany. Côte d'Ivoire makes maritime claims of 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) as an exclusive economic zone, 12 nautical miles (22 kilometres) of territorial sea, and a 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) continental shelf.
Côte d'Ivoire's terrain can generally be described as a large plateau rising gradually from sea level in the south to almost 500 m elevation in the north. The nation's natural resources have made it into a comparatively prosperous nation in the African economy.
The southeastern region of Côte d'Ivoire is marked by coastal inland lagoons that starts at the Ghanaian border and stretch 300 km (190 mi) along the eastern half of the coast. The southern region, especially the southwest, is covered with dense tropical moist forest.
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Henriette Diabaté (born March 13, 1935) is an Ivorian politician and writer. A member of the Rally of the Republicans (RDR), Diabaté was Minister of Culture from 1990 to 1993 and again in 2000; later, she was Minister of Justice from 2003 to 2005. She has been the Secretary-General of the RDR since 1999. Diabaté was born in Bingerville. She was a professor of history from 1965 to 1995 and was a founding member of the RDR. A number of RDR leaders, including Diabaté, were arrested on October 27, 1999 on the grounds that they were responsible for violence occurring during protests they organized; in November, they were convicted and sentenced to prison. When soldiers rebelled on December 23, 1999, one of their demands was the release of the imprisoned RDR leaders; when President Henri Konan Bédié rejected the demands, they seized power on December 24 and promptly released the RDR prisoners. Subsequently, Diabaté served as Minister of Culture and La Francophonie under the transitional military regime in 2000.
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