Côte d’Ivoire celebrates its Independence Day on August 7. It honors Côte d’Ivoire’s independence from France in 1960. The Ivory Coast, commonly known as Côte d’Ivoire in French and formally the Republic of the Ivory Coast, is a country on West Africa’s southern coast.
Its political capital is Yamoussoukro, located in the country’s center, while its major city and economic center is Abidjan, situated on the coast. It is bounded to the northwest by Guinea, to the west by Liberia, to the northwest by Mali, to the northeast by Burkina Faso, to the east by Ghana, and to the south by the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean). There are 78 different languages spoken in Côte d’Ivoire, with French being the official language.
History of Côte d'Ivoire Independence Day
Before the colonial era, most European contact with this section of West Africa was for the trade-in elephant ivory, hence the region’s name. The French created the first protectorate over a few kingdoms in the region from 1843 to 1844.
In 1893, France acquired control of what is now the Ivory Coast, and the new colonial overlords wasted no time in exploiting the rich national resources and forcing the native population to labor on plantations where the French profited.
In the early 1900s, Ivory Coast joined the Federation of French West Africa. However, this did not help their status. Following World War II, all of French West Africa was granted French citizenship as a reward for their service to France throughout the war.
With the foundation of the Fourth French Republic, the Ivory Coast became a French overseas territory in 1946, with its parliament and representation in the French National Assembly. In 1958, Ivory Coast gained independence as a self-governing independent republic within the French Community. On July 11, 1960, France agreed to the Ivory Coast’s full independence. Consequently, Ivory Coast became independent on August 7, 1960.
Independence leader Felix Houphouet Boigny was elected president of the new republic and remained in power for 33 years until his death in 1993, shielding Ivory Coast from the turmoil of regime transition that characterized the years following independence for the other ex-French states.
On Independence Day, there are military and other parades in Yamoussoukro, the capital city, as well as many activities hosted by municipal governments, in addition to private celebrations and, on occasion, political street protests.
Côte d'Ivoire Independence Day timeline
Côte d'Ivoire declares independence from France.
Under Houphouet-Boigny’s leadership, the country prospers economically, becoming the world's leading cocoa producer, and is notable for its religious and ethnic harmony.
Bédié, the former Ivorian president, seeks refuge after a group of rebel officers stage a military coup, deposing General Robert Gué.
Northern rebels, who have long expressed dissatisfaction with prejudice and marginalization, start an armed insurrection against government forces throughout the country, including Abidjan.
Côte d'Ivoire Independence Day FAQs
What is Côte d'Ivoire famous for?
Cote d’Ivoire is the world’s biggest producer of cocoa, a commodity used in the production of chocolate. Every chocolate bar sold throughout the world contains 10% Ivorian cocoa.
What is the origin of the name Ivory Coast?
The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is located on Africa’s west coast. It got its name, which means “Ivory Coast,” from the commerce in elephant tusks, or ivory.
Who are some well-known personalities from Côte d'Ivoire?
Some of the most renowned Ivorian personalities are Drogba, Gnégnéri Yaya Touré, Dj Arafat,
Isaach de Bankolé, Alpha Blondy, Noella Elloh, and Marie Jeanne Akobe.
How to Observe Côte d'Ivoire Independence Day
Visit Yamoussoukro, the capital
The capital hosts the majority of the parades and formal activities on Côte d'Ivoire Independence Day. Visit the National Assembly in the Le Plateau district to observe the events for yourself!
Find out more about Côte d'Ivoire
Côte d' Ivoire is a lovely country, and learning about it is a wonderful way to honor the country's independence. On this day, hone your research abilities and look up anything Cote d'Ivoire! Don't forget about the chocolate!
Celebrate Côte d'Ivoire cuisine
Treat yourself to some famous Ivorian delicacies on Cote d'Ivoire Independence Day. Expand your taste buds by trying out these Ivorian dishes: Fufu, Kedjenou, Bangui, the native palm wine, and aloko, ripe banana fried in palm oil.
5 Interesting Facts About Côte D'Ivoire
Home to the world's largest church
The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro has an exterior area of 30,000 square meters, making it the world’s largest church.
Of course, Drogba, the striker, who was born in Abidjan and represented his country 104 times, is perhaps best recognized for his dominant tenure at Chelsea Football Club in England.
It’s known by two different names
Ivory Coast is the English version, and Côte d'Ivoire is the French version.
There are two capitals
Côte d'Ivoire, unlike other countries, has two formal capitals: Yamoussoukro and Abidjan.
It received an Academy Award
The Côte d'Ivoire was the first black republic to receive an Academy Award, as well as the first non-English speaking country.
Why Côte d'Ivoire Independence Day is Important
The day is significant
Independence wars are lengthy and difficult, and the people must live with the effects of colonization. This day celebrates the struggles and eventual joys of independence.
Honoring the culture
We adore everything Côte d'Ivoire, and what better day to celebrate Ivorian culture than on its Independence Day? It’s a great opportunity to learn more about Côte d'Ivoire.
Honoring the history
The history of Côte d'Ivoire is rich and should be studied. The Ivory Coast's culture is layered and vibrant, thanks to the country's geographical location and diverse ethnic groups.
Côte d'Ivoire Independence Day dates