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Country Profile

Ivory Coast is the third largest economy in West Africa with over 27 million people. Its economy is anchored on a stable cocoa export, coffee and cereals production. Whilst remaining relatively stable by regional standards, Ivory Coast has experienced spells of conflicts and insecurity. After more than three decades of Houghet Boigny’s rule, the country began to disintegrate into anarchy with a coup in 1999 and a civil war in 2002. The country continues to suffer from the onslaught of terrorist violence from the Northern neighbor, Burkina Faso. Ivory Coast experienced it’s first terrorist attack in 2016 and continues to suffer attacks on military targets in the North East border with Burkina Faso.

Cote d’Ivoire gained independence in 1960 from French colonial rule. Its 27 million population is largely engaged in agriculture.

Despite relatively longer periods of stability following independence, the country has had several political unrests including coups. Indeed, the country’s stability has been undermined by the first coup d’etat in 1999 and two civil wars from 2002 – 2007 and 2010-2011. A controversial decision to change the constitution to extend the President’s stay in office sparked unrest in 2021 leading to several detentions and deaths. 

Security, Security and Governance

Whilst Ivory Coast remains one of the relatively stable countries in West Africa, recent political violence has deepened the nation’s security concerns.  The threat of terrorism has risen, and may continue to rise as the terrorist violence in Burkina Faso not only continues to intensify but also extends towards coastal states. The country has long been targeted for attacks. Ivory Coast experienced its first terrorist attack in March 2016, when 19 people died in an attack on Grand-Bassam, a seaside resort near Abidjan.

Ever since, the country has recorded over dozen attacks on it security forces especially along its North Eastern border with Burkina Faso. 

The challenges of youth unemployment, inequality, existing unresolved conflicts, marginalization and political tensions serve as worrying vulnerabilities.

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