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Cote D'Ivoire
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Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 6/21/2004 6:58 AM

Côte d'Ivoire, on the Gulf of Guinea, covers 200,440 square kilometers (124,500 square miles) and is about the size of New Mexico. It is bounded on the west by Liberia and Guinea, on the north by Mali and Burkina Faso, on the east by Ghana, and on the south by 547 kilometers (340 miles) of Atlantic coastline.

The southern third of the country is largely covered by tropical rain forest. A network of interconnecting lagoons parallels the coast from the Ghanaian border 322 kilometers (200 miles) westward. Important cash crops are grown in the forest belt, but to the north lies a savanna area of lateritic soil where vegetation becomes more sparse. In the northwest, the Man Mountains, ascending to 1,400 meters (4,600 feet), break the rolling inland plain that rises from the sea to about 300 meters (1,000 feet) in the north. Four rivers, the Cavally, Sassandra, Bandama, and Comoe, flow from north to south.

In the south, the tropical climate keeps temperatures between 24°C (75°F) and 32°C (90°F). The southern region features two rainy seasons, May to July and September to December. Humidity averages 85%. Over half the average annual precipitation (208 cm or 82 inches in Abidjan) falls in May, June, and July. Even then, however, the sun often shines. Temperatures vary in the north from 24°C to over 37°C (100°F). The northern region's one rainy season, May-October, averages 130 cm (51 inches) annual rainfall with 71% average humidity.

Population Last Updated: 6/21/2004 11:58 AM

Côte d'Ivoire's population, estimated at approximately 16.5 million, is growing at about 3.2% each year. It includes more than 6 million non-Ivoirian Africans, approximately 16,500 French and 10,000 other Europeans, and a community of Lebanese estimated at more than 100,000. All West African states have expatriate communities in Côte d'Ivoire, but by far the largest communities are from Burkina Faso (3,500,000), Mali (1,500,000), Guinea (420,000), and Ghana (600,000), and smaller populations from Senegal, Niger, Togo, Benin and Nigeria. Some 60,000-70,000 Liberian refugees reside in western Côte d'Ivoire.

Approximately 50% of Côte d'Ivoire's population is urban, with more than 20% residing in the country's two largest cities, Abidjan and Bouake. The next three largest towns, Daloa, Gagnoa, and Korhogo, each have over 300,000 inhabitants.

The approximately 60 separate ethnic groups in Côte d'Ivoire, each with its own language or dialect, may be grouped into five or six major ethnic categories. Of these, the Akan group includes the largest Ivoirian ethnic group, the influential Baoule who inhabit the center of the country, and the Agni who reside in the east. The north is populated by the Voltaic group-the Senoufo, Koulango, and Lobi. The Mande are divided into northern and southern groups, the more recently established northern Mande, including the Malinke in the northwest and the Dioula who reside around Kong in the northeast. The southern Mande include the Yacouba, Toura, and Gouro, who inhabit the center-west of the country. The Krou group consists of 15 ethnic groups, the most prominent being the Bete, who inhabit the center-west and southwest of the country. In addition, there are numerous small ethnic groups living along the lagoons on the southern coast of the country, collectively referred to as the Lagoon peoples, that include the Ebrie, the original indigenous population of Abidjan. With the exception of the southern Mande, established since ancient times, and the Senoufo, residents for several centuries, most Ivoirians are the descendants of relatively recent immigrants. The Baoule and Agni, for example, are closely related to the Ashanti of Ghana and emigrated from that region in the 1700s.

Although most recent government statistics indicate that 38% of the population is Muslim and 26% is Christian (most of whom are Catholic), more realistic estimates place the Muslim population between 55% and 65%. Many of these are resident aliens from the Sahel countries. Official government estimates place traditional animist religions at 17% of the population. Some 13% are considered "without religion." Both Muslim and Christian holidays are celebrated nationally. Muslim and Christian populations continue to grow at the expense of the traditional religions. In recent years there has been a large increase in the number of Protestant missionary groups operating in the country, leading to an increase in the Protestant portion of the Christian population. The most significant religious trend, however, is the increasing number of conversions to Islam over the past decade. The Muslim proportion of the population has also been growing from immigration.

Since 1964, polygamy has been illegal. However, it is still widely practiced throughout Côte d'Ivoire through traditional weddings. The courts and other civil institutions do not recognize such marriages. At the same time, monogamy is prevalent among urban and educated groups. The 1964 civil code also bans child betrothal and bride price, and it promulgates rules on civil registry, marriage, separation and divorce, paternity and adoption, succession, and wills. The civil code is designed to provide uniformity for a country with diverse traditional practices. It is also an attempt to modernize Ivoirian society by fostering monogamy, nuclear families, and patrilineal, instead of matrilineal, descent rules. As of 1998, a bill before the National Assembly would also strengthen the legal protections of women's rights.

Public Institutions Last Updated: 6/21/2004 6:59 AM

The constitution provides for a system of government with a strong executive branch, a single legislative chamber, and a separate judiciary. The executive branch is headed by the President, elected for a five-year term, who is assisted by a Cabinet of appointed ministers.

Constitutional changes passed by the National Assembly in July 1998, creating a Senate, lengthening the presidential term to seven years, and allowing the President to postpone elections, were under discussion with the opposition as of late 1998. In 2000, a new constitution returned the presidential term of office to five years.

The National Assembly, the legislative body, has 225 members elected by direct universal suffrage for 5-year terms. The Supreme Court is composed of four chambers: constitutional, judicial, administrative, and auditing, and is undergoing reform.

The Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire had been the dominant force in Ivoirian politics since its formation in the pre-independence period. A major political development occurred in 1990 when the country held its first multiparty elections. With the December 1993 death of President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, National Assembly President and constitutional successor Henri Konan Bedie became President. Dissatisfaction with his rule, including numerous corruption scandals, amid a deteriorating economy, prompted a military takeover in December 1999. Thereafter, Army Chief of Staff General Guei seized power, and the country was governed by a military junta until the organization of elections in October 2000. Those elections, in which two prominent parties, the longtime ruling PDCI and the opposition RDR, which had earlier split from the ruling PDCI, saw their party candidates eliminated. The hotly contested presidential elections exacerbated divisions already stirred by the adoption in the summer of 2000 of a constitution, which deepened divisions between northern and southern populations.

When early results showed the FPI's Gbagbo in the lead, junta ruler General Guei abruptly stopped the process and proclaimed himself the winner. That act brought thousands of Gbagbo's supporters into the streets of Abidjan. As bloody fighting broke out, Guei fled, and the Supreme Court declared Gbagbo the winner. In an effort at national reconciliation, Gbagbo promised a government of national unity to include all the parties, and the political situation seemed to calm. That temporary surface calm, however, was shattered once again on September 19, 2002, when exiled military personnel and their cohorts within the Ivoirian army mounted a failed coup attempt, which evolved into an armed rebellion that split the country into two. The coup attempt resulted in the death of General Guei under unclear circumstances as well as that of the Interior Minister Boga Doudon, considered hostile to northerners. The rebel group took control of Bouake, the second largest city, and the north. Later, a new military front emerged in the west. A French brokered agreement, the Linas-Marcoussis Accord (LMA), obliged the political parties to agree to a power-sharing government with proportional representation from all political parties under the guidance of a new Prime Minister, Seydou Diarra. The GOCI and ex-rebel New Forces militaries signed an "end of war" declaration in July 2003 and pledged to implement LMA and begin a program of Demobilization, Disarmament, and Reintegration (DDR). The formation of the new government was completed in September 2003 with the naming of the highly contested Defense and Security Ministers. As of mid 2004, the power-sharing government has broken down, perhaps irretrievably, as the political entities bicker over governance issues.

Côte d'Ivoire became a U.N. member in 1960. Maintaining ties with its Francophone neighbors, it is a member of Conseil de l'Entente (a group including Niger, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Togo). Other memberships include the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU or UEMOA), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS or, in French, CEDEAO).

Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:01 AM

Since independence, Côte d'Ivoire has spent a significant portion of its budget on education. Currently, 33% of the operational budget goes toward education, which Ivoirians view as essential for personal advancement and for the overall development of the country. Public school enrollment for 2000-2001 was estimated at 2 million in elementary schools, 634,000 in secondary schools, and at least 97,000 in higher education.

Academics are respected members of society and, unlike some other Francophone countries in the region, academic institutions are a prime labor pool for ministerial and senior-level government appointments.

The Ministry of National Education administers primary, secondary, pre-university professional, and technical education for the entire country. Professional and technical education is becoming increasingly important as competition for space in the higher education system becomes greater and as the university produces more graduates than there are jobs.

Another ministry, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, responsible for post-secondary general, professional, and technical education, directs all research efforts in the country and works closely with Ivoirian students abroad. Agreements for educational exchanges, Fulbright programs, training programs, and other bilateral and multilateral educational programs are all arranged through this ministry.

Until the beginning of the 1992-93 academic year, Côte d'Ivoire had only one university, the University of Cocody, which was established in Abidjan in 1963. The initial student capacity of the University of Cocody was 7,000. For more than a decade, a large number of Ivoirians enrolled there before they pursued graduate studies in France or elsewhere. However, the steady growth in the number of students entering higher education in Côte d'Ivoire has outstripped the ability of the Government to provide adequate facilities. This has resulted in the university having to accommodate up to 35,000 students per year in facilities planned initially for only 7,000 students. During the 1993-94 academic year, the University of Cocody added three other affiliated campuses in Adjame-Abobo (an Abidjan suburb), Bouake (the second largest city located in the center of the country), and in Korhogo (located in the north of the country).

Apart from the University of Cocody, there are other institutions of higher learning. As Ivoirians at the University of Cocody begin to look beyond the French educational models, closer ties have been established between Ivoirian research institutions and American institutions. Some Ivoirian research institutes, such as the Ivoirian Center for Social and Economic Research (CIRES) and the Center for Audio-Visual Teaching and Research (CERCOM), have a large number of U.S. graduates on their staff and, consequently, are receptive to American innovations in education.

Supplemental to the University of Cocody are Côte d'Ivoire's five grandes ecoles, modeled on the French system, which are prestigious institutes of higher learning designed to train Ivoirians in specialized technical fields which used to be dominated by French expatriates in the country. Three institutes (ENSTP, INSET, and ENSA), specializing in civil engineering, management and business, and agriculture, respectively, are located in the first president's hometown of Yamoussoukro, a 21/2-hour drive north of Abidjan. Admission into the three schools is more difficult than to the University of Cocody (which is open to all who have a baccalauréat or high school diploma); applicants must pass rigorous written and oral tests to be accepted. Also, unlike the university, students graduating from these institutes have a better chance of securing employment. In fact, until the recent economic crisis, many of the students went directly from schools into slotted positions in the government and private sector.

The other two grandes ecoles, in public administration (ENA, modeled after its French counterpart) and teacher training (ENS), are located in Abidjan. They supply a steady stream of civil servants and teachers for the government. ENA also has training courses for junior and mid-level government cadres. The best and brightest technocrats study at the grandes ecoles.

Côte d'Ivoire has approximately 90 government and 100 private high schools, the graduates of which are all eligible to attend the University of Cocody. Approximately 2,000 Ivoirians teach English in these schools.

Various research institutes study coffee, cocoa, rubber, cotton, oils and oleaginous plants, forestry, and marine life to determine the best strains, growing conditions, control of natural enemies, efficient production, and processing techniques. African and U.S. institutions maintain close contact regarding research in these fields.

The National Museum, with a small but excellent collection of local art and artifacts, was renovated in 1988. Artisan training centers are located in Bingerville, Grand-Bassam, Daloa, Korhogo, and other places upcountry.

For art and objets d'art collectors, Abidjan has several small but well stocked private art and sculpture galleries which are frequented by both expatriates and elite Ivoirians.

Writers and filmmakers are also viewed as important in defining a national ethos. Their views on society, as expressed in their works and in press interviews, are featured in the cultural sections of the newspapers and on television and radio.

Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:02 AM

Since the colonial period, Côte d'Ivoire's economy has been based on the production and export of tropical products, along with forestry and fishing activities. The country currently produces 40 percent of the world's cocoa and is a major exporter of bananas, coffee, cotton, palm oil, pineapples, rubber, tropical wood products, and tuna. The economy made steady progress in the 1970's because of its stability and open and liberal investment policies. Beginning in the 1980s and the early 1990s, the economy performed less robustly as the world price of cocoa and coffee exports, on which it relied heavily, took a steep decline. Together, these two products accounted for nearly 40 percent of export earnings. The January 1994 devaluation of the CFA Franc along with continued high population growth (3.5 percent) resulted in a steady fall in living standards. Gross national product per capita was $727 in 1996 but had fallen to $669 by 2003. It had reached over one thousand dollars in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The 1994 currency devaluation and other structural adjustment measures boosted the agricultural sector, although reliance on one of two commodities continues to be a structural weakness. The GOCI has begun encouraging export diversification, intermediate processing of cocoa beans, and light manufacturing to reduce this exposure with some success. Processed cocoa exports currently represent 20 percent of total cocoa exports. Electricity exports to neighboring countries represent 25 percent of total energy production.

Côte d'Ivoire's economic performance rebounded in the 1995-97 period with growth rates averaging seven percent, because of higher world commodity prices and the growth of the service sector. Beginning in 1999, however, recurrent political crises halted the momentum of trade and private investment that underpinned the renewed economic expansion. In early 2002, following the 1999 coup, the country began re-engaging with international lenders and was meeting targets for growth and government finance, with stronger revenues and spending restraints. The incipient economic recovery was interrupted by the outbreak of hostilities in September 2002.

New loans and programs totaling more than USD 500 million were put on hold after this coup attempt and ensuing political crisis. GDP has fallen in each successive year since the onset of the military rebellion and the de facto split of the country as security concerns raised pressures for crisis-related spending. These problems have delayed planned public investment in human capital, health care and economic infrastructure needed to sustain growth. A return to political and economic stability is critical if Côte d'Ivoire is to realize its potential in the region.

The partition of the country negatively impacted public finances. The government suspended bilateral debt payments, but continued to honor multilateral debt service with substantial revenues from higher international world prices from its cocoa. Côte d'Ivoire remains an important regional economic hub, with a modern port, transport and communications infrastructure, serving as a transit point for goods to landlocked neighboring countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. As the largest economy in the sub-region, it is in a position to resume economic growth once political stability returns.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) plays a key role in the economy, accounting for between 40 and 45 percent of total capital in Ivoirian firms. French investment accounts for about one-quarter of the total capital in Ivoirian enterprises. Major investment projects over the last several years included France Telecom's purchase of the majority of the privatized Côte d'Ivoire Telecommunications Company; several cocoa-processing investments (two of which are U.S.); continued offshore oil and gas exploration and development (two of three are U.S.); and a second, independent power generation facility. The coup put on hold a private toll bridge across the lagoon in Abidjan and delayed a sizeable port expansion.

Important French investors include Societe Generale and Credit Lyonnais (major banks), Total Elf Fina (petroleum), Orange (telecommunications), Mimran (flour milling), BGI (beverages), Bollore (shipping and travel), and Bouygues (natural gas, electricity, water, construction).

In recent years, the U.S. has become the second largest foreign direct investor in Côte d'Ivoire with investments totaling USD 400-450 million. The largest U.S. investments are in offshore petroleum exploration and development. A consortium lead by Houston-based Devon Energy invested over USD 100 million in the past five years. The Foxtrot offshore gas and oil project (partnership between U.S. company Mondoil, Bouygues, and the Ivoirian gas company) required more than USD 100 million to develop, of which Mondoil (and its predecessor Apache) put in USD 20 million. Texaco and Exxon Mobil have national distribution systems in which they have invested about USD 30 million each over the years. They each own a minority share of the SIR petroleum refinery. Vanco Oil Company is exploring promising areas offshore, having spent more than USD 10 million on geological research.

With the liberalization of the cocoa and coffee sector, U.S.-based Cargill invested about USD 100 million in cocoa processing and shipping facilities in Abidjan and San Pedro. Another U.S. multinational, Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM), entered the cocoa processing and trading business by buying out a large Ivoirian company for more than USD 30 million. Citibank is an important presence in the financial sector, performing merchant and investment bank functions and handling some of the Government's large accounts.

Principal U.S. exports are rice and wheat, plastic materials and resins, Kraft paper, agricultural chemicals, telecommunications, and oil and gas equipment. Principal U.S. imports are cocoa and cocoa products, petroleum, rubber, and coffee.


Automobiles Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:04 AM

A car is necessary in Abidjan. Married personnel on the diplomatic list may import up to two personally owned vehicles duty free during their tour. All other personnel may import only one vehicle duty free during their tour.

Customs will not deliver the duty-free import permit for personally owned vehicles until the arrival of the employee at post. Do not ship your car to arrive before you do, as it will be held in the port where it is subject to damage by salty air and to expensive storage charges.

Mandatory third-party-liability insurance is purchased by the employee after arrival at post.

Motorcycles of 50 cc and above have the same formalities and procedures for registration in Côte d'Ivoire as vehicles and should not be shipped in household effects without prior approval of the post.

On an employee's final departure from post, a vehicle or motorcycle imported duty free must either be exported, sold to another person with duty-free privileges, or sold on the open market. If the vehicle or motorcycle is sold on the open market, the seller is responsible for all taxes and duties, which run about 100% of import declared price plus shipping.

You can ship foreign cars to Côte d'Ivoire at U.S Government expense. Practically all foreign cars can be purchased locally at duty-free prices. Compact cars are preferable due to the high cost of gasoline.

Cars need not be boxed for shipment to post, but accessories such as spare tires, radios and CD players should be removed and shipped with household effects. It is recommended that you purchase insurance in the U.S. to cover all risks while in transit. The Embassy clears all vehicles when they arrive in port and arranges for basic servicing (a "mise en marche"). The owner must pay for any repairs or servicing not included in the mise en marche process.

A bill of sale and local vehicle inspection or roadworthy test are required for the registration of vehicles. Third-party liability insurance, registration, and drivers licenses (U.S. state license and International Driving Permit obtained from AAA) are mandatory. The Embassy will assist you with the procurement of the first two items at post. However, new arrivals should come with a valid U.S. and International drivers license.

Insurance companies here will not provide all-risk insurance for cars three or more years old. You can obtain a physical damage policy in the U.S. with coverage extended to the Côte d'Ivoire at about 5% of the automobile's value.

Automobiles sold and serviced locally include Fiat, all Japanese, all French, and most German cars.

Spare parts for European cars may have to be ordered from Paris. American car parts must be ordered from the U.S. Bring with you a supply of the spare parts normally replaced during regular tune-ups, extra spare tires (for reasons of cost rather than availability), and bulbs.

Driving is on the right. Yielding to the car on the right prevails in the absence of traffic lights or posted stop signs. Always drive defensively as Abidjan has a high accident rate. A national law requires that passengers wear seatbelts and that children under 12 ride in the backseat.

Most roads in Abidjan are paved, though random potholes are common. Good roads lead to major towns throughout Côte d'Ivoire, and secondary roads become corrugated with potholes after heavy use. Other roads are little more than dirt paths, sometimes heavily rutted and dusty during the dry season. Occasional floods and washouts on roads outside Abidjan can interrupt traffic for several days at a time. Heavy-duty vehicles are essential for trips into the more isolated areas and "off-road." However, a regular automobile will suffice for normal tourist travel in Côte d'Ivoire.


Local Transportation Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:05 AM

Local taxis are plentiful and metered by law. Fares are moderate, but double after midnight. Fares from the airport to downtown Abidjan and major hotels are about 3,000 CFA.

An extensive bus and bush-taxi network operates in and around Abidjan. Buses are usually crowded and unpleasant, except for the air-conditioned express buses operating between hotels and the city.

Car rentals can be easily arranged on a daily or weekly basis, but they are expensive. Minimum daily rates are $55 to $250 per day (depending on the size and type of the vehicle). If the vehicle is taken out of the city of Abidjan, a driver is mandatory, and the price increases. Food and accommodation must also be provided for the driver.


Regional Transportation Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:05 AM

Air France serves as the principal international carrier, with daily flights to Paris.

Air travel to neighboring countries is available on Air Ivoire and Air Ghana at reasonable prices. These flights are often heavily booked or overbooked, and subject to numerous delays.

Trains do not currently run within Côte d'Ivoire nor to neighboring countries.


Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:06 AM

Local telephone service is generally adequate. All Mission-owned or -leased houses have phones. The waiting period for new installations is usually between 4 and 6 weeks.

The Mission pays for initial installation, after which you receive a monthly bill (with service charge of $10-$15) on your residence phones. You are charged by the unit for each call placed. Internet usage will increase your bill considerably. Direct-dial to most countries is available from home phones but is not recommended due to constant billing errors. Most personnel have a block placed on their home telephones that will allow one to receive incoming long-distance calls but restricts outgoing. A call to the U.S. currently costs CFA 45 per minute (average exchange rate in April 2004 was 546 CFA to US$1). Mission personnel join the AT&T or MCI calling card programs, the only American calling card plans currently available in Côte d'Ivoire. These plans can offer savings over the local PTT. Post recommends that employees have an AT&T or MCI calling card for their personal use, as personal calls cannot be billed to Embassy telephones or charged to official calling cards.

The Embassy has a fax machine for use by Mission personnel. The rates are the same as for an international, or AT&T/MCI card, call.


Internet Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:06 AM

Internet access is available through local service providers. Rates vary according to package of services to which one subscribes.


Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:07 AM

International airmail costs 60 cents per half-ounce from the U.S. to Abidjan and about $.75 per 20 grams from Abidjan to the U.S. The average transit time is 7-14 days. Packages may be sent via international mail through the Central Post Office but pickup requires a great deal of patience and the completion of a number of forms in French. Non-diplomatic personnel may receive duty-free packages arriving via international mail during the first 6 months of their tour; afterwards duty is assessed at very high rates. International mail should be addressed:

Full Name Embassy of the United States of America 01 B.P. 1712 Abidjan 01 Côte d'Ivoire

Abidjan does not have APO privileges. Mail and packages from the U.S. arrive via Department of State pouch. Letters may be sent from post via pouch, but only packages returning merchandise to the originator and audio & video tapes may be sent to the U.S. Maximum weight for any packages mailed to you via the pouch is 50 pounds. The maximum dimensions are 17x18x35 inches and combined length and girth may not exceed 65 inches. Consult 5 FAM 300 and 5 FAH 10 for complete mail and pouch guidelines. State Department regulations state that the Department does not accept any responsibility for lost or stolen packages, even if they are insured.

Personal mail should be addressed: Full Name 2010 Abidjan Place Washington, D.C. 20189-2010

U.S. postage stamps are not for sale at post. They are available from the USPS website ( and can be charged to your credit card. Letters sent to and from the U.S. by pouch can take 10-14 days or more to reach their destination. Regular domestic U.S. postage rates apply to mail for pouch transmittal. The Embassy has established a limited weekly DHL service for first-class letter mail to the U.S.


Radio and TV Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:09 AM

Despite the increasing availability of satellite television, radio is still the most important medium in Côte d'Ivoire. Government-owned Radio Côte d'Ivoire broadcasts in French and several national languages on two FM frequencies. The second station, Frequence II, plans to broadcast outside of Abidjan its mix of music and talk shows geared to a younger audience. Up to date, it has not been possible.

Radio Nostalgie, affiliated with a French network of the same name, broadcasts a 24-hour stereo mix of music on FM in Abidjan, with regular news headlines in French during the day. It is the most popular station in Abidjan. Radio France Internationale (RFI), which until recently was confined to short-wave, now relays its program of French news and features via a FM transmitter in Abidjan. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) transmits on FM in Abidjan a mix of its London-based African service in French, some locally produced French language programming and selected world news and focus on Africa programs in English. Libreville, Gabon-based Africa Number 1 heretofore transmitted on short-wave now also transmits its popular French language programming on FM to Abidjan.

Short-wave remains the best vehicle for receiving international news in English. Most of the major international services, including the VOA and BBC, are heard clearly in Abidjan. A multiband set is advised. A 110v radio will require a transformer.

Ivoirian television operates on two channels in Abidjan, one of which is seen in many interior towns. The program day generally begins at noon on the main channel, with continuing broadcasts on the weekends and some weekdays. Both channels operate each evening until around 01:00. Programming consists mainly of news and special events, with reruns of old French and American TV programs and movies (dubbed in French), as well as some local programming and both foreign and domestic cultural programs. In addition, there are private subscription television service, Canal Horizon, that features sports, current movies, and other programming in French 21 hours a day as well as TV5, an international consortium that broadcasts programs produced in Francophone countries and regions worldwide. Since 2004 TV5 has added other channels (EuroNews, RTL, a Lebanese channel, and CNN). The South African satellite television DSTV ( is also available. It requires a DSTV decoder, multi-system TV and a small satellite dish (all of which are readily available on the local market). Subscription is about $50/month. DSTV has a lot of channels, including movie, news and Discovery-type channels, but does not have much American programming.

Many Americans at post use their U.S. TV sets with a DVD player or VCR to watch American DVDs and videotapes. The Community Liaison Office maintains an informal lending library of videotapes and maintains a list of DVD/videos which others are willing to lend (i.e. television series Friends, The Sopranos, etc). Local videos in both French and (some) English are also available for rent, mostly in the SECAM and PAL TV formats. To receive local TV broadcasts, as well as to view the wide range of videos available locally and within the American community (or sent from home), a multi-system TV set and DVD/VCR are recommended. Several stores in the Washington, D.C. area sell such equipment.

DoD personnel receive AFRTS receivers and satellite dishes to pick up American Armed Forces Network (AFN) television. Department of State personnel may purchase the AFN decoder (approximately $600) in the U.S. or from someone in the Embassy community. AFN can be seen on any regular American TV (no need for multi-system), but requires a large satellite dish in addition to the decoder. AFN only has three or six channels (depending on the size of the sattelite dish) but it is very much like regular American TV (all the big shows, sports, etc.). Aside from the high set-up cost (decoder and satellite), AFN service is free, with no subscription or monthly fee.


Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:10 AM

Ten daily and a half-dozen principal newspapers are among the several dozen local French language publications produced in Abidjan. Focusing primarily on local news, most of them represent the views of a political party or party faction, although a few are independent. The dailies draw mainly from the wire services for their international news stories, mostly from Agence France Presse. The largest daily, the government controlled Fraternité Matin, offers the full range of news, sports, commentary, and human-interest features, plus comic strips. Notre Voie, close to the FPI, the party of President Laurent Gbagbo, offers similar, though more limited, coverage. Independent daily Le Jour Plus offers the most balanced political reportage. A number of specialty newspapers and magazines cover fashion, sports, entertainment and the arts, restaurants and what's happening about town.

Several current American and British newspapers and news and specialty magazines, including the International Herald Tribune, the international editions of Time and Newsweek, and The Economist are available in Abidjan from bookstores and street kiosks. All of the major French newspapers and magazines are also available, as are other African and some Spanish, German, Italian, and Lebanese publications.

Subscriptions to U.S. magazines and newspapers arrive by pouch 2-3 weeks after their publication date.

Librairie de France, a chain of bookstores, carries a variety of literature, periodicals, and children's books in French. A small selection of English language materials are carried as well. The Community Liaison Office has an informal lending library of books in English.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:12 AM

The U.S. Embassy in Abidjan maintains a Health Unit staffed with a Foreign Service Medical Provider (a Regional Medical Officer or Foreign Service Health Practitioner). Office hours are scheduled Monday through Friday with a medical duty officer on call after hours and during weekends. The Health Unit is an outpatient primary care facility with a laboratory.

The Embassy Health Unit has a small pharmacy for treatment of common acute illness or conditions. If you take chronic medication, bring enough to cover your tour or arrange with a pharmacy in the U.S. to provide refills via the pouch. This includes birth control pills, vitamins, blood pressure medication and thyroid or estrogen hormones. Local pharmacies are fairly modern but carry chiefly French brand names.

Local medical facilities are used selectively for specialty consultation and emergency hospitalization. Elective hospitalization is not recommended in Abidjan. Anyone with a medical condition requiring hospitalization or consultation with a specialist not available in Abidjan will be evacuated to the nearest medevac point with the required resources. This may be Pretoria, London or the U.S. The Health Unit recommends that babies be delivered in the U.S.

Dental care, such as cleaning, repairs of dental cavities and root canal and bridgework can be done in Abidjan. There are also orthodontists who work in Abidjan. However, it is recommended that more elaborate dental work be done prior to arrival at post. Medical travel can be authorized for management of serious dental problems but is limited in terms of per diem payments and the fact that follow up trips cannot be authorized.

There are qualified ophthalmologists in Abidjan and lens work is available but very expensive. It is recommended that you bring an extra pair of glasses or contacts with you and know the source from which more can be ordered.

Health and Medicine

Community Health Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:12 AM

Community sanitation and public health programs are inadequate throughout Côte d'Ivoire and subject to frequent breakdown. Almost all of the maladies of the developing world are represented here. Residents are subject to water and food-borne illnesses such as typhoid, hepatitis, cholera, worms, amoebiasis, giardia and bacteria dysentery. Malaria is epidemic in Abidjan and throughout West Africa. Malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended for all U.S. mission personnel and their family members. All mission houses are screened and air-conditioned.

Health and Medicine

Preventive Measures Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:15 AM

Everyone covered under the Department of State's medical program must have an updated medical clearance prior to assignment to Côte d'Ivoire. Individuals with limited medical clearance for medical conditions requiring sophisticated medical follow up should contact Medical Clearances in the Office of Medical Services or the post health unit regarding availability of local resources.

Recommended immunizations for children include all the standard pediatric immunizations of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hemophilus B, hepatitis B and pneumococcal. Adolescents and adults should have a diphtheria-tetanus booster within 10 years and have completed the hepatitis A series. Post specific immunizations include yellow fever, meningitis, typhoid and rabies pre-exposure. Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory before traveling to Côte d'Ivoire. Malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended. Additionally, clothes that cover the body and insect repellant for older children and adults are important to decrease exposure to the malaria carrying mosquitoes.

The Embassy provides and maintains water distillers in each home. Bottled water is provided in offices. Factory bottled soft drinks and juices are safe. Milk is sold in sealed containers and is generally safe. Standard recommendations for preparing fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats apply here. Washing, soaking and peeling and/or thoroughly cooking are mandatory to minimize bacterial and parasitic contamination. A wide variety of foods are available in local stores as well as a good variety of canned goods and fresh produce. Meat and fish bought from recommended venders are considered safe.

Car accidents are the primary causes of severe injury to foreigners living in Abidjan. Defensive driving and use of seatbelts is strongly encouraged. Use of motorcycles is strongly discouraged.

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:15 AM

Employment opportunities for spouses are favorable for positions within the U.S. Mission. Openings generally occur in periodic cycles for nurses, administrative assistants, community liaison office coordinators (CLOs). A Family Member Hiring Committee screens and selects eligible family members who meet necessary job requirement skills. All agencies are represented on the committee. The Human Resources Officer (HRO) and CLO maintain a list of eligible family members desiring work. Eligible family members are urged to notify CLO or HRO of their interest in employment prior to arrival. The CLO and HRO coordinate a summer-hire program for eligible family members 16 years of age and older. The International Community School of Abidjan (ICSA) occasionally has openings for qualified teachers and specialized instructors.

Dependent participation in the local economy is limited by Ivoirian labor laws and the need for fluent French. Work permits are difficult to obtain, but U.S. companies and international organizations occasionally offer short-term contracts to persons who do not have a work permit.

American Embassy - Abidjan

Post City Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:16 AM

Abidjan, with a population of approximately 3 million, is 4.8 kilometers inland from the Gulf of Guinea, but its suburbs stretch to the sea. Abidjan has often been called the "Paris of West Africa." As a result of the problems in recent years, the city itself has deteriorated somewhat, but still retains much of the beauty derived from its setting on the rim of a lagoon at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The ever-present contrast between traditional African clothing, markets, and ways of life, and the most modern public and commercial establishments gives the city a special charm and character.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:17 AM

The U.S. Mission in Côte d'Ivoire currently comprises 62 direct-hire American positions distributed among various agencies: Department of State; Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS); the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); VOA; and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce and Defense. Peace Corps is currently not operating in Côte d'Ivoire but is expected to return in 2006. Some offices at post have regional responsibilities, and their officers travel frequently to neighboring Central and West African countries.

Post anticipates moving into its New Embassy Compound in June 2005, at which time all offices except FBIS and CDC will be co-located in the new office facility in the Riviera neighborhood.

The current Chancery includes the offices for the Executive, Political, Economic, Consular, and Management Sections, and the Defense Attaché's office. The Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) and Foreign Commercial Service (FCS), along with the Health Unit, are in the former REDSO building in the Deux Plateau neighborhood. All sections report through the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) to the Ambassador, who has overall responsibility for the operations of all Mission elements.

The Chancery, a six-story structure located in downtown Plateau at No. 5 Rue Jesse Owens, is convenient to the city's major banking, commercial, and shopping areas. Nearby are the French Embassy, Post Office Tower, Ivoirian Supreme Court, and several hotels. The telephone number is 225-20-21-09-79. Embassy office hours are 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. A Duty Officer is on call at all other times. A Marine Security Guard is on duty at all times. The General Services Operations are located in a large compound on the road to the airport, Boulevard Giscard d'Estaing, about 15 minutes from the Embassy.

The Public Affairs Offices are located in the American Cultural Center in Cocody, at the corner of the Avenue de l'Entente and Boulevard de la Rocade. The PAO telephone number is 225-22-44-05-97/225-22-44-07-45. Office hours are 8 am to 5 pm. The American Cultural Center sponsors a wide range of activities, including Worldnet broadcasts, American speakers, Fulbright international visitors exchanges, information activities, and cultural activities. The library has 4,000 volumes, of which 60% are in English and 40% are in French. A VOA correspondent is also based in Abidjan in the Plateau District. The VOA telephone number is 225-22-41-06-42.

The Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) is staffed by a bureau chief and one other officer. The office (telephone 225-22-47-10-30) is located in a new custom-built facility in the Riviera neighborhood.

State Department personnel are paid through the Central Payroll Office in Charleston. Other agency personnel are payrolled from their headquarters pay centers. Marine Guards are paid their cost of living allowances through the Embassy Financial Management Center (FMC) and their base pay from the USMC Finance Center in the U.S. Post personnel are paid by direct deposit to their banks. Accommodation exchange is available to all U.S. Government personnel, authorized eligible family members, and to authorized contract employees. Limited amounts of U.S. dollars are available to American personnel traveling on official business or leave.


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:18 AM

If suitable permanent housing is not available on arrival, you will be lodged in temporary quarters furnished with all basic requirements.

The hotel most frequently used is the Hotel Tiama, which is conveniently located in Plateau within walking distance of the Embassy. The Hotel Tiama has a restaurant and a pool, and is within per diem. Other hotels commonly used are the Novotel (in Plateau), Hotel Ibis (in Plateau and Marcory), and the Sofitel (in Plateau).

Several residential-style hotels throughout Abidjan (i.e. Residence Edouard, Residence Ohinene, and La Licorne) are frequently used for those staying for an extended period, as they are more similar to an apartment rather than a hotel.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:18 AM

All U.S. Government personnel are housed in government-owned or -leased houses or apartments. Newcomers usually move directly into temporary or permanent quarters. Housing is assigned by the Mission Inter-Agency Housing Board (IAHB) on the basis of family size, position grade, and availability of quarters at the time of your arrival. Most personnel with children are assigned houses. Single personnel and couples may be housed in two- or three-bedroom apartments or houses.

The Ambassador occupies a government-owned residence located in Cocody. The first floor includes large living and dining rooms, study, lavatory, kitchen, laundry area, air-conditioned storeroom, servants' toilet and shower, and guestroom with bath. The second floor of the residence has four bedrooms and baths, a large family room with bookshelves, and a roofed terrace. Spacious, attractive grounds surrounding the Ambassador's residence contain a barbecue paillotte and swimming pool with dressing rooms, shower, and toilets. The residence is furnished with all major appliances, china, crystal, flatware and other silver, kitchen equipment, and most linens. The house is completely air-conditioned with both split units; the upstairs and kitchen windows are screened. Both 220v and 110v wall outlets are available in the kitchen and several other rooms.

The DCM's home is located in Cocody also. This five-bedroom, split-level house is air-conditioned with split units and has a large front yard. All major appliances, kitchen utensils, china, glassware, flatware, and some linens are furnished.

The Marine Security Guards are currently housed in a villa in Riviera. They will move to a residence on the New Embassy Compound upon its completion in 2005.

Most houses, located in Cocody, Deux Plateaux, or Riviera, have three to five bedrooms, at least two baths, and adequate kitchen, dining, and living areas. Some have attached domestic quarters. Many of these houses have terraces or verandas with French doors. Ground-floor windows are grilled and rooms have split-system air-conditioners. The Embassy leases apartments in three buildings; one is located within walking distance of the Chancery, with access to a pool. The other two buildings contain four apartments each, occupied exclusively by mission employees, and each has a pool for use by apartment complex residents. These apartments are located in Deux Plateaux and are convenient to local shopping facilities. All apartments have two or three bedrooms, combined living and dining areas, adequate kitchens, and air-conditioning. They are normally occupied by single employees or married personnel without children. Housing is comfortable; all living and occupied sleeping areas are air-conditioned. All quarters are currently provided with 24-hour daily guard service.


Furnishings Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:19 AM

The Mission supplies all basic furniture and appliances to personnel assigned to post. Newcomers' housing will be furnished upon their arrival. As a rule, single employees and couples are provided furnishings for living room, dining room, and one or two bedrooms and/or a study or den, depending on the number of bedrooms in the house. Families are provided the same plus sufficient bedroom furniture for each occupied bedroom. The Embassy tailor shop will make and hang draperies.

Basic furnishings include: washer and dryer, refrigerator, freezer, gas stove, water distiller, fire extinguisher, four transformers, kitchen cabinets, medicine cabinets with mirror, towel racks, drapery rods, living and dining room rugs, table and floor lamps, lighting fixtures, a full living room set, a dining room set with seating for six or eight, complete bedroom suites including one queen-size and twin beds, mattresses and boxsprings, air-conditioners, water heaters, a vacuum cleaner, and outdoor garbage pails.

Lawnmowers are available to employees with houses. Patio furniture and garden supplies are available in limited quantities. Some employees choose to purchase wicker or rattan furniture at post and have it covered at their own expense in one of the colorful local fabrics. Bring the following items to post: Bed linens (queen plus twins), lightweight blankets and bedspreads, pillows and cushions, towels, iron (preferably 220v) and ironing board, shower curtains and rings, china, glassware, flatware, table linens, kitchen utensils, small kitchen appliances, pots and pans, video-tape recorder (VHS) and multi-system TV (220v), folding beach chairs, ice chests/coolers, extension cords, and additional transformers.

Voltage regulators and surge protectors are recommended as protection from power surges for stereo, TV, and computer equipment. A supply of essential household items, such as some pots and pans, lightweight glasses and plastic dishes, flatware, other kitchen utensils, clothes hangers, and towels and linens, should be included in your airfreight. Surface shipments may take 2-4 months to arrive and clear customs. A Welcome Kit of essential household items is available until airfreight shipments arrive. Bring items specially required by small children in accompanied baggage or send them airfreight. A small stock of food, for which the sponsor should be reimbursed, is provided for the first few days after arrival.


Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:20 AM

Most kitchens are equipped with American stoves that cook with bottled gas. Households acquire bottled gas at local Texaco service stations using coupons obtained at the FMC cashier. Tap water is not potable and must be sterilized. Effective water distillers are provided by the Mission to each residence.

All types of appliances, mainly European and Japanese, are sold locally, but they are expensive. Small appliances may also be ordered from the U.S. and shipped to post by pouch.

The city power system is 220v/380v, 3-phase, 50Hz utilization voltage, with 220v available at outlets and lamp sockets. All U.S. Government-owned and -leased housing is equipped with a 25KVA generator. Various portions of the power system are subject to noticeable fluctuations. A voltage regulator will help to assure the reliable operation of sensitive electronic equipment and prolong its life. Most wall outlets are the French type with two round prongs. Inexpensive converter plugs are available locally for U.S. type plugs. Some government-owned houses have combination outlets that also accept U.S.-type parallel-blade 120v plugs. Most local incandescent lighting fixtures use the French-type bayonet-based bulbs. Embassy-supplied table lamps take U.S. screw-type bulbs. Both types of bulbs are sold in Abidjan in the major shopping outlets.

Appliances rated for 120v, 60Hz normally operate well with a step-down transformer. Electric 50Hz clocks tend to run slightly fast while 60Hz clocks run very slow. Battery operated clocks are recommended. Certain 110v electronic appliances such as microwave ovens may require extensive modification to be used safely here; check with your U.S. dealer before attempting to bring them.

Food Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:20 AM

There is a wide variety of food available in the plentiful local markets and supermarkets of Abidjan. The bakeries offer a delicious variety of breads and pastries. Tropical fruits and locally grown vegetables are plentiful and priced reasonably. The supermarkets carry a complete selection of imported European fresh fruit and vegetables at much higher prices. The choice of all types of food and household items in supermarkets is excellent and shortages are rare. Both local and imported meat is available; meat is sold in continental cuts and local meat should be well cooked for health reasons. Local poultry, fresh fish, and shellfish are plentiful and reasonably priced.

A limited variety of frozen foods are available. Most dairy products are imported and sterilized, pasteurized; long-life milk is also sold. Local and imported butter and cheese are excellent. Plain and flavored yogurts are good. All dairy products have an expiration date.

Beverages available include bottled soft drinks, various fruit juices, European and South American imported wine - pretty much anything you desire. Ivoirian cocoa and chocolate are superb; the local coffee (Robusta) is quite distinctive. The Arabica coffee is imported and can be quite costly. Most supermarkets sell several acceptable blends.

It is economically worthwhile to include diapers, paper towels, toilet paper, plastic and foil wraps, garbage bags, laundry soap, and party supplies in bulk in your surface shipment if you have the space.

There is a snack bar located at the Chancery, where hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries, pizza, and American-style sandwiches are served daily. Hours: 08:00 - 15:30 Monday thru Friday.

Clothing Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:22 AM

Abidjan's year-round climate resembles that of Washington, D.C. in the summer months. The weather can be somewhat cooler during the "winter" months and long-sleeved clothing is sometimes comfortable. Bring some warm clothing for trips that you may make to colder climates. Umbrellas and raincoats are needed during the rainy season. Swimming is a year-round activity, so bring swimsuits and beach attire/accessories for each family member.


Men Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:21 AM

Men whose work entails contact with the host government and the public normally wear lightweight suits to the office. Men whose positions are less representational wear short- or long-sleeved shirts, with or without ties, and slacks to the office.

Dark business suits are often worn for representational evening occasions. Acceptable formal dress code is black or white dinner jacket. Tuxedos are preferred but not required for the Marine Ball. Bring a good supply of shirts, underwear, socks, and shoes to post, as they wear out rapidly and are expensive locally. A good supply of sports clothes and casual clothing also is recommended.

For casual evening functions, most men wear American-style sports shirts or African-style shirts, which can be purchased locally at reasonable prices. Most tailors do a reasonable job making sports shirts and slacks. French and Italian ready-made clothing is available at high prices, as are men's shoes.


Women Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:22 AM

Women whose work entails contact with the host government and the public normally wear lightweight suits or tailored dresses to the office. However, most women wear summer dresses or blouses and skirt combinations supplemented by a light cardigan in air-conditioned offices and public buildings.

All women will desire a formal gown for the annual Marine Corps Ball, along with a variety of informal eveningwear for dinners within the diplomatic community.

In Abidjan's hot and humid climate, wrinkle-resistant fabrics that breathe are desirable. Most women do not wear stockings on a daily basis, but bring some to post if you desire as they are not easily found locally. Sandals, comfortable walking shoes, and sports shoes are all useful. Be sure to bring an ample supply of undergarments.

The latest styles from Paris often are available at very high prices in local boutiques. Contemporary African fashions are popular with both Ivoirian and non-Ivoirian women. Local batiks, tie-dyes, and wax prints, sometimes enhanced with elaborate embroidery, are made up into attractive short and long dresses, skirts, and pants outfits. Prices range from moderate to expensive, but constitute special bargains when made by highly qualified tailors. Local seamstresses and tailors will sew outfits ranging from the very simple to the very complex. Tailors have varying degrees of expertise, but most are able to copy a design from a picture alone.


Children Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:23 AM

Children need a good supply of washable synthetic or cotton clothing. Replacement clothes can be purchased on-line. Children's clothing on the local market is extremely costly, except for cotton play dresses and shorts outfits available in the African markets. Bring a good supply of underwear, sneakers, sandals, and footwear for the beach or pool. Athletic shoes, especially American name brands, are hard to find and very expensive.

Uniforms are not worn at the International Community School of Abidjan (ICSA). Girls wear everything from dresses to shorts and jeans. Sandals and sneakers are the preferred footwear, although sneakers or athletic shoes are required for P.E. Boys wear jeans, slacks, and shorts with jerseys; sneakers and sandals are most commonly worn. Children attending private schools are obliged to wear uniforms, which are purchased locally.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:23 AM

A good choice of toiletries, cosmetics, and feminine personal supplies is available locally at significantly higher prices than in the U.S. Include the following in your HHE shipment: bathroom accessories; closet fittings (e.g., hangers, garment bags, shoe trees, hooks); favorite brands of cosmetics and toiletries; wastebaskets; drapery and picture hooks for concrete walls; sewing kits and notions; ashtrays; short-wave radio; stereo equipment; Christmas decorations; stationery and craft supplies; party favors and decorations; gift wrapping, ribbon, and greeting cards; candles (all sizes); trays, vases, and knickknacks; games; books; pictures; video equipment; computer supplies. Include a supply of gifts for your own children and for birthday parties, and gift items, as they are very expensive.

Pharmacies carry a complete line of modern drugs, but American brands are usually not available. Bring special prescriptions to post. Tobacco products can be obtained locally.

Supplies and Services

Basic Services Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:25 AM

Local shops are generally open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon and 3 p.m. until 6 p.m.; on Sundays the majority of shops are closed.

Minor shoe repairs can be done adequately. Dry-cleaning prices are comparable to that of Washington, D.C. Beauty and barbershops offer a complete line of services, varying in all price ranges. Estheticians, masseurs, and sauna baths are available at health and exercise clubs. Massage, pedicure and similar services are plentiful in beauty parlors in Abidjan, and can also be arranged to come to your home.

Radio, video, and TV shops service European and Japanese models successfully and American models with varying success. A good selection of CDs and DVDs are available at somewhat higher than U.S. prices; cheap cassettes are usually pirate editions of poor quality. Several companies, including Westinghouse, Singer, Frigidaire, and General Electric, have local representatives who stock a limited supply of spare parts for small appliances. Appliance repair technicians familiar with American equipment are scarce. Local jewelers can repair most clocks and watches. Several local printers do moderate quality work, but prices are high. Catering service is available from several hotels, restaurants, and bakeries.

Pet shops and supermarkets carry a good variety of basic pet supplies, though these are expensive. Several veterinarians have clinics in Abidjan which offers shots and minor treatment for pets.

Supplies and Services

Domestic Help Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:26 AM

Americans in Abidjan find domestic workers to be a very pleasant and affordable aspect of life in Abidjan. Domestics usually come from other West African countries. Many women who do domestic work are also employed as nannies.

In most households, an experienced domestic who does all types of housework, laundry, and simple cooking is sufficient.

If additional help is needed, less-skilled household help and full-fledged cooks are available. A qualified cook usually will do marketing and kitchen chores, but may not do housework. Small families sometimes share the services of one employee who does general housework and laundry on a part-time basis. It is customary to pass to new employees domestics who have previously worked for U.S. Government employees and have proven their trustworthiness and reliability.

Many domestics do not live in because only a few houses have quarters suitable for household employees. Hours and minimum wages are fixed by law.

Domestics work a maximum of ten hours daily with one full day or two half days off each week, and one month's paid holiday per year. On local holidays domestics receive full pay and are not required to work. When employment is terminated, domestics are entitled to notice or notice payment, payment for any unused leave, termination pay, and a certificate of previous employment. Monthly wages range from about 50,000 CFA for a novice cook to 100,000 CFA for an experienced cook. In addition, employers must pay social security contributions amounting to 15.75% of salary (of this total, the employer contributes 12.55% and the employee contributes 3.2%), as well as a transportation allowance. If uniforms are needed, they are provided at the employer's expense. Most domestics speak French, and some can read French. A few speak English. All domestics must be trained to individual preferences and supervised carefully to assure satisfactory performance.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:26 AM

Regularly scheduled Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim worship services and activities are conducted in French throughout the Abidjan area. Affiliated schools, activities, and services are readily available to the French speaker. Kosher and hallal meat can sometimes be obtained locally.

English-speaking Christian congregations include: 1. The International Fellowship of Christians, an interdenominational, evangelical congregation meeting in Deux Plateaux for two Sunday worship services, classes for children and adults, and a variety of study groups and other activities during the week; 2) the Protestant Church of the Plateau, an interdenominational, liturgical congregation, holding its Sunday worship service, classes and activities in a Methodist church near the Embassy; and 3) Sainte Cecile, a Roman Catholic church in Deux Plateaux holding mass, confessions, and religious education classes for children on Saturday.


Dependent Education

At Post Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:29 AM The International Community School of Abidjan (ICSA), founded in 1972, is the only English-language school in Abidjan. It is an independent, coeducational day school, offering an American educational program from kindergarten through grade 12. A solid academic program is offered. The school is accredited from kindergarten through grade 12 by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Upper School is also accredited by the European Council of International Schools (ECIS). The Upper School presents a developmental program with the express purpose of preparing students for entry into U.S. colleges and universities. French, the official language of Côte d'Ivoire, is required at all grade levels. English as a Second Language (ESL) is required of non-English speakers until they reach a certain level of proficiency. Even after they are mainstreamed, ESL students receive continuing support. The school is not equipped to handle children with learning disabilities, physical handicaps, or emotional or behavioral problems. Qualified high school students may enroll in advance placement courses in English, French, European History, American History, Computer Science, Biology, and Calculus. A new school was constructed in 1990-91 in the residential section of Riviera III, with new sports facilities, including a basketball/volleyball court, track, soccer field, softball field, and shower facility.

The school is sponsored by the U.S. Government and governed by a nine-member Board of Directors, two of whom are appointed by the U.S. Ambassador. Membership in the Association, the school's official parent body, which oversees the whole school, is automatically conferred on the parents or guardians of children enrolled in the school.

In the 2003-2004 school year, there are 9 full-time and 3 part-time faculty staff members, including 8 Americans, 2 host-country nationals, and 2 third-country nationals. The Director is contracted from the United States. Enrollment in 2003-2004 was 65 students. Of the total, 27 were U.S. citizens, 9 were host-country nationals and 29 were children of third-country nationals. Of the U.S. enrollment 2 were dependents of U.S. government employees and 25 were dependents of other private U.S. citizens. The school receives regular support and assistance from the Office of Overseas Schools in the Department of State.

The school sponsors a wide variety of extracurricular activities: interscholastic soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming for boys and girls, intramural sports, yearbook, drama club, band, Girl Scouts & Brownies, Boy Scouts & Cub Scouts, etc. Other extracurricular activities are offered but may change from year to year based upon the availability of instructors. There is also a strong community service program.

Annual tuition fees are set in dollars. Fees for the 2003-2004 school year were as follows: kindergarten - $10,694; grades 1 through 5 - $10,694; grades 6 through 8 - $10,694 and grades 9 through 12 - $10,694. There is a one-time capital development fee of $5,000 per family. The annual school registration fee is $564 per child. The present education allowance for children at post is sufficient to cover the costs at the International Community School of Abidjan or costs incurred at local schools for tuition, registration, and other required school fees.

Bus transportation is available for dependent children in grades kindergarten through grade 12 of official U.S. personnel. Many families arrange car pools for transporting children to and from school. School uniforms are not required. Students dress casually, in consideration of the tropical climate.

School hours are 07:30 to 14:30, Monday through Friday. The school year begins in late August and ends in mid-June. Students have a 2-week Christmas vacation and one week at Easter; some U.S. national and all local holidays are observed by the school. ICSA sponsors a 5-week summer program during the months of July and August, depending on demand.

Further information about the school can be obtained by contacting the CLO ( or ICSA directly: International Community School of Abidjan DOS/Management Officer 2010 Abidjan Place Washington, D.C. 20521-2010 Tel: 225-22-47-11-52 Fax: 225-22-47-19-96 E-mail: Website:

Local public and private schools follow French methods of instruction and curriculum, and make no provision for introductory language instruction for non-French-speaking children. Classes in the French system are divided as follows:

(1) "maternelle" or nursery school, ages 3 and 4.

(2) "jardin d'enfants" or kindergarten, ages 5 and 6.

(3) "ecole primaire" (1eme through 7eme), which corresponds to American grades 1 through 5. At the end of the 7eme, all children must pass a national exam to gain admittance to the "Lycee."

(4) ecole secondaire (lycee or college) which corresponds to grades 6 through 12 in American schools. At the end of the last year (grade 13), exams are taken for the baccalaureate.

Public schools no longer enroll non-Ivoirian students who did not enter the school system in the first grade. Some very good private primary schools admit non-French-speaking children but generally only in the early elementary grades. Children must have sufficient French fluency to pass exams and survive in the secondary grades. In all cases, enrollment in the better local schools is competitive and should be accomplished as early in the spring as possible for the following school year. Contact the CLO for information and guidance on enrolling children in local schools.

The local school year runs from October to mid-July and is divided into trimesters ending in December, March, and June. Christmas and Easter vacations are at least one week each. Classes meet 5 days a week, Monday through Friday, in the upper grades; in the primary grades students have Wednesday off. Hours vary somewhat in different schools, but morning classes usually run from 07:00 to 12:00 and from 14:30 to 17:00.


Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:30 AM

Private instruction is available for French, musical instruments, martial arts, horseback riding, tennis, and swimming. Additional academic tutoring for school children can also be obtained.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:31 AM

Sports are an integral part of recreational life in the Côte d'Ivoire. For Ivoirians, soccer is the most popular sport, followed by basketball and boxing. You can pursue a wide variety of sports activities in Abidjan: aerobics, pool swimming, fishing, bowling, tennis, horseback riding, pool and billiards, golf, volleyball, basketball, softball, soccer, yoga and martial arts. Softball is often played on the weekend at the International school. Many of the players participate in U.S. Embassy-sponsored West African competitions. Volleyball is often organized at the residences of Embassy employees. Sports equipment is available on the local market but the cost is high, so bring a good supply to post.

Salt and freshwater pools at major hotels in and around Abidjan are open to the public on a reasonable daily fee basis; a few offer pool memberships. Use of tennis courts can be arranged at local clubs and hotels, and memberships and instruction are available. An excellent 18-hole golf course is located at the Golf Club in the Riviera section of Abidjan. Golfers can play there by paying a greens fee or an individual club membership. There is also a 9-hole public course with reasonable fees.

The beaches near Abidjan tend to be dangerous, with extremely treacherous surf. Riptides and heavy undertow make ocean swimming dangerous. The Health Unit recommends no swimming in these waters. You must use extreme caution in supervising young children at the beach. Despite these drawbacks, the beach is a close, pleasant weekend escape. There are a number of small hotel/restaurants in Grand Bassam and Assinie where you can spend the day for the cost of lunch.

Recreation and Social Life

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:32 AM

Abidjan is an attractive city, laced with lagoons and close to the ocean, with many hills and lush tropical flora. In and around Abidjan, you can visit the beautiful St. Paul's Cathedral, perched on a hill overlooking the city; the zoo, modest but still enjoyable for children; the Parc du Banco, a virgin rain forest; and the large open-air markets in Cocody, Treichville, and other suburbs. A lagoon boat tour offers an impressive view of Abidjan's skyline. The CLO organizes trips to villages, shopping trips, day trips to Yamoussoukro, and weekend get-aways.

Although travel within Côte d'Ivoire is restricted to certain areas, there are several options for pleasant trips outside of Abidjan. Most people travel by car, as the roads are generally good to major towns throughout Côte d'Ivoire. Hotels are adequate and prices outside of Abidjan are reasonable. Food is usually good, even in small towns. Possibilities include:

Assinie and Assouinde: These small villages lie between the lagoon and the sea, about 50 miles from Abidjan by car. Several large resorts hotel complexes are located along the beautiful beaches.

Bingerville: The former capital of the Côte d'Ivoire is 11 miles from Abidjan. It is surrounded by coffee and cocoa plantations and enjoys a picturesque setting on a hill overlooking the sweep of the lagoon. It has a large botanical garden and a school of African art where artisans can be seen at work. A national boy's orphanage is now housed in what was formerly the colonial governor's mansion.

Grand Bassam: Located on the seacoast about 20 miles east of Abidjan, Bassam is a favorite weekend escape because of its close proximity to Abidjan, pleasant beaches and hotels, and its interesting shopping. There is a cooperative of craftsmen in the center of town selling masks, brass work, wood carvings, and batik work. A mile-long strip of shops located outside the town of Bassam sells African carvings, carved chests, leather goods, furniture, jewelry, and tiedye and wax print fabric. All sorts of African art and paraphernalia can be found in this central area.

Grand Lahou: A lagoon town three miles to the west. It offers picturesque old buildings, a rustic hotel-restaurant, and both ocean and lagoon swimming. You will experience a nice drive through the rubber and palm oil plantations.

Jacqueville: About 2 hours from Abidjan with a car, ferry ride included, this lagoon town on the beach has a nice hotel-restaurant.

Sassandra: Located on the seacoast a 3-hour drive from Abidjan, Sassandra is a small fishing village with an active port and scenic river. There are several hotels and campsites for those who come to enjoy the wonderful beaches.

Yamoussoukro: The official capital of Côte d'Ivoire. Several splendid buildings can be visited, notably the Basilica, known as the largest cathderal in Christiandom. It was built by the former President, Felix Houphouët-Boigny, as his dedication to the city, and is considered a "must-see" attraction. Yamoussoukro has a large hotel, The President, which is normally occupied by tourists. The CLO sponsors trips several times a year to this site. In an attractive hilly region nearby is the Kossou Dam, the source of electrical power for Abidjan.

Recreation and Social Life

Entertainment Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:33 AM

Several modern air-conditioned theaters show European and American films in French. Children's matinees are frequently shown during holiday periods.

African theatrical and folklore presentations are given periodically at various theaters in Abidjan. In particular, the Ki-Yi Village is a restaurant/theater with dancers including street kids performing all types of African dances and songs. Most traditional rites are limited to family and village circles, but folk dancing is featured entertainment at several local hotels.

A variety of restaurants offer African, Vietnamese, French, Lebanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Mexican, Indian, Russian, and other cuisines. Restaurants range from moderately expensive to very expensive, but fixed price menus are available on certain evenings at several hotels and restaurants.

There are many options for nightlife - including American-style bars, discotheques and nightclubs throughout Abidjan. They typically get going late (after 10 pm ). The cost of drinks at many discos and nightclubs is quite expensive. There are several casinos in Abidjan (Café de Rome and Hotel Ivoire).

Art exhibits by European and African artists are held frequently in various hotels and small galleries.

Photographers will find many worthwhile subjects here. Many local people might be pleased to have their pictures taken, but it is best to ask first and be prepared to pay for the favor. Most types of film are available locally, but the price is high. Processing is adequate, but most Americans send film to the U.S. for developing.

Shopping at the Treichville, Adjame, Plateau, and Cocody markets can be a cultural leisure-time activity. The animated bargaining that goes into making a good purchase is something of an art form in itself. Traders are very appreciative of people who drive hard bargains; everyone comes away from such a negotiation with a good feeling.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

Among Americans Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:34 AM Dinners, cocktails, and barbecues at the beach are the most common forms of entertainment. The CLO is active in planning community activities. Events are frequently held on weekends at the Marine House.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

International Contacts Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:34 AM A good knowledge of French is essential for developing contacts among Ivoirians and Europeans.

The International Women's Association of Côte d'Ivoire, whose purpose is three-fold: 1. Assist local population, 2. Allow members to discover Côte d'Ivoire, 3. Offer a wide range of social and cultural activities.

The American Chamber of Commerce meets monthly and draws its membership from representatives of American businesses operating in Côte d'Ivoire.

The Contact Group, an English-speaking club, meets once a month and provides an excellent opportunity to get to know other ladies living in Abidjan.

The "Hash House Harriers" are a group of motivated individuals who meet one weekend a month and go on excursion runs/walks within and sometimes outside of Abidjan.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:34 AM

Senior Mission officers are invited to receptions, exhibitions, cocktails, luncheons, dinners, and other events sponsored by the host government and other diplomatic missions. Representational activities among junior officers tend to be with counterparts in the diplomatic community, personnel in host-government ministries with whom they have contact, and members of the community.

Official Functions

Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:35 AM

All newly arrived Mission officers and staff members are presented to the Ambassador and DCM shortly after arrival. No other formal calls on other Mission officers are expected. Calls on counterparts in other embassies and with host government officials can be discussed after arrival at post.

Circular notes are sent to announce arrivals and departures. A supply of business cards and informals is useful. Bring more business cards than you think you'll need, since Ivoirians who can't afford them will want to write their name and phone number on the back of yours. Invitations can be printed, but engraving is not done locally.

Special Information Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:36 AM

Importance of French. To profit fully from the varied opportunities in Abidjan, assigned personnel should learn as much French as possible before arrival and continue their studies after arrival, if they are not already fluent. Outside the American community little English is spoken; therefore, knowledge of French is essential for shopping, sightseeing, and generally enjoying life. The post French language program provides instruction for direct-hire personnel, and to family members and contractors on a space-available basis.

Department of Defense Personnel. Unless specifically instructed otherwise, military personnel should arrive wearing civilian clothing. Personnel of the Defense Attaché Office (DAO) usually wear civilian dress on duty, except for certain official calls and ceremonies. For advice on which uniforms and civilian clothing to bring to post, contact the Defense Attaché's Office by telephone: 225-20-21-09-79 extension 6698/6574; fax: 225-20-22-80-5; or mail: Defense Attaché Office, U.S. Embassy Abidjan, Washington, D.C. 20521-2010.

Cost of Living. Most personnel will discover that the general price level in Abidjan is expensive (similar to prices in Washington, DC).

Post Orientation Program. Post policy is to assign both an office sponsor, as well as a community sponsor, to each arriving employee and their family. They are asked to help the new arrivals settle into life in Abidjan and at post. Within a day or two of arrival, your office sponsor will escort you to the Human Resources Office for a briefing on the required in-processing procedures. You will have appointments with the Ambassador, DCM, Management Counselor, and various other Embassy sections. The Regional Security Office (RSO) requires that each new family receive a security briefing. This is a necessity in order to receive your official mission badge. An orientation program is coordinated by the CLO to introduce the newcomer and dependent family members over the age of 18 to post. All agencies and offices are included in the program. They give a brief description of the services they provide. The Health Unit's Nurse Practitioner will talk to new families about precautions to take in safeguarding your family's health while in Côte d'Ivoire. The CLO will brief you on dependent employment, school, shopping, activities and will assist you in settling in and meeting members of the community.

Notes For Travelers

Getting to the Post Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:38 AM

Most employees assigned to Abidjan come to post via Europe. Routings through Paris, Brussels, and Dakar are possible. An overnight rest stop is permitted when coming from the U.S.

When assigned to post, write both the head of agency at post and the management officer regarding date and time of arrival, air carrier, and number of accompanying eligible family members, so that arrangements can be made for your arrival. It is a good idea to follow up with your personnel technician to ensure that a cable with your arrival information is also sent.

New Mission personnel are met at the airport by an Embassy expeditor and their assigned office sponsor and/or section head at the passport control point. If you arrive at the airport unannounced, call Post One at 225-20-21-09-79 ext. 2220 or take a taxi to the Chancery to arrange further accommodations. The metered taxi ride, barring massive traffic jams, currently costs at least 3,000 CFA, or at night rates, 6,000 CFA (midnight to 6 am).

Bring along personal items needed in the first weeks at post, since airfreight may take several weeks to arrive. Also bring at least six passport-sized photographs for each family member, since these are needed to obtain visas, driver's licenses, and identity documents. If you have regional responsibilities, a larger supply of passport-sized photos will be helpful for the many visa applications related to your travel.

Shipments of household effects (HHE) and unaccompanied air baggage (UAB) should be addressed as follows:

American Ambassador (Initials of Employee) American Embassy Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

HHE and personally owned vehicle (POV) routing is either to Abidjan Port direct, or via Antwerp, American Consulate General ELSO, Nooderlaan 147, Bus 12A (Atlantic House), 2030 Antwerp, Belgium. UAB routing is to Abidjan Airport direct or from the U.S. via Europe. Do NOT use Egypt Airlines and do not route shipments via Addis-Ababa.

It usually takes 5-6 weeks for HHE picked up in the U.S. to be shipped to Abidjan. It may then take 4-6 weeks for HHE to be delivered to employee, once the appropriate shipping and personnel documents are received by the embassy shipping section for processing customs clearance. All crates should be containerized to avoid possible pilferage and damage.

Airfreight from the U.S. usually takes 2-3 weeks to arrive at post, but shipments have occasionally taken up to 2 months. Some shipments have been temporarily lost due to misrouting or offloading at points other than the ultimate destination.

For information on automobiles, see Transportation-Automobiles.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Customs and Duties Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:38 AM

Côte d'Ivoire regulations specify that only employees with diplomatic ties have unlimited free entry privileges throughout their stay in the country. All other employees can import household and personal effects duty free only during the first 6 months after arrival at post. To facilitate clearance of shipments through customs, employees are advised to cable the following information prior to the arrival of shipments: air-waybill number, ocean bill of lading number, carrier, and ETA if known. The original bill of lading should be forwarded as soon as possible via DHL. These documents are required to request duty-free entry. Customs clearance procedures take about 4-6 weeks and cannot begin until the documents are received.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Passage Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:39 AM

Travelers to Côte d'Ivoire on diplomatic passports planning to reside there must present a valid Ivoirian visa to enter the country. If Côte d'Ivoire is not represented in the country of application, a French Consulate can usually issue an entry visa. American travelers who will stay in Côte d'Ivoire less than ninety days are currently admitted without a visa. The Embassy will obtain multiple entry visas for employees after arrival if the initial visa is valid only for a single entry.

Vaccination against yellow fever is required to enter Côte d'Ivoire. Ivoirian officials generally verify that appropriate inoculations have been obtained before issuing the initial entry visa. No rules cover the entry of cameras, perfume, tobacco, and liquor in accompanying baggage, but only reasonable amounts will be passed without question.

Travel within Côte d'Ivoire is unrestricted. However, the Ivoirian Foreign Ministry requests notification whenever official travel of officers on the diplomatic list is contemplated upcountry. Travel to neighboring West African countries invariably requires a visa.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Pets Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:39 AM

No quarantine or restriction on the importation of pets exists, but a veterinarian's certificate of rabies vaccination dated within 1 year of arrival and certificate of good health issued within 48 hours of their arrival in Abidjan should accompany the pet.

Do not schedule the arrival of unaccompanied pets on weekends, holidays, or after 7 pm, as the customs and transit agencies close at 8 pm. Pets arriving after normal working hours remain in the customs cargo shed until the next workday (the arrival of unaccompanied pets could be scheduled provided the shipping office could be notified 3-5 days before).

Employees should accompany pets under 6 months old, rather than send them as unaccompanied air cargo. A $20-$30 airway bill charge plus a $120-$130 transit company charge is levied on all pets entering Côte d'Ivoire as unaccompanied air cargo. To avoid a hefty accompanied baggage charge levied on a per kilo basis for the pet at the Paris Airport, employees should not break their journey in Paris but should travel straight through from the U.S. departure point (via Paris) to Abidjan.

Côte d'Ivoire requires the payment of a 44.28% customs fee, and a 18% value added tax (VAT) on all pets under 6 months old. Taxes are determined by the Côte d'Ivoire Government, based on the value of the pet, or on the bill of sale for the animal. The customs fee may be waived for diplomatic personnel, but the VAT must be paid by both diplomatic and non-diplomatic personnel.

Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:40 AM

Ivoirian regulations on the importation of firearms and ammunition are undergoing revision with no end in sight. Indications are that one would be allowed to import firearms and ammunition, but the paperwork could outweigh any benefits. Ranges and hunting clubs are virtually non-existent.

Personnel who plan to bring firearms or ammunition into Côte d'Ivoire should first obtain a copy of Post's Firearms Policy. Personnel MAY NOT ship/bring firearms and/or ammunition into the country without first obtaining written Chief of Mission concurrence. Requests should be directed through the Regional Security Officer (RSO) at least 90 days prior to their scheduled arrival at post. Requests must include justification as to why they wish to possess a firearm at post, as well as where/how the firearm will be stored/secured. Included in the letter of request, personnel must certify that applicable U.S. laws regarding possession, shipment, or transporting of firearms do NOT prohibit them. Personnel must also include descriptive firearm identification information, such as make, model, and serial number of each weapon. Personnel will need to provide the RSO with documentation from a recognized and accredited training institution certifying their competence in handling firearms. This certification should indicate that the employee has successfully completed a firearms safety course and qualified on a firearms qualifications course. After obtaining Chief of Mission's signed authorization, the employee, upon arrival at post, will submit a request for a firearms permit through the Embassy to the Ministry of Security with the following documentation:

4 x ID photographs Request form (via Diplomatic Note) Identification Form issued from the Minister of Security Photocopy of the Diplomatic Card Photocopy of the first three pages of diplomatic passport Photocopy of the accreditation letter

It is the responsibility of the employee to provide the above information in a timely manner. The employee will be briefed by the RSO on safety guidelines for firearms and will be required to sign an "Employee Certification" form, which will be kept on file in the RSO's office.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:40 AM

Côte d'Ivoire is part of the franc zone. The CFA franc, the official currency of Côte d'Ivoire, is the currency of the Communaute Financiere Africaine, a financial grouping of the Francophone African countries. The average exchange rate in April 2004 was 546 CFA to US $1.

The metric system is used for all weights and measures.

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:41 AM

Restrictions. All persons employing domestic help are expected to register themselves as employers and make quarterly social security payments for their household help. American employees are not subject to local taxation, except for indirect taxes on imported items and restaurant meals. For information on automobiles, see the section on Transportation-Automobiles. Permission to sell personal property is granted only toward the end of an employee's tour. Sales are permitted first to the Mission's American personnel, next to members of the diplomatic community entitled to free entry, and third to others after regularization of duties and taxes. The Management Counselor should be consulted in advance on all sale arrangements.

Facilities. Establish a checking account in the U.S. before coming to post in order to facilitate paying U.S. dollar accounts. U.S. dollars are sometimes available. The Embassy's cashier will convert U.S. Treasury checks and personal dollar checks drawn on U.S. banks into CFA francs. The cashier's window is open every workday from 09:00-12:15 and 13:45-15:00. Third party checks are not accepted.

At time of departure from post, excess CFA francs can be converted to U.S. dollars and /transferred electronically to members' stateside bank, subject to compliance with personal property disposal regulations.

Recommended Reading Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:43 AM

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

General Africa South of the Sahara. London: Europa Publications Ltd., published annually. See country survey on Côte d'Ivoire and also sections on background to the continent and regional organizations.

Berthelemy, Jean-Claude and Francois Bourguignon. Growth and Crisis in Côte d'Ivoire (World Bank Comparative Macroeconomic Studies). World Bank Press, 1996.

Boahen, Adu, with Ajayi, Jacob F. Ade and Tidy, Michael. Topics in West African History. White Plains, NY: Longman, 1986.

Campbell, W. Joseph. The Emergent Independent Press in Benin and Côte d'Ivoire: From Voice of the State to Advocate of Democracy. Praeger Publishing, 1998.

Chipman, John. French Power in Africa. Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1989.

Clark, John F. and David E. Gardiner, editors. Political Reform in Francophone Africa. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997.

Clarke, Peter B. West Africa and Islam. Baltimore: Edward Arnold, 1982.

Cohen, William. The French Encounter with Africans: White Responses to Blacks. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980.

Copson, Raymond W. Africa's Wars and Prospects for Peace. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 1994.

Gottlieb, Alma and Philip Graham. Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1993.

Grootaert, Christiaan, et al. Analyzing Poverty and Policy Reform: The Experience of Côte d'Ivoire. Avebury, 1996.

Guerry, Vincent. Life With The Baoule. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1975.

Handloff, Robert E., editor. Côte d'Ivoire: A Country Study. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991.

Harrison, Christopher. France and Islam in West Africa, 1860-1960. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Hiskett, Mervyn. The Development of Islam in West Africa. White Plains, NY: Longman, 1984.

Hudson, Peter. Leaf in the Wind: Travels in Africa. New York: Walker and Company, 1989.

Kummer, Patricia K. Côte d'Ivoire: Enchantment of the World (For school children ages 9-12). Children's Press, 1996.

Launay, Robert. Beyond the Stream: Islam and Society in a West African Town. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.

McNamara, Francis Terry. France in Black Africa. Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press, 1989.

Mundt, Robert J. Historical Dictionary of Côte d'Ivoire (African Historical Dictionaries, No. 41). 1995.

Naipaul, V.S. "The Crocodiles of Yamoussoukro" in Finding the Center. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.

Newton, Alex. "Côte d'Ivoire" in The Lonely Planet West Africa. Fifth Edition. Fitzpatrick, Mary: Lonely Planet Publications, 2002.

Rapley, John. Ivoirien Capitalism: African Entrepreneurs in Côte d'Ivoire. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publications, 1993.

Reader, John. Africa: A Biography of the Continent. New York: Knopf, 1998.

Spindel, Carol. In the Shadow of the Sacred Grove. New York: Vintage Books, 1989.

Steiner, Christopher Burghard. African Art in Transit. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Vogel, Susan M. Baule: African Art Western Eyes. Yale University Press, 1997 . Zartman, I. William, editor. Governance as Conflict Management: Politics and Violence in West Africa, (especially Chapter 3 by Tessy D. Bakary). Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1997.

In French Contamin, Bernard, and Harris Memel-Fortˆ, editors. Le Modéle Ivorien en Questions. Paris: Editions Karthala, 1997.

Gbagbo, Laurent. Côte d'Ivoire: Agir pour les libertés. Paris: L'Harmattan, 1991.

Richelieu, A. Mitterand. Les Francais en' Afriqúe Noire. Paris: Armand Colifi, 1987. In addition, brief treatments are available in the Department of State Background Notes series ( The unclassified Country Commercial Guide for Côte d'Ivoire, submitted annually by the Foreign and Commercial Service through the Embassy, provides a current appraisal of general economic conditions and commercial prospects.

Web sites:

Local Holidays Last Updated: 6/21/2004 7:49 AM

The following local holidays are observed by the Embassy in addition to traditional American holidays. New personnel and visitors should avoid arriving on these days, since most public institutions and shops are closed. Some dates vary; those indicated below are for 2004. New Year's Day January 1 Tabaski February Easter Monday April 12 Labor Day May 1 Ascension Day May 20 Pentecost May 31 Independence Day August 7 All Saints Day November 1 Night of Destiny November (TBA) National Peace Day November 15 End of Ramadan November (TBA) Christmas Day December 25

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
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