From Academic Kids

Côte d'Ivoire (the Ivory Coast) is a sub-Saharan nation in southern West Africa located at 8 00°N, 5 00°W. The country is shaped like a square and borders the Gulf of Guinea in the north Atlantic Ocean to the south (515km of coastline) and five other African nations on the other three sides, with a total of 3,110km of borders: Liberia to the southwest (716km), Guinea to the northwest (610km), Mali to the north-northeast (532km), and Ghana to the east (668km). In total, Côte d'Ivoire comprises 322,460km², of which 318,000km² is land and 4,460km² is water, which makes the country slightly larger than the U.S. state of New Mexico and about the size of Germany.

Côte d'Ivoire's terrain can generally be described as a large plateau rising gradually from sea level in the south to almost 500m elevation in the north. The nation's natural resources have made it into a comparatively prosperous nation in Africa's economy. Côte d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer of cocoa, a major national cash crop; coffee is also grown.

The southeastern region of Côte d'Ivoire is marked by coastal inland lagoons that starts at the Ghanaian border and stretch 300km (190 miles) along the eastern half of the coast. The southern region, especially the southwest, is densely forested and moist, and is categorized as eastern Guinean forest. The northern region is a savanna-and-scrubland zone of lateritic or sandy soils, with vegetation decreasing from south to north within the region, categorized as Guinean montane forest. The terrain is mostly flat to undulating plains, with mountains in the northwest. The lowest elevation in Côte d'Ivoire is at sea level on the coasts. The highest elevation is Mont Nimba, at 1,752m in the far west of the country along the border with Guinea and Liberia.

Côte d'Ivoire's also has a large timber industry to due its large forest coverage. The nation's hardwood exports match that of Brazil. In recent years there has been much concern about the rapid rate of deforestation. Rainforests are being destroyed at a rate sometimes cited as the highest in the world. The only forest left completely untouched in Côte d'Ivoire is Taï National Park (Parc National de Taï), a 3600km² (1400 square mile) area in the country's far southwest that is home to over 150 endemic species and many other endangered species such as the Pygmy Hippopotamus and 11 species of monkeys.

The climate of Côte d'Ivoire is generally warm and humid, ranging from equatorial in the southern coasts to tropical in the middle and semiarid in the far north. There are three seasons: warm and dry (November to March), hot and dry (March to May), and hot and wet (June to October). Temperatures average between 25°C and 30°C and range from 10°C to 40°C.

Côte d'Ivoire makes maritime claims of 200 nautical miles as an exclusive economic zone, 12 nautical miles of territorial sea, and a 200-nautical mile continental shelf.

Other natural resources include petroleum, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, and hydropower. Natural hazards include the heavy surf and the lack of natural harbors on the coast; during the rainy season torrential flooding is a danger.

Côte d'Ivoire is party to these treaties: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, and Wetlands.


  • "Cote d'Ivoire." CIA World Factbook. November 2, 2004. [1] (

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