About Abidjan

Located in the Western part of the African continent and in the Intertropical Zone, Côte d’Ivoire has a surface area of 322,462 Km². It is bound to the south by the Atlantic Ocean, to the east by Ghana, to the north by Burkina Faso and Mali, and to the west by Guinea and Liberia. Yamoussoukro has been the country’s political capital since 1983 and Abidjan, the economic capital. In addition to Abidjan and Yamoussoukro, the country’s other main towns are: Bouake, its second largest town; San Pedro where the country’s second port is located; Daloa, Korhogo, Man and Abengourou.

French is the country’s official language. The other languages spoken are Baoule, Malinke-Dioula, Senoufo, Dan, Agni, Bete, Attie and Guere.

With an average annual growth rate of 3.3 %, the total population was estimated at 21.4 million inhabitants in 2009, three million of whom were immigrant workers who had settled in the country with their families, mainly from the countries of the sub-region. This population, which ten years ago was mainly rural (57.2% in 1999), was in 2009 evenly distributed between rural areas (50.2%) and the urban centres (49.8%).

Côte d’Ivoire is divided into four agro-climatic zones:

  1. The Tropical Transition Zone, characterised by a single rainy season from April to October with 950 to 1,700 mm/year;
  2. The Equatorial Transition Zone 1 with two rainy seasons from March to June and from September to October with a total of 950 to 1 600 mm/year;
  3. The Equatorial Transition  Zone 2, also with two rainy seasons from April to July, the most abundant, and from September to November, irregular, with 1,300 to 2,400 mm/year;
  4. the mountainous zone, characterised by one long rainy season from March to October, with 1,500 to 2,200 mm/year.

A country of layered plateaus, with steep rises, sometimes forming escarpments, Côte d’Ivoire is mainly flat. This plateau landscape with a ferruginous crust, is gently broken by chains of hills.

Côte d’Ivoire has several assets which make it the best West African venue for conferences and seminars:

  • considerable tourism infrastructure;
  • world-class hotel infrastructure;
  • an ultra-modern communication network with one of the best road networks in the sub-region (68 000 km with 6 000 km of asphalt roads), 638 km of railway from the north to the south of the country;
  • two main ports (Abidjan and San Pedro);
  • a major air network with the biggest and most modern airport in the sub-region (Abidjan Felix-Houphouet-Boigny International Airport);
  • telecommunications (fixed telephony, mobile telephony, radio, television, fax, telex, internet) covering most of the country’s large urban centres;
  • simultaneous translation equipment into several languages; and
  • state-of-the-art health-care facilities.
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