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Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is a developing country on the western coast of Africa. The official capital is Yamoussoukro, but Abidjan is the largest city, the main commercial center, and where the Ivorian government and the U.S. Embassy are located. Cote d'Ivoire is a republic whose constitution provides for separate branches of government under a strong president.
Tourist facilities in and near Abidjan, the commercial capital, are good; accommodations in many other locations are limited in quality and availability. Read the Department of State
Background Notes on Cote d’Ivoire for additional information.

Cote d'Ivoire

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Image of Cote d'Ivoire
Country Name: Cote d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast
Continent: Africa
Capital City: Yamoussoukro
Boundary Countries:

Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Clinique Goci, Clinique Medicale le Grand Centre, Groupe Medicale due Plateau, La Providence, Polyclinique Avicennes, Polyclinique des II Plateaux, Polyclinique International Saint-Anne Marie, Polyclinique Internationale de L'Indenie, Polyclinique Internationale Hotel Dieu Abidjan, Polyclinique La Madone

Main Cities:


Country Size: 322,460 sq km
Population: 17,654,843



French (official), 60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine Franc (XOF); note- responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States
Predominant Religions:

Muslim 35%-40%, indigenous 25%-40%, Christian 20%-30%

National Holidays: Independence Day, 7 August (1960)
Economic Status:

Cote d'Ivoire has been unstable since the coup in 1999, and territorially divided since 2002. Political instability has contributed to economic stagnation and high unemployment, exacerbating social tensions and creating the potential for unrest and civil disorder.


Cote d'Ivoire Defense and Security Forces (FDSC):  Army, Navy, Air Force

US Presence:
U.S. Embassy in Abidjan
Cocody Riviéra Golf,
01 BP 1712 Abidjan 01,
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Phone: (+225) 22-49-40-00
Document Requirements:

As of February 15, 2009, the Ivorian Government requires U.S. citizens to have a valid visa for entry into Cote d'Ivoire, as well as a passport with more than six months of remaining validity. Americans should be aware that some major airlines and travel agents continue to misadvise travelers due to out-of-date information. U.S. citizens traveling to Cote d'Ivoire should check with the nearest Ivorian Embassy or Consulate for details regarding the latest visa procedures and fees. Please note that visas are not available at the airport upon arrival and that airport immigration control officials in Abidjan have both detained and denied entry to Americans arriving in Cote d’Ivoire without a visa.

In addition to visa and passport requirements, an international health certificate showing current yellow fever immunization is required for entry into Cote d’Ivoire. Without it, the traveler may be required to submit to vaccination at entry before clearing immigration, at a cost of 5,000 CFA (a little over $10). 

Foreign travelers are sometimes approached at ports of entry by individuals with offers to expedite passport control and customs, and are then asked to pay an exorbitant fee, both for the service and for the passport and customs officers. Travelers to Cote d’Ivoire are advised that there is no need to pay a police officer or customs officer for any service rendered during an arrival or departure, and that they should not surrender their passports or other important documents to anyone except easily identifiable government officials in uniform.

U.S. citizens intending to establish a residence in Cote d’Ivoire must apply for a “carte de séjour” at the Office d’Identification Nationale. (Note: "Cartes de séjour" are not issued to children under the age of 16, who are documented on their parents' visas.) 

Travelers may obtain the latest information and details on entry requirements from the Embassy of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire, 2424 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007, tel. (202) 797-0300. There are honorary consulates for Cote d’Ivoire in San Francisco, Stamford, Orlando, Houston and Detroit. Overseas, travelers should inquire at the nearest Ivorian embassy or consulate.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information Sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports: 35 Airports w/paved runways: 7

Abidjan International Airport (ABJ/DIAP)
Abidjan Airport, Ivory Coast, 07 BP 30, Abidjan, 07, CôTE D’IVOIRE
Tel: +225 (0)
Fax: +225 (0)
Website: www.aeria.ci

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

US Department of State TRAVEL WARNING Updated 4 December 2010. The complete TRAVEL WARNING is available online at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_915.html.

The Department of State recommends that US citizens avoid any travel to Cote d’Ivoire at this time. Airport, land and maritime borders were closed amid rising tension in the aftermath of the second round of Presidential elections. US citizens currently in Cote d’Ivoire are advised to limit their movements and exercise extreme caution. This replaces the Travel Warning for Cote d’Ivoire dated December 3, 2010, to advise US citizens against travel to Cote d’Ivoire.

Cote d'Ivoire has been a divided country since a 2002 failed coup attempt evolved into an armed rebellion that split the country in two. Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and New Forces leader Guillaume Soro signed the Ouagadougou Political Agreement (OPA) in March 2007, and a new government was formed with Soro as Prime Minister (PM).

On November 28, Cote d’Ivoire held round two of its Presidential election. During the elections, the government implemented and enforced a curfew. Several people were killed in election-related violence and tensions are currently high. Demonstrations are very likely, and the possibility that these can turn violent cannot be ruled out.

US citizens should stay current on media coverage of local events, and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Because of the increased probability of political unrest and potential violence, it is especially important for US citizens residing in Cote d'Ivoire to maintain situational awareness and limit their movements. The United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) currently operates a peacekeeping mission, and France maintains the Force Licorne in Cote d'Ivoire in support of UNOCI.

Security conditions within the country, and particularly in the north and in the west, can deteriorate quickly and without warning. Embassy personnel traveling to western Cote d'Ivoire are often required to use security escorts provided by the United Nations. US citizens planning travel to Cote d'Ivoire should consult the Embassy or their host organization(s) for the most recent security assessment of the areas where they plan to travel. Crimes such as mugging, robbery, burglary, and carjacking pose high risks for foreign visitors in Abidjan. Visitors should be careful when stopped in heavy traffic or at roadblocks due to the threat of violent robbery, and should avoid travel outside of the city after dark. When land routes to neighboring countries are open, overland travel to Liberia and Guinea is strongly discouraged, and caution is urged when crossing into Mali, Burkina Faso, and Ghana.

The US Embassy in Abidjan, previously a partially unaccompanied post, allowed minor dependents to return to post as of June 2009 because of the improving situation at that time. However, Embassy personnel and dependents are required to adhere to strict security policies and procedures. Embassy employees are instructed to be cautious when traveling within Abidjan and not to travel outside of the city at night. Private US citizens are urged to follow the same guidelines. Embassy personnel must obtain prior approval before traveling more than 35 kilometers outside Abidjan. Some requests may be denied, or multi-vehicle convoys may be required for security reasons. Because of the potential for violent eruptions and the potential need to shelter in place or leave affected areas, US citizen residents in Cote d'Ivoire should maintain several days' supply of cooking fuel, food, and water at home, and ensure that their vehicles remain fully fueled at all times.

The US Embassy is located in the Riviera Golf neighborhood of the Cocody section of Abidjan. The Embassy may close to the public temporarily from time to time in response to security developments. US citizens who remain in, or travel to, Cote d'Ivoire despite this Travel Warning should consult the Department of State's latest Country Specific Information for Cote d'Ivoire and the Worldwide Caution. US citizens should sign up with the Embassy by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) on-line at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/, or by calling (225) 22-49-40-00, or faxing (225) 22-49-42-02. US citizens in Cote d'Ivoire who need emergency assistance should contact the Embassy at (225) 22-49-40-00. US citizens may also contact the Consular Section for assistance by writing to AbjAmcit@state.gov.

Current information on safety and security may also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00a to 8:00p Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except US federal holidays).

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  89.11 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 48.82 years  (male 46.24/female 51.48)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: Yellow Fever certificate
Recommended: Hep A & B, Malaria, Typhoid, Meningitis, Rabies
Booster: DPT, MMR, poliovirus

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis (river blindness) are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Endemic foci of river blindness exist. The risk for contracting African sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis), which is caused by the bite of an infected tsetse fly, is high. A number of rickettsial infections also occur in this region. Wearing protective clothing and avoiding rural areas or areas of dense vegetation along streams, is the best protection. Plague occurs sporadically or in outbreaks. Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, can be contracted in fresh water in this region.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Abidjan has privately-run medical and dental facilities that are adequate but do not fully meet US standards. Good physician specialists can be found, though few speak English. While pharmacies are well stocked with medications produced in Europe, newer drugs may not be available. Medical care in Cote d'Ivoire outside of Abidjan is extremely limited.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 0
Referrals: 0
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Abidjan has privately-run medical and dental facilities that are adequate but do not fully meet US standards. Good physician specialists can be found, though few speak English. While pharmacies are well stocked with medications produced in Europe, newer drugs may not be available. Medical care in Cote d'Ivoire outside of Abidjan is extremely limited.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +225
Internet Country Code:  .ci


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