Home

Liberia vs. Cote d'Ivoire

Introduction

LiberiaCote d'Ivoire
BackgroundSettlement of freed slaves from the US in what is today Liberia began in 1822; by 1847, the Americo-Liberians were able to establish a republic. William TUBMAN, president from 1944-71, did much to promote foreign investment and to bridge the economic, social, and political gaps between the descendants of the original settlers and the inhabitants of the interior. In 1980, a military coup led by Samuel DOE ushered in a decade of authoritarian rule. In December 1989, Charles TAYLOR launched a rebellion against DOE's regime that led to a prolonged civil war in which DOE was killed. A period of relative peace in 1997 allowed for an election that brought TAYLOR to power, but major fighting resumed in 2000. An August 2003 peace agreement ended the war and prompted the resignation of former president Charles TAYLOR, who was convicted by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague for his involvement in Sierra Leone's civil war. After two years of rule by a transitional government, democratic elections in late 2005 brought President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF to power. She subsequently won reelection in 2011 and remains challenged to rebuild Liberia's economy, particularly following the 2014-15 Ebola epidemic, and to reconcile a nation still recovering from 14 years of fighting. The UN Security Council in September 2015 passed Resolution 2239, which renewed the mandate for the UN Mission in Liberia for another year. In July 2016, the UN handed over peacekeeping responsibility to Liberia and reduced the UN troop presence, which now serves a support role. Liberia is scheduled to hold presidential and legislative elections in October 2017. Constitutional term limits bar
Close ties to France following independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment all made Cote d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the West African states but did not protect it from political turmoil. In December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Cote d'Ivoire's history - overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert GUEI blatantly rigged elections held in late 2000 and declared himself the winner. Popular protest forced him to step aside and an election brought Laurent GBAGBO into power. Ivoirian dissidents and disaffected members of the military launched a failed coup attempt in September 2002 that developed into a rebellion and then a civil war. In 2003, a cease-fire resulted in the country being divided with the rebels holding the north, the government the south, and peacekeeping forces a buffer zone between the two. In March 2007, President GBAGBO and former New Forces rebel leader Guillaume SORO signed an agreement in which SORO joined GBAGBO's government as prime minister and the two agreed to reunite the country by dismantling the buffer zone, integrating rebel forces into the national armed forces, and holding elections. Difficulties in preparing electoral registers delayed balloting until 2010. In November 2010, Alassane Dramane OUATTARA won the presidential election over GBAGBO, but GBAGBO refused to hand over power, resulting in a five-month resumption of violent conflict. In April 2011, after widespread fighting, GBAGBO was formally forced from office by armed OUATTARA supporters with the help of UN and French forces. The UN peacekeeping mission is drawing down and is scheduled to depart in June 2017. OUATTARA is focused on rebuilding the country's economy and infrastructure while rebuilding the security forces. GBAGBO is in The Hague on trial for crimes against humanity.

Geography

LiberiaCote d'Ivoire
LocationWestern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia
Geographic coordinates6 30 N, 9 30 W
8 00 N, 5 00 W
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 111,369 sq km
land: 96,320 sq km
water: 15,049 sq km
total: 322,463 sq km
land: 318,003 sq km
water: 4,460 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than Tennessee
slightly larger than New Mexico
Land boundariestotal: 1,667 km
border countries (3): Guinea 590 km, Cote d'Ivoire 778 km, Sierra Leone 299 km
total: 3,458 km
border countries (5): Burkina Faso 545 km, Ghana 720 km, Guinea 816 km, Liberia 778 km, Mali 599 km
Coastline579 km
515 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climatetropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers
tropical along coast, semiarid in far north; three seasons - warm and dry (November to March), hot and dry (March to May), hot and wet (June to October)
Terrainmostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast
mostly flat to undulating plains; mountains in northwest
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 243 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Wuteve 1,380 m
mean elevation: 250 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Gulf of Guinea 0 m
highest point: Monts Nimba 1,752 m
Natural resourcesiron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower
petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 28.1%
arable land 5.2%; permanent crops 2.1%; permanent pasture 20.8%
forest: 44.6%
other: 27.3% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 64.8%
arable land 9.1%; permanent crops 14.2%; permanent pasture 41.5%
forest: 32.7%
other: 2.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land30 sq km (2012)
730 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsdust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)
coast has heavy surf and no natural harbors; during the rainy season torrential flooding is possible
Environment - current issuestropical rain forest deforestation; soil erosion; loss of biodiversity; pollution of coastal waters from oil residue and raw sewage
deforestation (most of the country's forests - once the largest in West Africa - have been heavily logged); water pollution from sewage and industrial and agricultural effluents
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notefacing the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and river-deposited sandbars; the inland grassy plateau supports limited agriculture
most of the inhabitants live along the sandy coastal region; apart from the capital area, the forested interior is sparsely populated

Demographics

LiberiaCote d'Ivoire
Population4,299,944 (July 2016 est.)
23,740,424
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 42.3% (male 917,354/female 901,627)
15-24 years: 18.9% (male 400,013/female 412,869)
25-54 years: 31.32% (male 669,630/female 677,321)
55-64 years: 4.3% (male 89,264/female 95,519)
65 years and over: 3.17% (male 66,658/female 69,689) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 37.45% (male 4,483,215/female 4,407,595)
15-24 years: 20.93% (male 2,504,188/female 2,463,970)
25-54 years: 34.05% (male 4,133,975/female 3,950,734)
55-64 years: 4.15% (male 493,722/female 491,230)
65 years and over: 3.42% (male 389,551/female 422,244) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 18.3 years
male: 18.1 years
female: 18.5 years (2016 est.)
total: 20.7 years
male: 20.8 years
female: 20.6 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.44% (2016 est.)
1.88% (2016 est.)
Birth rate33.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
28.2 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate9.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
9.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 65.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 69.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 61.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 57.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 63.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 51.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 59 years
male: 57.3 years
female: 60.8 years (2016 est.)
total population: 58.7 years
male: 57.5 years
female: 59.9 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate4.6 children born/woman (2016 est.)
3.46 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.09% (2015 est.)
3.17% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Liberian(s)
adjective: Liberian
noun: Ivoirian(s)
adjective: Ivoirian
Ethnic groupsKpelle 20.3%, Bassa 13.4%, Grebo 10%, Gio 8%, Mano 7.9%, Kru 6%, Lorma 5.1%, Kissi 4.8%, Gola 4.4%, other 20.1% (2008 Census)
Akan 28.8%, Voltaique or Gur 16.1%, Northern Mande 14.5%, Kru 8.5%, Southern Mande 6.9%, unspecified 0.9%, non-Ivoirian 42.3% (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS30,200 (2015 est.)
464,700 (2015 est.)
ReligionsChristian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.4% (2008 Census)
Muslim 42.9%, Catholic 17.2%, Evangelical 11.8%, Methodist 1.7%, other Christian 3.2%, animist 3.6%, other religion 0.5%, none 19.1%
note: the majority of foreign migrant workers are Muslim (72.7%) and Christian (17.7%) (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths1,900 (2015 est.)
25,100 (2015 est.)
LanguagesEnglish 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages few of which can be written or used in correspondence
French (official), 60 native dialects of which Dioula is the most widely spoken
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47.6%
male: 62.4%
female: 32.8% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 43.1%
male: 53.1%
female: 32.5% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis (2016)
Education expenditures2.8% of GDP (2012)
4.7% of GDP (2014)
Urbanizationurban population: 49.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.36% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 54.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.69% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 88.6% of population
rural: 62.6% of population
total: 75.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 11.4% of population
rural: 37.4% of population
total: 24.4% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 93.1% of population
rural: 68.8% of population
total: 81.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 6.9% of population
rural: 31.2% of population
total: 18.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 28% of population
rural: 5.9% of population
total: 16.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 72% of population
rural: 94.1% of population
total: 83.1% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 32.8% of population
rural: 10.3% of population
total: 22.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 67.2% of population
rural: 89.7% of population
total: 77.5% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationMONROVIA (capital) 1.264 million (2015)
YAMOUSSOUKRO (capital) 259,000 (2014); ABIDJAN (seat of government) 4.86 million; Bouake 762,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate725 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
645 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight15.3% (2013)
15.7% (2012)
Health expenditures10% of GDP (2014)
5.7% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.01 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
0.14 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
Hospital bed density0.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)
0.4 beds/1,000 population (2006)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate5.8% (2014)
8% (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 177,160
percentage: 21% (2007 est.)
total number: 1,796,802
percentage: 35% (2006 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth19.2 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2013 est.)
19.8 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011/12 est.)
Demographic profileLiberia’s high fertility rate of nearly 5 children per woman and large youth cohort – more than 60% of the population is under the age of 25 – will sustain a high dependency ratio for many years to come. Significant progress has been made in preventing child deaths, despite a lack of health care workers and infrastructure. Infant and child mortality have dropped nearly 70% since 1990; the annual reduction rate of about 5.4% is the highest in Africa.
Nevertheless, Liberia’s high maternal mortality rate remains among the world’s worst; it reflects a high unmet need for family planning services, frequency of early childbearing, lack of quality obstetric care, high adolescent fertility, and a low proportion of births attended by a medical professional. Female mortality is also increased by the prevalence of female genital cutting (FGC), which is practiced by 10 of Liberia’s 16 tribes and affects more than two-thirds of women and girls. FGC is an initiation ritual performed in rural bush schools, which teach traditional beliefs on marriage and motherhood and are an obstacle to formal classroom education for Liberian girls.
Liberia has been both a source and a destination for refugees. During Liberia’s 14-year civil war (1989-2003), more than 250,000 people became refugees and another half million were internally displaced. Between 2004 and the cessation of refugee status for Liberians in June 2012, the UNHCR helped more than 155,000 Liberians to voluntarily repatriate, while others returned home on their own. Some Liberian refugees spent more than two decades living in other West African countries. Liberia hosted more than 125,000 Ivoirian refugees escaping post-election violence in 2010-11; as of mid-2017, about 15,000 Ivoirian refugees were still living in Liberia because of instability.
Cote d’Ivoire’s population is likely to continue growing for the foreseeable future because almost 60% of the populace is younger than 25, the total fertility rate is holding steady at about 3.5 children per woman, and contraceptive use is under 20%. The country will need to improve education, health care, and gender equality in order to turn its large and growing youth cohort into human capital. Even prior to 2010 unrest that shuttered schools for months, access to education was poor, especially for women. As of 2015, only 53% of men and 33% of women were literate. The lack of educational attainment contributes to Cote d’Ivoire’s high rates of unskilled labor, adolescent pregnancy, and HIV/AIDS prevalence.
Following its independence in 1960, Cote d’Ivoire’s stability and the blossoming of its labor-intensive cocoa and coffee industries in the southwest made it an attractive destination for migrants from other parts of the country and its neighbors, particularly Burkina Faso. The HOUPHOUET-BOIGNY administration continued the French colonial policy of encouraging labor immigration by offering liberal land ownership laws. Foreigners from West Africa, Europe (mainly France), and Lebanon composed about 25% of the population by 1998.
Ongoing economic decline since the 1980s and the power struggle after HOUPHOUET-BOIGNY’s death in 1993 ushered in the politics of “Ivoirite,” institutionalizing an Ivoirian identity that further marginalized northern Ivoirians and scapegoated immigrants. The hostile Muslim north-Christian south divide snowballed into a 2002 civil war, pushing tens of thousands of foreign migrants, Liberian refugees, and Ivoirians to flee to war-torn Liberia or other regional countries and more than a million people to be internally displaced. Subsequently, violence following the contested 2010 presidential election prompted some 250,000 people to seek refuge in Liberia and other neighboring countries and again internally displaced as many as a million people. By July 2012, the majority had returned home, but ongoing inter-communal tension and armed conflict continue to force people from their homes.
Contraceptive prevalence rate20.2% (2013)
18.2% (2011/12)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 82.9
youth dependency ratio: 77.4
elderly dependency ratio: 5.5
potential support ratio: 18.2 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 83.5
youth dependency ratio: 77.9
elderly dependency ratio: 5.6
potential support ratio: 18 (2015 est.)

Government

LiberiaCote d'Ivoire
Country name"conventional long form: Republic of Liberia
conventional short form: Liberia
etymology: name derives from the Latin word ""liber"" meaning ""free""; so named because the nation was created as a homeland for liberated African-American slaves
"
conventional long form: Republic of Cote d'Ivoire
conventional short form: Cote d'Ivoire
local long form: Republique de Cote d'Ivoire
local short form: Cote d'Ivoire
note: pronounced coat-div-whar
former: Ivory Coast
etymology: name reflects the intense ivory trade that took place in the region from the 15th to 17th centuries
Government typepresidential republic
presidential republic
Capitalname: Monrovia
geographic coordinates: 6 18 N, 10 48 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Yamoussoukro; note - although Yamoussoukro has been the official capital since 1983, Abidjan remains the commercial and administrative center; the US, like other countries, maintains its Embassy in Abidjan
geographic coordinates: 6 49 N, 5 16 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions15 counties; Bomi, Bong, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Montserrado, Nimba, River Cess, River Gee, Sinoe
12 districts and 2 autonomous districts*; Abidjan*, Bas-Sassandra, Comoe, Denguele, Goh-Djiboua, Lacs, Lagunes, Montagnes, Sassandra-Marahoue, Savanes, Vallee du Bandama, Woroba, Yamoussoukro*, Zanzan
Independence26 July 1847
7 August 1960 (from France)
National holidayIndependence Day, 26 July (1847)
Independence Day, 7 August (1960)
Constitutionprevious 1847 (at independence); latest drafted 19 October 1983, revised version adopted by referendum 3 July 1984, effective 6 January 1986; amended 2011; note - a series of amendment proposals approved by the Constitution Review Conference in early 2015 are pending government review (2016)
previous 1960, 2000; latest draft completed 24 September 2016,approved by the National Assembly 11 October 2016, approved by referendum 30 October 2016, promulgated 8 November 2016 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of common law (based on Anglo-American law) and customary law
civil law system based on the French civil code; judicial review of legislation held in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (since 16 January 2006); Vice President Joseph BOAKAI (since 16 January 2006); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (since 16 January 2006); Vice President Joseph BOAKAI (since 16 January 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president, confirmed by the Senate
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 6-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 October and 8 November 2011 (next to be held on 10 October 2017)
election results: Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF reelected president; percent of vote in second round - Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (UP) 90.7%, Winston TUBMAN (NDPL) 9.3%
chief of state: President Alassane Dramane OUATTARA (since 4 December 2010); Vice President Daniel Kablan DUNCAN (since 16 January 2017); note - the constitution of 2016 calls for the position of a vice-president
head of government: Prime Minister Amadou Gon COULIBALY (since 11 January 2017)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 25 October 2015 (next to be held in 2020); prime minister appointed by the president; note - the new constitution limits the presidential tenure to two terms beginning with the 2020 election; the vice president is named by the president
election results: Alassane OUATTARA elected president; percent of vote - Alassane OUATTARA (RDR) 83.7%, Pascal Affi N'GUESSAN (ADF) 9.3%, Konan Bertin KOUADIO (independent) 3.9%, other 3.1%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (30 seats; members directly elected in 15 two-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 9-year staggered terms with half the membership renewed at 3- and 6-year intervals; eligible for a second term; and the House of Representatives (73 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms; eligible for a second term)
elections: Senate - last held on 20 December 2014 (originally scheduled for 14 October 2014, but postponed due to Ebola-virus epidemic; next to be held in fall 2020); House of Representatives - last held on 11 October 2011 (next to be held on 10 October 2017)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - CDC 29.8%, LP 11.5%, NPP 6.1%, PUP 4.9%, NDC 1.3%, other parties 11.8%, independent 24.3%; seats by party - UP 4, CDC 2, LP 2, ANC 1, NDC 1, NPP 1, PUP 1, independent 3; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - UP 17.8%, CDC 12.8%, LP 9.2%, NDC 5.7%, LTP 4.5%, PUP 3.9%, NPP 3.3%, MPC 2.4%, LDP 1.0%, NRP 0.8%, other parties 16.8% independent 19.7% ; seats by party - UP 24, CDC 11, LP 7, PUP 6, NDC 5, APD 3, NPP 3, MPC 2, LDP 1, LTP 1, NRP 1, independent 9
description: unicameral Parliament consists of the National Assembly (255 seats; members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms); note - the new constitution of November 2016 calls for a bicameral legislature with the addition of a Senate, with one-third of members appointed by the president
elections: last held on 18 December 2011 (next to be held on December 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party - RHDP 50.3%, FPI 5.8%, UDPCI 3.0%, UPCI 1.0%, independents 38.5%, other 1.39%; seats by party - RHDP 167, FPI 3, UDPCI 6, UPCI 3, independents 76
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of a chief justice and 4 associate justices); note - the Supreme Court has jurisdiction for all constitutional cases
judge selection and term of office: chief justice and associate justices appointed by the president of Liberia with consent of the Senate; judges can serve until age 70
subordinate courts: judicial circuit courts; special courts including criminal, civil, labor, traffic; magistrate and traditional or customary courts
"highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (organized into Judicial, Audit, Constitutional, and Administrative Chambers; consists of the court president, 3 vice-presidents for the Judicial, Audit, and Administrative chambers, and 9 associate justices or magistrates)
judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the Superior Council of the Magistrature, a 7-member body consisting of the national president (chairman), 3 ""bench"" judges, and 3 public prosecutors; judges appointed for life
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (organized into civil, criminal, and social chambers); first instance courts; peace courts
"
Political parties and leadersAlliance for Peace and Democracy or APD [Marcus S. G. DAHN]
Alternative National Congress or ANC [Orishil GOULD]
Congress for Democratic Change or CDC [George WEAH]
Liberia Destiny Party or LDP [Nathaniel BARNES]
Liberia Transformation Party or LTP [Julius SUKU]
Liberty Party or LP [J. Fonati KOFFA]
Movement for Progressive Change or MPC [Simeon FREEMAN]
National Democratic Coalition or NDC [Dew MAYSON]
National Democratic Party of Liberia or NDPL [D. Nyandeh SIEH]
National Patriotic Party or NPP
National Reformist Party or NRP [Maximillian T. W. DIABE]
National Union for Democratic Progress or NUDP [Victor BARNEY]
People's Unification Party [Isobe GBORKORKOLLIE]
Unity Party or UP [Varney SHERMAN]
Democratic Party of Cote d'Ivoire or PDCI [Henri Konan BEDIE]
Ivorian Popular Front or FPI [Pascal Affi N'GUESSAN]
Liberty and Democracy for the Republic or LIDER [Mamadou KOULIBALY]
Movement of the Future Forces or MFA [Innocent Augustin ANAKY KOBENA]
Rally of the Republicans or RDR [Alassane Dramane OUATTARA]
Union for Cote d'Ivoire or UPCI [Gnamien KONA]
Union for Democracy and Peace in Cote d'Ivoire or UDPCI [Albert Toikeuse MABRI]
other: more than 144 smaller registered parties
Political pressure groups and leadersother: demobilized former military officers
Federation of University and High School Students of Cote d'Ivoire or FESCI [Augustin MIAN]
National Congress for the Resistance and Democracy or CNRD [Bernard DADIE]
Panafrican Congress for Justice and Peoples Equality or COJEP [Roselin BLY]
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), Entente, FAO, FZ, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jeff Gongoer DOWANA (since 12 April 2017)
chancery: 5201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 723-0437
FAX: [1] (202) 723-0436
consulate(s) general: New York
chief of mission: Ambassador Daouda DIABATE (since 11 February 2011)
chancery: 2424 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 797-0300
FAX: [1] (202) 462-9444
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Christine A. ELDER (since 23 June 2016)
embassy: U.S. Embassy, 502 Benson Street, Monrovia
mailing address: P.O. Box 98, Monrovia
telephone: [231] 77-677-7000
FAX: [231] 77-677-7370
chief of mission: Charge d'Affaires Andrew Haviland (since 2016); Ambassador Terence Patrick MCCULLEY retired in 2016
embassy: Cocody Riviera Golf 01, Abidjan
mailing address: B. P. 1712, Abidjan 01
telephone: [225] 22 49 40 00
FAX: [225] 22 49 43 23
Flag description11 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; a white five-pointed star appears on a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner; the stripes symbolize the signatories of the Liberian Declaration of Independence; the blue square represents the African mainland, and the star represents the freedom granted to the ex-slaves; according to the constitution, the blue color signifies liberty, justice, and fidelity, the white color purity, cleanliness, and guilelessness, and the red color steadfastness, valor, and fervor
note: the design is based on the US flag
three equal vertical bands of orange (hoist side), white, and green; orange symbolizes the land (savannah) of the north and fertility, white stands for peace and unity, green represents the forests of the south and the hope for a bright future
note: similar to the flag of Ireland, which is longer and has the colors reversed - green (hoist side), white, and orange; also similar to the flag of Italy, which is green (hoist side), white, and red; design was based on the flag of France
National anthem"name: ""All Hail, Liberia Hail!""
lyrics/music: Daniel Bashiel WARNER/Olmstead LUCA
note: lyrics adopted 1847, music adopted 1860; the anthem's author later became the third president of Liberia
"
"name: ""L'Abidjanaise"" (Song of Abidjan)
lyrics/music: Mathieu EKRA, Joachim BONY, and Pierre Marie COTY/Pierre Marie COTY and Pierre Michel PANGO
note: adopted 1960; although the nation's capital city moved from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro in 1983, the anthem still owes its name to the former capital
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)white star; national colors: red, white, blue
elephant; national colors: orange, white, green
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Liberia
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 2 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Cote d'Ivoire
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

LiberiaCote d'Ivoire
Economy - overviewLiberia is a low income country that relies heavily on foreign assistance and remittances from the diaspora. It is richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture. Its principal exports are iron ore, rubber, diamonds, and gold. Palm oil and cocoa are emerging as new export products. The government has attempted to revive raw timber extraction and is encouraging oil exploration.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, civil war and government mismanagement destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially infrastructure in and around the capital. Much of the conflict was fueled by control over Liberia’s natural resources. With the conclusion of fighting and the installation of a democratically elected government in 2006, businesses that had fled the country began to return. The country achieved high growth during 2010-13 due to favorable world prices for its commodities. However, during the 2014-2015 Ebola crisis, the economy declined and many foreign-owned businesses departed, taking capital and expertise with them. The epidemic forced the government to divert scarce resources to combat the spread of the virus, reducing funds available for needed public investment. The cost of addressing the Ebola epidemic coincided with decreased economic activity reducing government revenue, although higher donor support significantly offset this loss. During the same period, global commodities prices for key exports fell and have yet to recover to pre-Ebola levels.

In 2017, gold is expected to be a key driver of growth, as a new mining project begins its first full year of production, and iron ore exports are also expected to improve as Arcelor Mittal opens new mines at Mount Gangra. The completion of the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydroelectric Dam in 2017 will increase electricity production to support ongoing and future economic activity, although electricity tariffs remain high relative to other countries in the region and transmission infrastructure is limited. Scheduled presidential and legislative elections in October 2017 will generate election-related spending pressures. Revitalizing the economy in the future will depend on economic diversification, increasing investment and trade, higher global commodity prices, sustained foreign aid and remittances, development of infrastructure and institutions, combating corruption, and maintaining political stability and security.
Cote d'Ivoire is heavily dependent on agriculture and related activities, which engage roughly two-thirds of the population. Cote d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans and a significant producer and exporter of coffee and palm oil. Consequently, the economy is highly sensitive to fluctuations in international prices for these products and in climatic conditions. Cocoa, oil, and coffee are the country's top export revenue earners, but the country has targeted the agricultural processing of cocoa, cashews, mangoes, and other commodities as a high priority. Mining gold and exporting electricity are growing industries outside agriculture.

Following the end of more than a decade of civil conflict in 2011, Cote d’Ivoire has experienced a boom in foreign investment and economic growth. In June 2012, the IMF and the World Bank announced $4.4 billion in debt relief for Cote d'Ivoire under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. For the last 5 years Cote d'Ivoire's growth rate has been among the highest in the world.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$3.787 billion (2016 est.)
$3.806 billion (2015 est.)
$3.806 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$87.12 billion (2016 est.)
$80.68 billion (2015 est.)
$74.33 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate-0.5% (2016 est.)
0% (2015 est.)
0.7% (2014 est.)
8% (2016 est.)
8.5% (2015 est.)
7.9% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$900 (2016 est.)
$900 (2015 est.)
$900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$3,600 (2016 est.)
$3,400 (2015 est.)
$3,200 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 44.7%
industry: 6.8%
services: 48.5% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 17.6%
industry: 19.5%
services: 62.8% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line54.1% (2014 est.)
46.3% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 30.1% (2007)
lowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 31.8% (2008)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)8.8% (2016 est.)
7.8% (2015 est.)
1.2% (2016 est.)
1.3% (2015 est.)
Labor force1.654 million (2016 est.)
8.543 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 70%
industry: 8%
services: 22% (2000 est.)
agriculture: 68%
industry and services: NA% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate2.8% (2014 est.)
NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index32 (2014)
38.2 (2007)
41.5 (2008)
36.7 (1995)
Budgetrevenues: $560.2 million
expenditures: $600.2 million (2016 est.)
revenues: $6.839 billion
expenditures: $8.17 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesmining (iron ore and gold), rubber processing, palm oil processing, diamonds
foodstuffs, beverages; wood products, oil refining, gold mining, truck and bus assembly, textiles, fertilizer, building materials, electricity
Industrial production growth rate-4.7% (2016 est.)
8.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsrubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber
coffee, cocoa beans, bananas, palm kernels, corn, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), sweet potatoes, sugar, cotton, rubber; timber
Exports$370.4 million (2016 est.)
$499.4 million (2015 est.)
$11.73 billion (2016 est.)
$11.98 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesrubber, timber, iron, diamonds, cocoa, coffee
cocoa, coffee, timber, petroleum, cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, fish
Exports - partnersPoland 32.9%, China 20.7%, India 9.4%, US 5%, Greece 4.6%, France 4.3% (2015)
US 8.6%, Netherlands 6.2%, France 5.7%, Germany 5.6%, Nigeria 5.6%, Burkina Faso 5.5%, Belgium 5.3%, India 4.7%, Ghana 4.4%, Switzerland 4.1% (2015)
Imports$1.885 billion (2016 est.)
$2.541 billion (2015 est.)
$8.966 billion (2016 est.)
$8.609 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; foodstuffs
fuel, capital equipment, foodstuffs
Imports - partnersSingapore 28.8%, China 16%, South Korea 15.3%, Japan 10.3%, Philippines 6.7% (2015)
Nigeria 21.8%, China 14.3%, France 11.3%, Bahamas, The 5% (2015)
Debt - external$501.4 million (30 November 2016 est.)
$383.8 million (30 November 2015 est.)
$12.84 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$11.71 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesLiberian dollars (LRD) per US dollar -
92.33 (2016 est.)
85.3 (2015 est.)
85.3 (2014 est.)
83.893 (2013 est.)
73.52 (2012 est.)
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
604.4 (2016 est.)
591.45 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
510.29 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt36.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
32.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
50.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
49.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$530 million (2016 est.)
-$718 million (2015 est.)
-$774 million (2016 est.)
-$323 million (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$2.112 billion (2016 est.)
$34.65 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$17.01 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$16.56 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$201 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$201 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$NA
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$12.49 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$11.71 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$11.82 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate3.2% (2016)
4.25% (31 December 2010)
4.25% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate13.59% (31 December 2016 est.)
13.61% (31 December 2015 est.)
2.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
2.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$622.4 million (30 November 2016 est.)
$564.3 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$11.19 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$9.812 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$398.4 million (30 November 2016 est.)
$463.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$9.416 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.516 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$609.8 million (30 November 2016 est.)
$685.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$13.92 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$12.55 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues26.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
19.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
-3.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 128.8%
government consumption: 16.7%
investment in fixed capital: 19.5%
investment in inventories: 6.7%
exports of goods and services: 17.5%
imports of goods and services: -89.2% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 66%
government consumption: 15.2%
investment in fixed capital: 16.9%
investment in inventories: 0.8%
exports of goods and services: 43.3%
imports of goods and services: -42.2% (2016 est.)
Gross national savingNA% (2016 est.)
-41% of GDP (2015 est.)
-2.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
16.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
19.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

LiberiaCote d'Ivoire
Electricity - production70.07 million kWh
note: according to a 2014 household survey, only 4.5% of Liberians use Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC)power. 4.9% use a community generator, 4.4% have their own generator, 3.9% use vehicle batteries, and 0.8% use other sources of electricity. 81.3% have no access to electricity. LEC accounts for roughly 70 million kWh of ouput. (2016 est.)
7.9 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption39 million kWh (2016 est.)
5.8 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2016 est.)
900 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2016 est.)
54 million kWh (2012 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
45,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
74,960 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
35,150 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
100 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
28.32 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2013 est.)
1.996 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption0 cu m (2013 est.)
1.996 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity60,000 kW (2016 est.)
1.9 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels63.3% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
60.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants36.7% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
39.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
76,910 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption6,600 bbl/day (2014 est.)
38,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
44,020 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports6,611 bbl/day (2013 est.)
3,369 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy600,000 Mt (2013 est.)
8.995 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 3,900,000
electrification - total population: 10%
electrification - urban areas: 17%
electrification - rural areas: 3% (2013)
population without electricity: 15,000,000
electrification - total population: 26%
electrification - urban areas: 42%
electrification - rural areas: 8% (2013)

Telecommunications

LiberiaCote d'Ivoire
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 9,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 277,248
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 3.652 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 87 (July 2015 est.)
total: 25.408 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 109 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: the limited services available are found almost exclusively in the capital, Monrovia; fixed-line service stagnant and extremely limited; telephone coverage extended to a number of other towns and rural areas by 4 mobile-cellular network operators
domestic: mobile-cellular subscription base growing and teledensity reached 85 per 100 persons in 2015
international: country code - 231; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
general assessment: well-developed by African standards; telecommunications sector privatized in late 1990s and operational fixed lines have increased since that time with 2 fixed-line providers operating over open-wire lines, microwave radio relay, and fiber-optics; 90% digitalized
domestic: with multiple mobile-cellular service providers competing in the market, usage has increased sharply to about 110 per 100 persons
international: country code - 225; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) (2016)
Internet country code.lr
.ci
Internet userstotal: 248,000
percent of population: 5.9% (July 2015 est.)
total: 4.892 million
percent of population: 21% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast media8 private and 1 government-owned TV station; satellite TV service available; 1 state-owned radio station; 19 independent radio stations broadcasting in Monrovia, with another 77 local stations operating in other areas; transmissions of 4 international broadcasters are available (2017)
2 state-owned TV stations; no private terrestrial TV stations, but satellite TV subscription service is available; 2 state-owned radio stations; some private radio stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available (2007)

Transportation

LiberiaCote d'Ivoire
Railwaystotal: 429 km
standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 84 km 1.067-m gauge
note: most sections of the railways inoperable due to damage sustained during the civil wars from 1980 to 2003, but many are being rebuilt (2008)
total: 660 km
narrow gauge: 660 km 1.000-m gauge
note: an additional 622 km of this railroad extends into Burkina Faso (2008)
Roadwaystotal: 10,600 km
paved: 657 km
unpaved: 9,943 km (2000)
total: 81,996 km
paved: 6,502 km
unpaved: 75,494 km
note: includes intercity and urban roads; another 20,000 km of dirt roads are in poor condition and 150,000 km of dirt roads are impassable (2007)
Pipelinesoil 4 km (2013)
condensate 101 km; gas 256 km; oil 118 km; oil/gas/water 5 km; water 7 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Buchanan, Monrovia
major seaport(s): Abidjan, San-Pedro
oil terminal(s): Espoir Offshore Terminal
Airports29 (2013)
27 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
total: 7
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 27
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 14 (2013)
total: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 3 (2013)

Military

LiberiaCote d'Ivoire
Military branchesArmed Forces of Liberia (AFL): Army, Navy, Air Force (2014)
Republican Forces of Cote d'Ivoire (Force Republiques de Cote d'Ivoire, FRCI): Army, Navy, Cote d'Ivoire Air Force (Force Aerienne de la Cote d'Ivoire) (2015)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary male and female military service; conscription is not enforced; voluntary recruitment of former rebels into the new national army is restricted to ages 22-29 (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP0.62% of GDP (2016)
0.66% of GDP (2015)
0.71% of GDP (2014)
0.78% of GDP (2013)
0.87% of GDP (2012)
1.47% of GDP (2015)
1.53% of GDP (2014)
1.38% of GDP (2013)
1.51% of GDP (2012)
1.41% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

LiberiaCote d'Ivoire
Disputes - international"as the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) continues to drawdown prior to the 1 March 2018 closure date, the peacekeeping force is being reduced to 434 soldiers and two police units; some Liberian refugees still remain in Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Ghana; Liberia shelters almost 15,000 Ivoirian refugees, as of May 2017; in 2017, Liberia's 3 refugee camps will be converted into ""settlements"" and remaining Ivoirian refugees will be integrated into local communities
"
disputed maritime border between Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana
Illicit drugstransshipment point for Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine for the European and US markets; corruption, criminal activity, arms-dealing, and diamond trade provide significant potential for money laundering, but the lack of well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a major money-laundering center
illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for local consumption; utility as a narcotic transshipment point to Europe reduced by ongoing political instability; while rampant corruption and inadequate supervision leave the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, the lack of a developed financial system limits the country's utility as a major money-laundering center (2008)
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 14,683 (Cote d'Ivoire) (2017)
IDPs: up to 23,000 (civil war from 1990-2004; post-election violence in March and April 2011; many dwell in slums in Monrovia) (2014)
IDPs: 301,000 (post-election conflict in 2010-2011, as well as civil war from 2002-2004; most pronounced in western and southwestern regions) (2016)
stateless persons: 694,000 (2016); note - many Ivoirians lack documentation proving their nationality, which prevent them from accessing education and healthcare; birth on Ivorian soil does not automatically result in citizenship; disputes over citizenship and the associated rights of the large population descended from migrants from neighboring countries is an ongoing source of tension and contributed to the country's 2002 civil war; some observers believe the government's mass naturalizations of thousands of people over the last couple of years is intended to boost its electoral support base; the government in October 2013 acceded to international conventions on statelessness and in August 2013 reformed its nationality law, key steps to clarify the nationality of thousands of residents; since the adoption of the Abidjan Declaration to eradicate stateless in West Africa in February 2015, 6,400 people have received nationality papers

Source: CIA Factbook