(Republic of Cote d'Ivoire, République de Cote d'Ivoire)
- Location: Western Africa
- Capital: Yamoussoukro
- Languages: French, Diula-Tabusi, Baoule, Sinufo
- Population: 20,620,012
- Total Area: 322,460 sq km
- Currency: CFA Franc
- Curious Alcohol Fact: The most popular alcoholic drink is bangi, wine made locally from the sap of the palm tree. It is milky in color and often served fresh and in gourds or carved calabash.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 6.46 liters
- Most Popular Drink: Bangi (palm wine)
Cote d'Ivoire (also known as Ivory Coast) is one of the most popular nations in West Africa. The country is shaped roughly like a square; the capital of the country is Yamoussoukro. However, the de facto capital is Abidjan (a port city), which is by far larger and more popular than Yamoussoukro. The country shares borders with Mali, Ghana, Liberia, Burkina Faso and Guinea. The southern portion of the country is flanked by the Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean. The relief of the country is quite interesting. There are tropical forests in the south while much of the north is grassland (savanna). There are various rivers and mountains all over the country.
A citizen of the country is an Ivorian, and he or she will belong to one of over 60 different ethnic groups. The largest groups are the Baule and the Mande (Malinke, Bambara and Soninke). In terms of religion, the country cannot be described as a monolith as there are different religions but none is really dominant. Ivorians are Christians, Muslims and followers of African traditional religion. Ivorians are very hardworking and I was really thrilled with the reception I was given. A Baule chief had a goat slaughtered for me, and I must confess, I thoroughly enjoyed the roasted goat leg and milk.
Eating and Drinking in the Country
Being an agrarian nation, most of the foods are based on cereals and tuber crops such as yam and cassava. In Abidjan, I found myself addicted to atiyeke, a dish made from cassava and vegetables. I was also able to taste kijinu, a masterly combination of meat (or chicken) and vegetable sauce. I must also mention gari, which is a grainy paste, made from cassava and it is quite easy to prepare, you will just add water and sugar and it is ready to be consumed. The most widely consumed alcoholic drink in the country is called bangi, the local wine sourced from the palm tree.
Places of Interest
Ivory Coast is an enchanting nation but for you to really appreciate the grace of this country, you need to visit some outstanding sites. You can start your trip from the angelic beaches in Abidjan and then you can travel to the capital city of Yamoussoukro to see a national edifice –the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro. This cathedral is very imposing as it is one of the largest in the world. It was built by the late president and strongman of Ivorian politics, Felix Houphouet-Boigny.
Cote d'Ivoire has one of the most respected football teams in Africa –the Elephants. This team is a galaxy of stars and the most iconic of them all is the legendary Didier Drogba who also plays for Chelsea FC in the United Kingdom. Ivorian youths are avid followers and supporters of soccer.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria)
Daniel Krasnopolsky (Woodmere, NY, USA).
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