Ivory Coast Overview
Animals and Plants
What is growing in Ivory Coast?
Since the climate in the north is very different from that in the south, very different plants grow in the north and south of the country. In the south, rainforests and mangroves are predominant.
In the north, however, dry forests grow. Their trees shed their leaves during the dry season. The dry forest forms the transition to the savannah, where the climate is even drier. The savannah is dry grassland with scattered trees. In the center of the country, forests also grow along the rivers. It is known as a gallery forest.
And which trees are growing there now? You may have heard of the baobab tree, but do you know Iroko and Tali trees? Their wood is often used for furniture. There are also many epiphytes and orchids in the forests. Below you can find more photos of plants and trees from Ivory Coast.
And what animals live in Ivory Coast?
The elephant gave the country its name with its coveted ivory tusks – but now elephants only live in the protected reserves. Other animals of the Ivory Coast are hippos, lions, leopards, monkeys (for example chimpanzees) and snakes. Animals of the Ivory Coast that you may never have seen include the giant forest hog, duiker (which is a species of antelope) and the common tree hyrax. Antelopes live in many species in the country.
Crocodiles live on the rivers, many fish in the rivers, for example the African multi-spined fish. Termites build their mounds that can be found all over the landscape. Many animal species are now threatened with extinction. There are eight national parks in Ivory Coast, in which, for example, pygmy hippos, chimpanzees and zebra suckers are protected.
What can you do?
There is cocoa in every piece of chocolate we eat. If you buy sustainably produced cocoa, it means it was not made with the help of child labor. In this way you can help ensure that child labor is no longer worthwhile for the plantation owners. Because when nobody buys their cocoa anymore, they must and must, above all, rethink the chocolate companies. You can get this cocoa in organic shops and one-world shops, for example. It can be found under the name FairTrade (fair trade). The farmers receive more money for Fairtrade cocoa. Because the cocoa price is far too low and that contributes to the poor conditions on the plantations. If the farmers earn more money, they are no longer dependent on cheap child labor.
Cocoa from Ivory Coast
Most Ivorians – that’s the name given to the inhabitants of Ivory Coast – work in agriculture (68 percent). Mainly cocoa is grown. The Ivory Coast is the country that grows the most cocoa in the world and sells (exports) to other countries. Then comes the coffee. Many children are forced to work
on the cocoa plantations. You can read more about this under children. 60 percent of the cocoa in Germany comes from the Ivory Coast.
Cola nuts, cotton, rubber, palm oil, coconuts, cashews and sugar cane are also grown and exported. Pineapples, bananas, mangoes, papaya and avocado also come from the Ivory Coast.
Manioc, plantains, corn, rice and yams grow in the fields. The wood of the Iroko and Tali trees is very popular for furniture in Europe. Many of these trees have already been cut down and the country’s forest is becoming less and less. Agriculture provides around 20 percent of the total economic output.
Ivory Coast petroleum
The most important mineral resource in Ivory Coast is oil. It is stored off the coast in the Atlantic. The extraction is low compared to the occurrence. Still, oil is one of the country’s most important products.
Industry makes up around a quarter of the economy, namely around 26 percent. Here, too, oil plays a major role. It is processed in the refineries, i.e. petrol, heating oil or lubricating oil is made from the crude oil.
What is the UEMOA?
The Ivory Coast is part of the West African Economic and Monetary Union. The abbreviation for this is UEMOA. This is derived from the French word. It was founded in 1994. The eight countries that you see in orange on the map belong to it, for example Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
These countries share a common currency, the CFA franc. That means Franc of the African Economic Union (CFA). The franc (read: Frong without the g) used to be the currency of France, i.e. the colonial state of almost all of these countries. The currency abbreviation is XOF.
How do people live in Ivory Coast?
In Ivory Coast, around half of the people live in cities, the other half in the countryside. Life here and there is very different. Abidjan is a modern, noisy city where there is always something going on. There are often traffic jams here.
However, the contrast between rich and poor is particularly evident here. Many people come here hoping to find work. As a result, slums have formed on the outskirts, slums in which life is very hard. The people here have built simple huts for themselves from boards and tarpaulin. Crime is often high in poor areas of the city. There are robberies and thefts. There are also rich neighborhoods with expensive hotels and exclusive restaurants.
People do not have clean drinking water everywhere in the country. In the city it is 88 percent who can drink water without getting sick. In rural areas it is only 58 percent. The situation is even worse with sanitary facilities, i.e. toilets.
Because it is warm here all year round, people mainly live outside. Shopping also takes place outside – at markets and street stalls. But there are also small shops and, in the richer areas, large supermarkets or shopping centers.
Those who do not have their own car take a bus or taxi. Typical are the woro-woros, which are shared taxis for five to six passengers. Buses and trucks are often piled high.
Eating in Ivory Coast
What do you eat in Ivory Coast?
Some of the staple foods in Ivory Coast include roots and grains: rice, cassava, taro, sweet potatoes, and plantains. There is also meat, especially poultry, and fish on the coast. The most common vegetables are onions, tomatoes, eggplants, beans, avocados, carrots, okra, and spinach. The food is spicy. The right hand is used to eat. Fruit is also eaten with pleasure, and all sorts that grow here, for example bananas, papaya, pineapple, pomegranate, mangoes, melons, breadfruits and oranges. For more articles on Ivory Coast and Africa, please visit oxfordastronomy.
Alloco and Attiéké
A popular dish is alloco. Plantains are cut into slices, salted and fried in palm oil. There is also a spicy tomato and onion sauce. Grilled fish also goes well with it. You can cook Alloco, take a look at our tip !
Attiéké is also popular. This is spoken atsch-je-ke. It is made from cassava. You can eat it with a salad of onions, cucumber and tomatoes, as well as fish and meat. Everything is served separately.
Even though so many children work on the cocoa plantations, most of them have never eaten chocolate.