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Côte d'Ivoire Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Côte d'Ivoire's impressive recovery from post-election conflict during 2010−11 has been severely shaken for the first time by a wave of security force mutinies in January−February and May 2017 over long-standing bonus issues, as well as a steep drop in the price of main export crop, cocoa. A spate of attacks on police posts and prison breaks during July–August 2017 also raised concern over renewed instability. Those events took the gloss off President Alassane Ouattara's RHDP coalition's comprehensive victory in the December 2016 legislative election. Côte d'Ivoire will probably remain an aspirational target for Al-Qaeda-linked groups following an attack in Grand-Bassam in March 2016 that killed 19 people. Major port, rail, and road projects should cementCôte d'Ivoire's place as a leading regional transshipment hub.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Operational Outlook

Transforming the operational environment has been a high priority for President Ouattara, amid efforts to boost reconciliation through steady growth. An investment code and mining code have improved regulation, the cocoa industry has been restructured, and incentives in agriculture have been prioritised. The government has agreed to pay public-sector wage arrears over a prolonged period, reducing the immediate risk of further large-scale strikes, although the potential for further unrest remains, particularly if payments are delayed. Some reductions in levels of corruption have been achieved, although racketeering by security forces can affect business operations.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Terrorism

Very high

Côte d'Ivoire is facing a new terrorism threat after Islamist fighters linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) killed 19 people at Grand Bassam, near Abidjan, in March 2016, and Harakat Ansar al-Din raided towns just over the border inside Mali in June 2015 and then made direct threats to target Côte d'Ivoire. Attacks in western border areas by Liberia-based groups linked to former president Laurent Gbagbo have virtually dried up, but a series of jailbreaks and attacks on police posts took place in July–August 2017. Niger Delta-based pirates pose a diminishing threat to shipping in Ivorian waters, having formerly targeted Abidjan's congested tanker terminal.

Last update: March 27, 2018

War Risks

Elevated

Mutinies in several parts of the military in the first half of 2017 underscored the deep-seated divisions within the armed forces that have persisted since the end of post-election conflict in 2010–11 and continue to threaten long-term stability. An additional series of security incidents over the summer of 2017, including attacks on gendarmerie or police posts and prison escapes, underscored the volatility of the security environment. A wave of cross-border attacks from Liberia and Ghana by pro-Gbagbo militants has dissipated. Côte d'Ivoire amicably accepted the settlement in September 2017 of a maritime border dispute relating to oil-rich waters which saw Ghana's case largely upheld.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Social Stability

High

Political protests and demonstrations ahead of the October 2016 constitutional referendum and December 2016 legislative elections were sporadic and poorly attended as the divided opposition failed to generate much visible support for a boycott. Protests are likely to take place around key developments in the long-running International Criminal Court trial of former president Laurent Gbagbo, which began in January 2016, but will be easily contained by security forces. Inter-communal violence in volatile western areas continues to be driven by disputes over land reform and naturalisation.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Health Risk

Severe

Vaccinations required to enter the country

Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if over nine months of age. 

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).

Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: June 1, 2016

Natural Risks

High

Poor weather conditions - such as torrential rain and consequent flooding is observed in the south, especially in Abidjan, particularly during the rainy season (May to November) - can disrupt travel to, from, and within the country. Torrential rains resulted in several deaths and serious damage in Abidjan in May 2017. Summer rains often result in flooding (e.g. along the banks of the Bandama River), mudslides, and road closures, particularly in the south of the country. During periods of heavy rain, is it advisable to avoid poorer neighborhoods where inadequate construction standards put building occupants at risk.

From November to March, the Harmattan wind emanating from the Western Sahara blows through the country, carrying with it large amounts of dust, which can lead to severe air traffic disruptions and respiratory issues.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Transportation

Elevated

The road network remains unstable in Côte d'Ivoire despite intense infrastructures development programs; only 10 percent of all roads are paved. Driving habits are erratic and the lack of street lighting and standard ambulance/emergency medical services in rural areas increase risks related to road travel.

According to American consular authorities, several foreign nationals have been targeted in particularly violent attacked in 2015 as they were traveling on major thoroughfares outside Abidjan. This sort of attack tends to increase in likelihood after nightfall and on market days.

In rural and secluded areas, travel by night should be limited. It is best to travel in a convoy made up of at least two vehicles. Additionally, in the event of a car accident resulting in bodily damage, it is advised to go directly to the nearest police station instead of staying at the scene to avoid hostile behavior by locals.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Practical Information

Climate

In the south of the country, below the horizontal line passing through Yamoussoukro, the climate is equatorial and very wet. The rainy season extends from May until November with a bit of a respite around July and August. The rest of the year conditions continue to be humid, with overcast skies and rain not uncommon; temperatures during this period remain stable, between 29°C and 32°C. The climate is more tropical in the north of the country, with a fairly intense rainy season lasting from May until September.

The most pleasant time to visit the Ivory Coast is between November and March when the country enjoys blue skies, drier conditions, and cooler nights. The Harmattan, a wind from the Sahara, blows, sometimes strongly, across the country, bringing with it drier and dustier conditions.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +225
in Abidjan  
Police Headquarters: 20 22 08 22
Central Police Station: 20 21 00 22 / 20 22 42 27 / 20 21 77 92
Gendarmerie: 20 21 88 83
Reanimation: 185
UAS Abidjan: 22 44 31 47 / 22 44 44 45
in Yamoussoukro  
Police Station: 30 64 11 63 / 30 64 00 24
Gendarmerie: 30 64 00 22
Hospital (C.H.R.): 30 64 00 33

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: July 10, 2017