Cote D'Ivoire

Bookmark and Share
News
more less
Overview

The next time you bite into a chocolate bar or other chocolate confection, give a thought to the West African nation of Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s leading exporter of cocoa beans, the raw agricultural product from which chocolate is made. Alhough torn apart by strife and civil war since 2002, the recent installation of a new President, who won elections deemed free and fair by neutral observers, may eventually lead to the restoration of peace. Although it is often referred to in the English-speaking world as Ivory Coast, the official name of this French-speaking country is in French, and since 1983 the Ivoirian government has emphasized the correct use of the name.

more less
Basic Information

Lay of the Land: Situated on the west coast of Africa, Côte d’Ivoire is bordered by Liberia and Guinea to the west, Mali and Burkina Faso to the north, Ghana to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean to the south. With an area of 124,502 square miles, Côte d’Ivoire is slightly larger than New Mexico. Côte d’Ivoire is basically a large plateau rising gradually from sea level in the south to elevations of nearly 1700 feet in the north. The southeast coast is marked by inland lagoons that start at the Ghanaian border and stretch nearly 200 miles along the coast. The southwest is covered with dense tropical moist forest, which is less thick in the southeast. The mountains of the Dix-Huit Montagnes region, in the west of the country near the border with Guinea and Liberia, is home to Mount Nimba, which at 5,748 feet is the country’s highest point. A forest-savanna belt extends across the middle of the country from east to west, and is the transition zone between the coastal forests and the interior savannas. Northern Côte d’Ivoire is a subtropical grassland savanna, with sandy soils and decreasing vegetation from south to north. The largest city and former capital of Côte d’Ivoire is Abidjan; its population of 5 million makes it the third-largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris and Kinshasa, Congo, but before Montréal, Canada. The capital, since 1983, is Yamoussoukro (population, 242,744), located 150 miles northwest of Abidjan, the hometown of long time President Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who ruled the country from 1960 to 1993. However, many, if not most, government offices remain in Abidjan.

Population: 21.5 million (2011 estimate)
Religions: Indigenous Religion 35.0%; Christian 33.0% (Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, Methodists, Assemblies of God, Baptists, Copts, and Mormons); Muslim 31.4%. Many persons who are nominally Christian or Muslim also practice some aspects of indigenous religious beliefs, so drawing bright lines between these groups may be somewhat misleading. 
Ethnic Groups: Akan 42.1%, Voltaiques or Gur 17.6%, Northern Mandes 16.5%, Krous 11%, Southern Mandes 10%, other 2.8% (includes 130,000 Lebanese and 14,000 French). 
Languages: Baoulé 11.5%; Senoufo 6.7%; Anyin/Anyin Morofo 4.9%; Dan 4.3%; Wè 2.5%; Bété 2.2%. French is the official language, and is widely spoken. There are 79 living languages in Côte d’Ivoire.  
more less
History

The origin of human presence in Côte d’Ivoire is difficult to fix because the country’s climate destroys remains quickly and completely, but ancient weapon and tool fragments have been dated to the Upper Paleolithic period (15,000 to 10,000 BC), or at least the Neolithic period (10,000 BC to 4,000 BC). Historians believe that they were displaced and/or absorbed by the ancestors of the present inhabitants. Peoples who arrived before the 16th century include the Ehotilé, Kotrowou, Zéhiri, Ega and Diès. Newcomers after that time established five important states in Côte d’Ivoire in the pre-colonial era. In the early 16th century, the Abron, an Akan group fleeing the developing Asante confederation in present-day Ghana, started the kingdom of Gyaaman, whose capital, the northeast town Bondoukou, became a major center of commerce and Islam whose Quranic scholars attracted students from all over West Africa. In the early 18th century in north-central Côte d’Ivoire, the Juula established the Muslim empire of Kong, which became a prosperous center of agriculture, trade, and crafts, though ethnic strife and religious discord gradually weakened it. In the mid-eighteenth century in east-central Côte d’Ivoire, other Akan groups fleeing the Asante established a Baoulé kingdom at Sakasso and two Agni kingdoms, Indénié and Sanwi. The Baoulé, like the Asante, created a centralized political structure under three successive rulers, but it finally split into smaller chiefdoms. Despite the breakup of their kingdom, the Baoulé strongly resisted French subjugation. 

 
Côte d’Ivoire, like the rest of West Africa, was subject to the strong influences of the expanding European presence starting in the 15th century, but the absence of sheltered harbors along its coastline prevented Europeans from establishing permanent trading posts as they did along the coast of Ghana and other places. Thus sea-going trade was irregular and played only a small role in the European domination and eventual conquest of Côte d’Ivoire. Thus the Atlantic slave trade had little effect on the peoples of Côte d’Ivoire, though a profitable trade in ivory, which gave the area its name, was carried out during the 17th century, but caused such a decimation in the elephant population that the trade died out by the beginning of the eighteenth century. 
 
The earliest recorded French voyage to West Africa took place in 1483, but the first European outpost in Côte d’Ivoire was not established by the French until more than 200 hundred years later, in 1687 at Assinie, near the Ghana border. Assinie survived rather precariously, however, and only in the mid-nineteenth century did the French establish themselves firmly in Côte d’Ivoire. French explorers, missionaries, trading companies, and soldiers gradually extended the area under French control inland from the southeast lagoon region, and treaties were signed with local kings and rulers placing their territories under a French protectorate and allowing the French to build fortified posts along the Gulf of Guinea to serve as permanent trading centers. The first such posts included one at Assinie and another at Grand-Bassam, which became the colony’s first capital. The treaties provided for French sovereignty within the posts and for trading privileges in exchange for annual fees paid to the local rulers for use of the land. Though the arrangement was not perfect for the French, they maintained the treaties, hoping to expand trade and to blunt the increasing influence of the British along the Gulf of Guinea coast.
 
Although its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 caused the French government to abandon its colonial ambitions and withdraw its military garrisons from French West Africa, in 1885 France and Germany brought all the European powers with interests in Africa together at an international conference in Berlin to rationalize the European scramble for colonies in Africa. The resulting agreement stipulated that signatories would recognize European spheres of influence on the African coast only if they involved effective occupation by Europeans. Another agreement in 1890 extended this rule to the African interior and set off a rush for territory, primarily by France, Britain, Portugal, and Belgium.
 
In 1886, to support its claims of effective occupation, France again assumed direct control of its West African coastal trading posts and embarked on an accelerated program of exploration in the interior. By the end of the 1880s, France had established effective control over the coastal regions of Côte d’Ivoire, and in 1889 Britain recognized French sovereignty in the area. In 1893 Côte d’Ivoire was made a French colony, a status that changed very little until 1946. During the early years of French rule, the French military established new posts in the interior, meeting strong indigenous resistance. Among these resistance fighters was Samori Ture, who in the 1880s and 1890s established an empire that extended over large parts of present-day Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Côte d’Ivoire. French military campaigns against him, which were met with fierce resistance, intensified in the mid-1890s until he was captured in 1898.
 
From 1904 to 1958, Côte d’Ivoire was a constituent unit of the Federation of French West Africa. It was a colony and an overseas territory under the Third Republic. Until the period following World War II, governmental affairs in French West Africa were administered from Paris. France’s policy in West Africa was reflected mainly in its philosophy of “association,” meaning that all Africans in Côte d’Ivoire were officially French “subjects” without rights to representation in Africa or France. During World War II, the Vichy regime remained in control until 1943, when members of Gen. Charles De Gaulle’s Free French provisional government took control of French West Africa.
 
Political pressure from below led to far-reaching colonial reforms in 1946, including granting French citizenship to all African “subjects,” recognition of the right to organize politically, and abolition of various forms of forced labor. That political pressure was largely led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who first came to political prominence in 1944 as founder of the Syndicat Agricole Africain (African Farmers’ Union), an organization that won improved conditions for African farmers and formed a nucleus for his political party, the Parti Démocratique de la Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI). After World War II, he was elected to represent Côte d’Ivoire in the French National Assembly, which he did from 1946 to 1959, working for more reforms. Those efforts finally bore fruit in 1956, when the Overseas Reform Act transferred a number of powers from Paris to elected territorial governments in French West Africa and also abolished remaining voting inequities. In December 1958, Côte d’Ivoire became an autonomous republic within the French Community as a result of a referendum that brought Community status to all members of the old French West Africa except Guinea, which had voted against association. Côte d’Ivoire became independent on August 7, 1960, permitted its Community membership to lapse, and established the commercial city Abidjan as its capital. After thirteen years of service in the French National Assembly, including almost three as a minister in the French Government, Houphouët-Boigny was elected Côte d’Ivoire’s first prime minister in April 1959, and the following year was elected its first president.
 
Houphouët-Boigny was considerably more conservative than most African leaders of the post-colonial period, maintaining close ties to the West and rejecting the leftist and anti-western stance of many leaders at the time. Although this may have contributed to the country’s economic and political stability, it came at the price of Houphouët-Boigny’s autocratic style of governance via one party rule. The 1960 Côte d’Ivoire constitution envisioned a democratic government with a presidential system based on separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government and an independent judiciary. In practice, however, Houphouët-Boigny equated national unity with support for his PDCI and believed that competition among political parties would waste resources and destroy unity. Therefore, Ivoirian election law made it nearly impossible for any other party to win seats in the National Assembly, and Côte d’Ivoire was a one-party state until the first multi-party elections were held in 1990. As the sole political party, the PDCI came to exercise political control over all branches of government.
 
By the late 1960s, Houphouët-Boigny had concentrated power in his hands. Loyal colleagues were rewarded with positions of authority throughout government and PDCI. Houphouët-Boigny further consolidated his power by limiting the prerogatives of the National Assembly. Presidential and PDCI control of Assembly membership prevented an independent or opposition role by the assembly in the decision-making process, yet the existence of an Assembly with nominal power over legislation appeared to legitimize the government’s democratic pretensions and allowed the PDCI to use the Assembly as a way to co-opt potential opponents by providing Deputies with a variety of privileges and amenities.
 
At the same time, discontent among Ivoirians at all levels was growing. Rapid economic growth and urbanization had created increasing economic inequality, and in 1969 unemployed Ivoirians in Abidjan began to organize protest demonstrations to pressure the government to expel foreign workers so that Ivoirians could take their low-level jobs. Educated, middle class Ivoirians made similar demands that French workers who held skilled jobs in the economy and civil service be replaced with Ivoirian as well. Many university students, for their part, rejected the PDCI’s ideological conservatism and the regime’s neocolonial policies vis-à-vis France. Confrontations between protesters and the government were rife in 1969, and Houphouët-Boigny resorted to violent crackdowns, arrests and other heavy-handed tactics, which proved largely successful. During the 1970s, moreover, Houphouët-Boigny began to answer the student and middle class demands by replacing aging party militants with younger intellectuals and highly trained technocrats for whom he often created government jobs--and who therefore owed him loyalty.
 
Lured by Côte d’Ivoire’s flourishing economy, between the 1960’s and 1990 waves of mostly Muslim migrants from Burkina Faso and Mali moved to the country to work on cocoa plantations. At the same time, the country’s economy thrived, fuelled by exports of soft commodities such as cocoa, coffee and palm oil. However, Houphouët-Boigny’s government failed to address the country’s economic dependence on these commodities, and when the cocoa market collapsed in the 1980s – prices fell by nearly two thirds in comparison with the late 1970s peak level - Ivoirian economic growth dropped, and many native Ivoirians blamed immigrant farmers, chiefly Muslims who settled in the north, for their troubles. 
 
Thus the 1980s were marked by continuing and even rising protest and dissent. Houphouët-Boigny managed to quell protests by academics and students. The academic community was the most vocal protest group. In 1982, students went on strike to protest government efforts to halt political speeches on the National University of Côte d’Ivoire campus. Houphouët-Boigny chastised the students, abolished their organization, and forced them to return to their villages until they had apologized in writing to the government. Laurent Gbagbo, a young professor who during the strike advocated a multiparty system, went into voluntary exile in France and became a symbol for young Ivoirians who wanted to liberalize the system. The following year approximately 4,000 secondary-school teachers went on strike to protest the elimination of their housing allowances and to express solidarity with the students and professors who had protested over free speech the year before. Again reacting in an arbitrary manner that further alienated teachers and students alike, Houphouët-Boigny closed all the secondary schools and sent the 200,000 students home.
 
By 1990, however, Houphouët-Boigny acceded to demands for multi-party elections, but the election rules remained skewed in favor of the PDCI, and Houphouët-Boigny won the presidential election that year. Houphouët-Boigny died in office in 1993, and was succeeded by Henri Konan Bédié who was the President of the National Assembly. He was overthrown in 1999 by General Robert Guéï, a former army commander sacked by Bédié. This was the first coup d’état in the history of Côte d’Ivoire. In the face of an economic downturn, the junta promised to return the country to democratic rule in 2000, but when the elections were won by dissident Laurent Gbagbo, Guéï initially refused to accept defeat and street protests forced him to step down. Gbagbo became president on October 26, 2000. 
 
Nearly two years later, on September 19, 2002, a rebellion in the North and the West arose. The rebels, called the Forces Nouvelles de Côte d’Ivoire (New Forces), represented Muslim northerners who felt they were being discriminated against by the politically dominant and mostly Christian southerners. Mass murders occurred, notably in Abidjan from March 25 to 27, when government forces killed more than 200 protesters, and on June 20 and 21 June in Bouaké and Korhogo, where purges led to the execution of more than 100 people. A reconciliation process under international auspices started in 2003. In 2002 France sent its troops to Côte d’Ivoire as peacekeepers. Tensions between Côte d’Ivoire and France increased on November 6, 2004, after Ivoirian air strikes killed 9 French peacekeepers and an aid worker. In response, French forces attacked the airport at Yamoussoukro, destroying all airplanes in the Ivoirian Air Force. Protests erupted in both Abidjan and Yamoussoukro, and were marked by violence between Ivoirians and French peacekeepers. Thousands of foreigners, especially French nationals, evacuated the two cities. Most of the fighting ended by late 2004, with the country split between a rebel-held north and a government-held south. In March 2007 the two sides signed an agreement to hold fresh elections, though they were delayed until 2010, five years after Gbagbo’s term of office was supposed to have expired.
 
After northern candidate Alassane Ouattara was declared the victor of the 2010 Ivoirian presidential election by the country’s Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), the President of the Constitutional Council – an ally of Gbagbo – declared the results invalid and Gbagbo the winner. Both Gbagbo and Ouattara claimed victory and took the presidential oath of office. The international community, including the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union, the United States, and former colonial power France declared their support for Ouattara and called for Gbagbo to step down. Negotiations to resolve the dispute failed to achieve any satisfactory outcome. Hundreds of people were killed in escalating violence between pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara partisans and at least a million people fled their homes, mostly from Abidjan. The rebel army, now renamed the Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (RFCI), launched a full-scale offensive across the country in late March 2011, and massive desertion from Gbagbo’s army allowed the RFCI to achieve a quick victory by late April. 
more less
Cote D'Ivoire's Newspapers

Infos Côte d’Ivoire (in English and French)

more less
History of U.S. Relations with Cote D'Ivoire

The US and Côte d’Ivoire had friendly relations during the regime of Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who supported the US in its Cold War rivalry with the former Soviet Union and welcomed American investment in his country. After the outbreak of the Ivoirian civil war in 2002, relations cooled as the US suspended non-humanitarian aid. 

more less
Current U.S. Relations with Cote D'Ivoire

Along with the rest of the international community, the US urged President Laurent Gbagbo to relinquish power after the 2010 elections were determined to have elected rival Alassane Ouattara to the Presidency. With the success of Ottara’s forces in ousting Gbagbo, it is widely expected that relations will become friendly once again. 

 
According to Census Bureau estimates, by 2000 there were 3,110 people descended of Ivoirian immigrants. The cities with the most significant population are New York City, New York; Washington, DC; Baltimore, Maryland; Worcester, Massachusetts; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; Boston, Massachusetts; and Providence, Rhode Island. Noted Ivoirian-Americans include football player Amos Zereoué and actor Bambadjan Bamba.
 
more less
Where Does the Money Flow

Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s largest producer of cocoa, and US imports of cocoa are mainly responsible for the large trade deficit ($1.013 billion in 2010) between the two. US imports from Côte d’Ivoire more than tripled between 2002 and 2010, from $376.4 million in 2002 to $1.17 billion in 2010. The 2010 imports were dominated by cocoa beans ($593.9 million or 50.5%); crude oil ($230 million or 19.5%); bakery and confectionary products ($143.9 million or 12.2%); natural rubber and similar gums ($78.5 million or 6.7%); and fuel oil ($61.5 million or 5.2%). US exports to Côte d’Ivoire have grown more slowly, not quite doubling between 2002 and 2010, from $76.1 million to $162.6 million. Exports are led by plastic materials ($29.1 million or 17.9%); industrial engines ($17.6 million or 10.8%); industrial machinery ($16.2 million or 9.9%); motor vehicles, parts and accessories ($15.4 million or 9.5%); marine vessels ($10 million or 6.2%); specialized mining and excavation machinery ($8.6 million or 5.3%); drilling and oilfield equipment ($8.2 million or 5%); newsprint ($6.9 million or 4.2%); and chemicals ($6 million or 3.7%). 

 
Of the $133.6 million in U.S. aid to Côte d’Ivoire in 2010, $133.3 million (99.7%) was dedicated to global health and child survival, leaving $300,000 (0.3%) for counter-terrorism efforts, although the administration is requesting additional funds for civil society projects in the future.   
 
more less
Controversies
more less
Human Rights

The chaos that has dominated Ivoirian life since the outbreak of civil war in 2002 has been inimical to human rights, for while the country was divided, credible allegations of human rights violations were made against both the government and the Forces Nouvelles. The 2010 elections, which many hoped would bring peace to Côte d’Ivoire, instead yielded still more violence and dislocation. On December 2, 2010, the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) declared Alassane Ouattara the winner of the runoff with 54.1 percent of the vote as compared with 45.9 percent for Laurent Gbagbo. The UN and international and domestic observer missions declared the vote fair and democratic and recognized Ouattara as the country’s properly elected president. Gbagbo refused to accept the results, and on December 3, the Constitutional Council, which was made up entirely of Gbagbo appointees, overturned the CEI ruling, citing voter “irregularities.” More than 500,000 votes for Ouattara were annulled, and Gbagbo was declared the winner. A four month stalemate ensued, which was broken in April 2011 by a successful military offensive by forces loyal to Ouattara, and the forcible ouster of Gbagbo from office. Forces loyal to Gbagbo were finally cleared form the field by late May, and Ouattara took office on May 21, 2011. 

 
Hopes that Ouattara’s military victory would lead to peace and respect for human rights have not yet been realized. A June 2011 report by Amnesty International concluded that both sides in the conflict had committed “human rights violations and abuses, including extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings, rape and other sexual violence, torture, other ill-treatment and arbitrary arrest and detention; as well as the consequences of high levels of displacement, pervasive insecurity, and intentional destruction of homes and other buildings not justified by military necessity.” The report further found that Gbagbo’s former supporters were being subjected to harassment, unlawful or extra-judicial arrest and detention, and other forms of abuse. 
 
more less
Debate
more less
Past Ambassadors

Note: Embassy Abidjan was established Aug 7, 1960, with Donald L. Norland as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim. Name changed from Ivory Coast to Côte d’Ivoire Oct 15, 1986.

 
R. Borden Reams
Appointment: Oct 14, 1960
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 20, 1960
Termination of Mission: Left post, May 12, 1962
 
James Wine
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Oct 23, 1962
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 27, 1962
Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 6, 1965
 
George A. Morgan
Appointment: May 18, 1965
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 5, 1965
Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 16, 1969
 
John F. Root
Appointment: Nov 4, 1969
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 23, 1969
Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 6, 1974
 
Robert S. Smith
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Feb 11, 1974
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 11, 1974
Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 8, 1976
 
Monteagle Stearns
Appointment: Oct 5, 1976
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 13, 1976
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 12, 1979
 
Nancy V. Rawls
Appointment: Sep 28, 1979
Presentation of Credentials: Jan 16, 1980
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 16, 1983
 
Robert Hopkins Miller
Appointment: Oct 7, 1983
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 18, 1983
Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 3, 1986
 
Dennis Kux
Appointment: Sep 12, 1986
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 2, 1986
Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 8, 1989
 
Kenneth L. Brown
Appointment: Oct 10, 1989
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 22, 1989
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 3, 1992
 
Hume Alexander Horan
Appointment: Jun 15, 1992
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 10, 1992
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 6, 1995
 
Lannon Walker
Appointment: Jun 27, 1995
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 6, 1995
Termination of Mission: Left post Sep 28, 1998
 
George Mu
Appointment: Oct 22, 1998
Presentation of Credentials: Jan 6, 1999
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 12, 2001
 
Arlene Render
Appointment: Oct 1, 2001
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 19, 2001
Termination of Mission: Left Post, July 23, 2004
 
Aubrey Hooks
Appointment: May 12, 2004
Presentation of Credentials: Aug. 20, 2004
Termination of Mission: Aug. 02, 2007
 
Wanda L. Nesbitt
Appointment: September 25, 2007
Presentation of Credentials: November 6, 2007
Termination of Mission: 2010
more less
Cote D'Ivoire's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Diabate, Daouda

Daouda Diabaté returned to the United States for a second tour as ambassador from Côte d’Ivoire in February 2011, part of a diplomatic offensive by the internationally-recognized President-elect Alassane Ouattara against incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to leave power. 

 
A career diplomat, Daouda Diabaté was born January 1, 1948, in Saoundi, which was in the colony of Côte d’Ivoire, which at the time was part of French West Africa, along with Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea (now Guinea), Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger. He earned a B.A. in English at the National University of Abidjan in 1974, a graduate degree in diplomatic administration at the same university in 1975, and a graduate degree in advanced diplomatic studies from the International Institute for Public Administration and International Relations in Paris, France, in 1976. 
 
Diabaté joined the Côte d’Ivoire Foreign Ministry in 1977, serving as Head of the Press & Information Service until 1978. From 1979 to 1981, he was First Counselor at the Ivoirian Embassy to Liberia and Sierra Leone, followed by a lengthy stint in Europe from 1981 to 1986 as Counselor at the Embassy to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. From 1986 to 1994 he served in Côte d’Ivoire, first as Deputy Director of Bilateral Cooperation (1986-1987); as Secretary General for Administrative Reform, Ministry of Civil Service (1987-1990); and as Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1991-1994). 
 
From 1994 to 1996, Diabaté was Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire to Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda and Permanent Representative to the OAU (now the African Union) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya. On behalf of the OAU, in 1995 and 1996 he served as an Observer of the presidential elections in Algeria and Uganda. 
 
From 1997 to 2001 Diabaté was Ambassador to Morocco. During the 2002 Ivoirian political crisis, Diabaté was serving as Secretary General of the Department of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a position he held from 2001 to 2004, and as such he served as spokesman of the Foreign Minister after the outbreak of the crisis. In April 2004, however, Diabaté was named ambassador to the US and the Bahamas, a job he kept until November 2007, when he was named ambassador to Brazil. Diabaté was ambassador to Brazil when he was reassigned, again, to the US. 
 
Diabaté and his wife, Cecile, have five children. In addition to his native French, Diabaté speaks fluent English and intermediate Spanish. 
 

more less
Cote D'Ivoire's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.

Côte d’Ivoire embassy in the United States

2424 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20008
Telephone: (202) 797-0300
more less

Comments

Leave a comment

captcha

U.S. Ambassador to Cote D'Ivoire

McCulley, Terence
ambassador-image

The next ambassador to the West African nation of Côte d’Ivoire will be Terence P. McCulley, a member of the Senior Foreign Service whose diplomatic career has been spent mostly in Africa or working on African issues. If confirmed by the Senate he would succeed Philipp Carter III, who served in Abidjan starting in August 2010.

 

A native of Medford, Oregon, McCulley grew up in Eugene, where he earned a B.A. in European history and French language and literature at the University of Oregon in 1979. He attended the Université de Haute Bretagne in Rennes, France, from 1979-1980 as a Rotary Foundation Graduate Fellow, and also attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

 

Joining the Foreign Service in 1985, McCulley’s first three tours were in Niger, South Africa and Chad, working in management, consular and political reporting positions. Following his posting to Chad, he served as consul at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai, India.

 

From 1993 to 1995, McCulley was at the State Department in Washington, DC, serving as the desk officer for Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) during the Rwanda genocide, the massive influx of refugees into eastern Zaire and the beginnings of the conflict in Africa’s Great Lakes region. 

 

Back in Africa from 1995 to 2004, McCulley served three consecutive stints as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassies in Lomé, Togo, from 1995 to 1998; Dakar, Senegal, from 1998 to 2001; and Tunis, Tunisia, from 2001 to 2004.

 

In June 2004, he became the deputy coordinator for Iraq assistance in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

 

McCulley received his first ambassadorship when President George W. Bush nominated him to be ambassador to Mali in May 2005; confirmed by the Senate in June, McCulley served three years in Bamako.

 

After serving as deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 2008 to 2010, McCulley served as ambassador to Nigeria starting in August 2010.

 

McCulley is fluent in French, and speaks some Zulu and Wolof. He and his wife, Renée, have two sons.

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

États-Unis: Terence McCulley, nouvel ambassadeur en Côte d’Ivoire (by Diomandé Mémoué, Fratmat)

From D.C. With Love: The American Mission in Abuja (by Gunner Hamlyn, Chicago Policy Review)

more
Bookmark and Share
News
more less
Overview

The next time you bite into a chocolate bar or other chocolate confection, give a thought to the West African nation of Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s leading exporter of cocoa beans, the raw agricultural product from which chocolate is made. Alhough torn apart by strife and civil war since 2002, the recent installation of a new President, who won elections deemed free and fair by neutral observers, may eventually lead to the restoration of peace. Although it is often referred to in the English-speaking world as Ivory Coast, the official name of this French-speaking country is in French, and since 1983 the Ivoirian government has emphasized the correct use of the name.

more less
Basic Information

Lay of the Land: Situated on the west coast of Africa, Côte d’Ivoire is bordered by Liberia and Guinea to the west, Mali and Burkina Faso to the north, Ghana to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean to the south. With an area of 124,502 square miles, Côte d’Ivoire is slightly larger than New Mexico. Côte d’Ivoire is basically a large plateau rising gradually from sea level in the south to elevations of nearly 1700 feet in the north. The southeast coast is marked by inland lagoons that start at the Ghanaian border and stretch nearly 200 miles along the coast. The southwest is covered with dense tropical moist forest, which is less thick in the southeast. The mountains of the Dix-Huit Montagnes region, in the west of the country near the border with Guinea and Liberia, is home to Mount Nimba, which at 5,748 feet is the country’s highest point. A forest-savanna belt extends across the middle of the country from east to west, and is the transition zone between the coastal forests and the interior savannas. Northern Côte d’Ivoire is a subtropical grassland savanna, with sandy soils and decreasing vegetation from south to north. The largest city and former capital of Côte d’Ivoire is Abidjan; its population of 5 million makes it the third-largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris and Kinshasa, Congo, but before Montréal, Canada. The capital, since 1983, is Yamoussoukro (population, 242,744), located 150 miles northwest of Abidjan, the hometown of long time President Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who ruled the country from 1960 to 1993. However, many, if not most, government offices remain in Abidjan.

Population: 21.5 million (2011 estimate)
Religions: Indigenous Religion 35.0%; Christian 33.0% (Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, Methodists, Assemblies of God, Baptists, Copts, and Mormons); Muslim 31.4%. Many persons who are nominally Christian or Muslim also practice some aspects of indigenous religious beliefs, so drawing bright lines between these groups may be somewhat misleading. 
Ethnic Groups: Akan 42.1%, Voltaiques or Gur 17.6%, Northern Mandes 16.5%, Krous 11%, Southern Mandes 10%, other 2.8% (includes 130,000 Lebanese and 14,000 French). 
Languages: Baoulé 11.5%; Senoufo 6.7%; Anyin/Anyin Morofo 4.9%; Dan 4.3%; Wè 2.5%; Bété 2.2%. French is the official language, and is widely spoken. There are 79 living languages in Côte d’Ivoire.  
more less
History

The origin of human presence in Côte d’Ivoire is difficult to fix because the country’s climate destroys remains quickly and completely, but ancient weapon and tool fragments have been dated to the Upper Paleolithic period (15,000 to 10,000 BC), or at least the Neolithic period (10,000 BC to 4,000 BC). Historians believe that they were displaced and/or absorbed by the ancestors of the present inhabitants. Peoples who arrived before the 16th century include the Ehotilé, Kotrowou, Zéhiri, Ega and Diès. Newcomers after that time established five important states in Côte d’Ivoire in the pre-colonial era. In the early 16th century, the Abron, an Akan group fleeing the developing Asante confederation in present-day Ghana, started the kingdom of Gyaaman, whose capital, the northeast town Bondoukou, became a major center of commerce and Islam whose Quranic scholars attracted students from all over West Africa. In the early 18th century in north-central Côte d’Ivoire, the Juula established the Muslim empire of Kong, which became a prosperous center of agriculture, trade, and crafts, though ethnic strife and religious discord gradually weakened it. In the mid-eighteenth century in east-central Côte d’Ivoire, other Akan groups fleeing the Asante established a Baoulé kingdom at Sakasso and two Agni kingdoms, Indénié and Sanwi. The Baoulé, like the Asante, created a centralized political structure under three successive rulers, but it finally split into smaller chiefdoms. Despite the breakup of their kingdom, the Baoulé strongly resisted French subjugation. 

 
Côte d’Ivoire, like the rest of West Africa, was subject to the strong influences of the expanding European presence starting in the 15th century, but the absence of sheltered harbors along its coastline prevented Europeans from establishing permanent trading posts as they did along the coast of Ghana and other places. Thus sea-going trade was irregular and played only a small role in the European domination and eventual conquest of Côte d’Ivoire. Thus the Atlantic slave trade had little effect on the peoples of Côte d’Ivoire, though a profitable trade in ivory, which gave the area its name, was carried out during the 17th century, but caused such a decimation in the elephant population that the trade died out by the beginning of the eighteenth century. 
 
The earliest recorded French voyage to West Africa took place in 1483, but the first European outpost in Côte d’Ivoire was not established by the French until more than 200 hundred years later, in 1687 at Assinie, near the Ghana border. Assinie survived rather precariously, however, and only in the mid-nineteenth century did the French establish themselves firmly in Côte d’Ivoire. French explorers, missionaries, trading companies, and soldiers gradually extended the area under French control inland from the southeast lagoon region, and treaties were signed with local kings and rulers placing their territories under a French protectorate and allowing the French to build fortified posts along the Gulf of Guinea to serve as permanent trading centers. The first such posts included one at Assinie and another at Grand-Bassam, which became the colony’s first capital. The treaties provided for French sovereignty within the posts and for trading privileges in exchange for annual fees paid to the local rulers for use of the land. Though the arrangement was not perfect for the French, they maintained the treaties, hoping to expand trade and to blunt the increasing influence of the British along the Gulf of Guinea coast.
 
Although its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 caused the French government to abandon its colonial ambitions and withdraw its military garrisons from French West Africa, in 1885 France and Germany brought all the European powers with interests in Africa together at an international conference in Berlin to rationalize the European scramble for colonies in Africa. The resulting agreement stipulated that signatories would recognize European spheres of influence on the African coast only if they involved effective occupation by Europeans. Another agreement in 1890 extended this rule to the African interior and set off a rush for territory, primarily by France, Britain, Portugal, and Belgium.
 
In 1886, to support its claims of effective occupation, France again assumed direct control of its West African coastal trading posts and embarked on an accelerated program of exploration in the interior. By the end of the 1880s, France had established effective control over the coastal regions of Côte d’Ivoire, and in 1889 Britain recognized French sovereignty in the area. In 1893 Côte d’Ivoire was made a French colony, a status that changed very little until 1946. During the early years of French rule, the French military established new posts in the interior, meeting strong indigenous resistance. Among these resistance fighters was Samori Ture, who in the 1880s and 1890s established an empire that extended over large parts of present-day Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Côte d’Ivoire. French military campaigns against him, which were met with fierce resistance, intensified in the mid-1890s until he was captured in 1898.
 
From 1904 to 1958, Côte d’Ivoire was a constituent unit of the Federation of French West Africa. It was a colony and an overseas territory under the Third Republic. Until the period following World War II, governmental affairs in French West Africa were administered from Paris. France’s policy in West Africa was reflected mainly in its philosophy of “association,” meaning that all Africans in Côte d’Ivoire were officially French “subjects” without rights to representation in Africa or France. During World War II, the Vichy regime remained in control until 1943, when members of Gen. Charles De Gaulle’s Free French provisional government took control of French West Africa.
 
Political pressure from below led to far-reaching colonial reforms in 1946, including granting French citizenship to all African “subjects,” recognition of the right to organize politically, and abolition of various forms of forced labor. That political pressure was largely led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who first came to political prominence in 1944 as founder of the Syndicat Agricole Africain (African Farmers’ Union), an organization that won improved conditions for African farmers and formed a nucleus for his political party, the Parti Démocratique de la Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI). After World War II, he was elected to represent Côte d’Ivoire in the French National Assembly, which he did from 1946 to 1959, working for more reforms. Those efforts finally bore fruit in 1956, when the Overseas Reform Act transferred a number of powers from Paris to elected territorial governments in French West Africa and also abolished remaining voting inequities. In December 1958, Côte d’Ivoire became an autonomous republic within the French Community as a result of a referendum that brought Community status to all members of the old French West Africa except Guinea, which had voted against association. Côte d’Ivoire became independent on August 7, 1960, permitted its Community membership to lapse, and established the commercial city Abidjan as its capital. After thirteen years of service in the French National Assembly, including almost three as a minister in the French Government, Houphouët-Boigny was elected Côte d’Ivoire’s first prime minister in April 1959, and the following year was elected its first president.
 
Houphouët-Boigny was considerably more conservative than most African leaders of the post-colonial period, maintaining close ties to the West and rejecting the leftist and anti-western stance of many leaders at the time. Although this may have contributed to the country’s economic and political stability, it came at the price of Houphouët-Boigny’s autocratic style of governance via one party rule. The 1960 Côte d’Ivoire constitution envisioned a democratic government with a presidential system based on separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government and an independent judiciary. In practice, however, Houphouët-Boigny equated national unity with support for his PDCI and believed that competition among political parties would waste resources and destroy unity. Therefore, Ivoirian election law made it nearly impossible for any other party to win seats in the National Assembly, and Côte d’Ivoire was a one-party state until the first multi-party elections were held in 1990. As the sole political party, the PDCI came to exercise political control over all branches of government.
 
By the late 1960s, Houphouët-Boigny had concentrated power in his hands. Loyal colleagues were rewarded with positions of authority throughout government and PDCI. Houphouët-Boigny further consolidated his power by limiting the prerogatives of the National Assembly. Presidential and PDCI control of Assembly membership prevented an independent or opposition role by the assembly in the decision-making process, yet the existence of an Assembly with nominal power over legislation appeared to legitimize the government’s democratic pretensions and allowed the PDCI to use the Assembly as a way to co-opt potential opponents by providing Deputies with a variety of privileges and amenities.
 
At the same time, discontent among Ivoirians at all levels was growing. Rapid economic growth and urbanization had created increasing economic inequality, and in 1969 unemployed Ivoirians in Abidjan began to organize protest demonstrations to pressure the government to expel foreign workers so that Ivoirians could take their low-level jobs. Educated, middle class Ivoirians made similar demands that French workers who held skilled jobs in the economy and civil service be replaced with Ivoirian as well. Many university students, for their part, rejected the PDCI’s ideological conservatism and the regime’s neocolonial policies vis-à-vis France. Confrontations between protesters and the government were rife in 1969, and Houphouët-Boigny resorted to violent crackdowns, arrests and other heavy-handed tactics, which proved largely successful. During the 1970s, moreover, Houphouët-Boigny began to answer the student and middle class demands by replacing aging party militants with younger intellectuals and highly trained technocrats for whom he often created government jobs--and who therefore owed him loyalty.
 
Lured by Côte d’Ivoire’s flourishing economy, between the 1960’s and 1990 waves of mostly Muslim migrants from Burkina Faso and Mali moved to the country to work on cocoa plantations. At the same time, the country’s economy thrived, fuelled by exports of soft commodities such as cocoa, coffee and palm oil. However, Houphouët-Boigny’s government failed to address the country’s economic dependence on these commodities, and when the cocoa market collapsed in the 1980s – prices fell by nearly two thirds in comparison with the late 1970s peak level - Ivoirian economic growth dropped, and many native Ivoirians blamed immigrant farmers, chiefly Muslims who settled in the north, for their troubles. 
 
Thus the 1980s were marked by continuing and even rising protest and dissent. Houphouët-Boigny managed to quell protests by academics and students. The academic community was the most vocal protest group. In 1982, students went on strike to protest government efforts to halt political speeches on the National University of Côte d’Ivoire campus. Houphouët-Boigny chastised the students, abolished their organization, and forced them to return to their villages until they had apologized in writing to the government. Laurent Gbagbo, a young professor who during the strike advocated a multiparty system, went into voluntary exile in France and became a symbol for young Ivoirians who wanted to liberalize the system. The following year approximately 4,000 secondary-school teachers went on strike to protest the elimination of their housing allowances and to express solidarity with the students and professors who had protested over free speech the year before. Again reacting in an arbitrary manner that further alienated teachers and students alike, Houphouët-Boigny closed all the secondary schools and sent the 200,000 students home.
 
By 1990, however, Houphouët-Boigny acceded to demands for multi-party elections, but the election rules remained skewed in favor of the PDCI, and Houphouët-Boigny won the presidential election that year. Houphouët-Boigny died in office in 1993, and was succeeded by Henri Konan Bédié who was the President of the National Assembly. He was overthrown in 1999 by General Robert Guéï, a former army commander sacked by Bédié. This was the first coup d’état in the history of Côte d’Ivoire. In the face of an economic downturn, the junta promised to return the country to democratic rule in 2000, but when the elections were won by dissident Laurent Gbagbo, Guéï initially refused to accept defeat and street protests forced him to step down. Gbagbo became president on October 26, 2000. 
 
Nearly two years later, on September 19, 2002, a rebellion in the North and the West arose. The rebels, called the Forces Nouvelles de Côte d’Ivoire (New Forces), represented Muslim northerners who felt they were being discriminated against by the politically dominant and mostly Christian southerners. Mass murders occurred, notably in Abidjan from March 25 to 27, when government forces killed more than 200 protesters, and on June 20 and 21 June in Bouaké and Korhogo, where purges led to the execution of more than 100 people. A reconciliation process under international auspices started in 2003. In 2002 France sent its troops to Côte d’Ivoire as peacekeepers. Tensions between Côte d’Ivoire and France increased on November 6, 2004, after Ivoirian air strikes killed 9 French peacekeepers and an aid worker. In response, French forces attacked the airport at Yamoussoukro, destroying all airplanes in the Ivoirian Air Force. Protests erupted in both Abidjan and Yamoussoukro, and were marked by violence between Ivoirians and French peacekeepers. Thousands of foreigners, especially French nationals, evacuated the two cities. Most of the fighting ended by late 2004, with the country split between a rebel-held north and a government-held south. In March 2007 the two sides signed an agreement to hold fresh elections, though they were delayed until 2010, five years after Gbagbo’s term of office was supposed to have expired.
 
After northern candidate Alassane Ouattara was declared the victor of the 2010 Ivoirian presidential election by the country’s Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), the President of the Constitutional Council – an ally of Gbagbo – declared the results invalid and Gbagbo the winner. Both Gbagbo and Ouattara claimed victory and took the presidential oath of office. The international community, including the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union, the United States, and former colonial power France declared their support for Ouattara and called for Gbagbo to step down. Negotiations to resolve the dispute failed to achieve any satisfactory outcome. Hundreds of people were killed in escalating violence between pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara partisans and at least a million people fled their homes, mostly from Abidjan. The rebel army, now renamed the Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (RFCI), launched a full-scale offensive across the country in late March 2011, and massive desertion from Gbagbo’s army allowed the RFCI to achieve a quick victory by late April. 
more less
Cote D'Ivoire's Newspapers

Infos Côte d’Ivoire (in English and French)

more less
History of U.S. Relations with Cote D'Ivoire

The US and Côte d’Ivoire had friendly relations during the regime of Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who supported the US in its Cold War rivalry with the former Soviet Union and welcomed American investment in his country. After the outbreak of the Ivoirian civil war in 2002, relations cooled as the US suspended non-humanitarian aid. 

more less
Current U.S. Relations with Cote D'Ivoire

Along with the rest of the international community, the US urged President Laurent Gbagbo to relinquish power after the 2010 elections were determined to have elected rival Alassane Ouattara to the Presidency. With the success of Ottara’s forces in ousting Gbagbo, it is widely expected that relations will become friendly once again. 

 
According to Census Bureau estimates, by 2000 there were 3,110 people descended of Ivoirian immigrants. The cities with the most significant population are New York City, New York; Washington, DC; Baltimore, Maryland; Worcester, Massachusetts; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; Boston, Massachusetts; and Providence, Rhode Island. Noted Ivoirian-Americans include football player Amos Zereoué and actor Bambadjan Bamba.
 
more less
Where Does the Money Flow

Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s largest producer of cocoa, and US imports of cocoa are mainly responsible for the large trade deficit ($1.013 billion in 2010) between the two. US imports from Côte d’Ivoire more than tripled between 2002 and 2010, from $376.4 million in 2002 to $1.17 billion in 2010. The 2010 imports were dominated by cocoa beans ($593.9 million or 50.5%); crude oil ($230 million or 19.5%); bakery and confectionary products ($143.9 million or 12.2%); natural rubber and similar gums ($78.5 million or 6.7%); and fuel oil ($61.5 million or 5.2%). US exports to Côte d’Ivoire have grown more slowly, not quite doubling between 2002 and 2010, from $76.1 million to $162.6 million. Exports are led by plastic materials ($29.1 million or 17.9%); industrial engines ($17.6 million or 10.8%); industrial machinery ($16.2 million or 9.9%); motor vehicles, parts and accessories ($15.4 million or 9.5%); marine vessels ($10 million or 6.2%); specialized mining and excavation machinery ($8.6 million or 5.3%); drilling and oilfield equipment ($8.2 million or 5%); newsprint ($6.9 million or 4.2%); and chemicals ($6 million or 3.7%). 

 
Of the $133.6 million in U.S. aid to Côte d’Ivoire in 2010, $133.3 million (99.7%) was dedicated to global health and child survival, leaving $300,000 (0.3%) for counter-terrorism efforts, although the administration is requesting additional funds for civil society projects in the future.   
 
more less
Controversies
more less
Human Rights

The chaos that has dominated Ivoirian life since the outbreak of civil war in 2002 has been inimical to human rights, for while the country was divided, credible allegations of human rights violations were made against both the government and the Forces Nouvelles. The 2010 elections, which many hoped would bring peace to Côte d’Ivoire, instead yielded still more violence and dislocation. On December 2, 2010, the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) declared Alassane Ouattara the winner of the runoff with 54.1 percent of the vote as compared with 45.9 percent for Laurent Gbagbo. The UN and international and domestic observer missions declared the vote fair and democratic and recognized Ouattara as the country’s properly elected president. Gbagbo refused to accept the results, and on December 3, the Constitutional Council, which was made up entirely of Gbagbo appointees, overturned the CEI ruling, citing voter “irregularities.” More than 500,000 votes for Ouattara were annulled, and Gbagbo was declared the winner. A four month stalemate ensued, which was broken in April 2011 by a successful military offensive by forces loyal to Ouattara, and the forcible ouster of Gbagbo from office. Forces loyal to Gbagbo were finally cleared form the field by late May, and Ouattara took office on May 21, 2011. 

 
Hopes that Ouattara’s military victory would lead to peace and respect for human rights have not yet been realized. A June 2011 report by Amnesty International concluded that both sides in the conflict had committed “human rights violations and abuses, including extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings, rape and other sexual violence, torture, other ill-treatment and arbitrary arrest and detention; as well as the consequences of high levels of displacement, pervasive insecurity, and intentional destruction of homes and other buildings not justified by military necessity.” The report further found that Gbagbo’s former supporters were being subjected to harassment, unlawful or extra-judicial arrest and detention, and other forms of abuse. 
 
more less
Debate
more less
Past Ambassadors

Note: Embassy Abidjan was established Aug 7, 1960, with Donald L. Norland as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim. Name changed from Ivory Coast to Côte d’Ivoire Oct 15, 1986.

 
R. Borden Reams
Appointment: Oct 14, 1960
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 20, 1960
Termination of Mission: Left post, May 12, 1962
 
James Wine
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Oct 23, 1962
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 27, 1962
Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 6, 1965
 
George A. Morgan
Appointment: May 18, 1965
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 5, 1965
Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 16, 1969
 
John F. Root
Appointment: Nov 4, 1969
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 23, 1969
Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 6, 1974
 
Robert S. Smith
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Feb 11, 1974
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 11, 1974
Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 8, 1976
 
Monteagle Stearns
Appointment: Oct 5, 1976
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 13, 1976
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 12, 1979
 
Nancy V. Rawls
Appointment: Sep 28, 1979
Presentation of Credentials: Jan 16, 1980
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 16, 1983
 
Robert Hopkins Miller
Appointment: Oct 7, 1983
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 18, 1983
Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 3, 1986
 
Dennis Kux
Appointment: Sep 12, 1986
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 2, 1986
Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 8, 1989
 
Kenneth L. Brown
Appointment: Oct 10, 1989
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 22, 1989
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 3, 1992
 
Hume Alexander Horan
Appointment: Jun 15, 1992
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 10, 1992
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 6, 1995
 
Lannon Walker
Appointment: Jun 27, 1995
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 6, 1995
Termination of Mission: Left post Sep 28, 1998
 
George Mu
Appointment: Oct 22, 1998
Presentation of Credentials: Jan 6, 1999
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 12, 2001
 
Arlene Render
Appointment: Oct 1, 2001
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 19, 2001
Termination of Mission: Left Post, July 23, 2004
 
Aubrey Hooks
Appointment: May 12, 2004
Presentation of Credentials: Aug. 20, 2004
Termination of Mission: Aug. 02, 2007
 
Wanda L. Nesbitt
Appointment: September 25, 2007
Presentation of Credentials: November 6, 2007
Termination of Mission: 2010
more less
Cote D'Ivoire's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Diabate, Daouda

Daouda Diabaté returned to the United States for a second tour as ambassador from Côte d’Ivoire in February 2011, part of a diplomatic offensive by the internationally-recognized President-elect Alassane Ouattara against incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to leave power. 

 
A career diplomat, Daouda Diabaté was born January 1, 1948, in Saoundi, which was in the colony of Côte d’Ivoire, which at the time was part of French West Africa, along with Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea (now Guinea), Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger. He earned a B.A. in English at the National University of Abidjan in 1974, a graduate degree in diplomatic administration at the same university in 1975, and a graduate degree in advanced diplomatic studies from the International Institute for Public Administration and International Relations in Paris, France, in 1976. 
 
Diabaté joined the Côte d’Ivoire Foreign Ministry in 1977, serving as Head of the Press & Information Service until 1978. From 1979 to 1981, he was First Counselor at the Ivoirian Embassy to Liberia and Sierra Leone, followed by a lengthy stint in Europe from 1981 to 1986 as Counselor at the Embassy to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. From 1986 to 1994 he served in Côte d’Ivoire, first as Deputy Director of Bilateral Cooperation (1986-1987); as Secretary General for Administrative Reform, Ministry of Civil Service (1987-1990); and as Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1991-1994). 
 
From 1994 to 1996, Diabaté was Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire to Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda and Permanent Representative to the OAU (now the African Union) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya. On behalf of the OAU, in 1995 and 1996 he served as an Observer of the presidential elections in Algeria and Uganda. 
 
From 1997 to 2001 Diabaté was Ambassador to Morocco. During the 2002 Ivoirian political crisis, Diabaté was serving as Secretary General of the Department of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a position he held from 2001 to 2004, and as such he served as spokesman of the Foreign Minister after the outbreak of the crisis. In April 2004, however, Diabaté was named ambassador to the US and the Bahamas, a job he kept until November 2007, when he was named ambassador to Brazil. Diabaté was ambassador to Brazil when he was reassigned, again, to the US. 
 
Diabaté and his wife, Cecile, have five children. In addition to his native French, Diabaté speaks fluent English and intermediate Spanish. 
 

more less
Cote D'Ivoire's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.

Côte d’Ivoire embassy in the United States

2424 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20008
Telephone: (202) 797-0300
more less

Comments

Leave a comment

captcha

U.S. Ambassador to Cote D'Ivoire

McCulley, Terence
ambassador-image

The next ambassador to the West African nation of Côte d’Ivoire will be Terence P. McCulley, a member of the Senior Foreign Service whose diplomatic career has been spent mostly in Africa or working on African issues. If confirmed by the Senate he would succeed Philipp Carter III, who served in Abidjan starting in August 2010.

 

A native of Medford, Oregon, McCulley grew up in Eugene, where he earned a B.A. in European history and French language and literature at the University of Oregon in 1979. He attended the Université de Haute Bretagne in Rennes, France, from 1979-1980 as a Rotary Foundation Graduate Fellow, and also attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

 

Joining the Foreign Service in 1985, McCulley’s first three tours were in Niger, South Africa and Chad, working in management, consular and political reporting positions. Following his posting to Chad, he served as consul at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai, India.

 

From 1993 to 1995, McCulley was at the State Department in Washington, DC, serving as the desk officer for Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) during the Rwanda genocide, the massive influx of refugees into eastern Zaire and the beginnings of the conflict in Africa’s Great Lakes region. 

 

Back in Africa from 1995 to 2004, McCulley served three consecutive stints as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassies in Lomé, Togo, from 1995 to 1998; Dakar, Senegal, from 1998 to 2001; and Tunis, Tunisia, from 2001 to 2004.

 

In June 2004, he became the deputy coordinator for Iraq assistance in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

 

McCulley received his first ambassadorship when President George W. Bush nominated him to be ambassador to Mali in May 2005; confirmed by the Senate in June, McCulley served three years in Bamako.

 

After serving as deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 2008 to 2010, McCulley served as ambassador to Nigeria starting in August 2010.

 

McCulley is fluent in French, and speaks some Zulu and Wolof. He and his wife, Renée, have two sons.

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

États-Unis: Terence McCulley, nouvel ambassadeur en Côte d’Ivoire (by Diomandé Mémoué, Fratmat)

From D.C. With Love: The American Mission in Abuja (by Gunner Hamlyn, Chicago Policy Review)

more