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Often called the "jewel of West Africa," Côte d'Ivoire has been a model of economic prosperity and political stability for its neighboring African countries since its independence in 1960.In the fifteenth century, French and Portuguese merchants in search of ivory named the region the Ivory Coast for its abundance of the natural resource.Côte d’Ivoire has a considerably higher prevalence of hepatitis C than the UK, so consider screening for hepatitis C.Ask opportunistically about any travel plans the patient may have to visit friends and relatives in their country of origin, and see National Travel Health Network and Centre ( There is a high risk of vitamin A deficiency in Côte d’Ivoire.Whether Côte d'Ivoire will continue its rich history of socio-economic development amidst this unstable political climate remains uncertain as of late 2000. Côte d'Ivoire occupies approximately 124,500 square miles (322,460 square kilometers), an area slightly larger than New Mexico.
Smaller groups live in the southeastern lagoon region, where contact and intermarriage between the Akan and other groups have resulted in a multicultural lifestyle.
Language areas correspond closely to the four cultural regions of the nation.
Agni and Baoule, both Kwa languages, are the most widely spoken languages in the south.
The country is made up of three distinct geographic regions: the southeast is marked by coastal lagoons; the southern region, especially the southwest, is densely forested; and the northern region is called the savannah zone.
The population of Côte d'Ivoire is ethnically diverse and delineated by the places the more than sixty indigenous ethnic groups live, although this number is often reduced to four major cultural regions—the southeast, sometimes referred to as the Atlantic East (Akan), the southwest, sometimes referred to as the Atlantic West (Kru), the northeast/north-central (Voltaic), and the northwest (Mande).Many Ivoirians understand English, which is taught in high school and the National University of Côte d'Ivoire, but English is not a language of choice, even among the educated. The country's flag is a vertical tricolor of orange, white, and green; orange represents the savannahs of the north, green represents the forests of the south, and white represents unity.