Sunday, 21 July 2019


H History


It is difficult to estimate the exact period of the first human presence in Cote d'Ivoire because the bones are not conserved due to  the country humid climate. However, the discovery of weapons and tool fragments proves that in the Upper Palaeolithic (-15,000 to -10,000 years ago) humans were already present in quite a large number.

At that time, metallurgy was invented at the same time as in other parts of the world. At the end of the first millennium, the northern part of Cote d’ivoire was populated by the Senoufos and the Koulangos.

From that time it would appear that Pygmies have arrived in this part of Africa, forced to move due to the disappearance of the Sahara forests. Many Ivorian beliefs mention the first masters of the earth as little bearded men with clear complexion, living in trees and armed with bows and arrows that resemble very much the Pygmies still living in East Africa.

Portuguese were the first Europeans to land in Cote d'Ivoire in the 15th  century. Thus, Sassandra and San Pedro retained the names of Portuguese sailors. It was at this time that they began the slave trade pursued by the French in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The slave trade is a scourge that ravaged Africa for three centuries until it was banned in 1848 by the entire Europe. It has resulted in depopulation and a sharp decline in the demographic rate. But above all an intense hatred between the different ethnic groups which led to many tribal wars. Hesitating to venture into the African lands, the Europeans chose to pay Africans using them as slaves. Rapidly, important human hunts had multiplied endlessly between the different ethnic groups and caused the migration of the weakest ones. The opinion of the experts is divided. They estimate the number of slaves captured would have been between 20 and 100 millions in the whole continent.
At the end of the 17th century, many Akans of Ghana, the Agnis, migrated to Cote d'Ivoire to flee the slave hunters on the one hand and to search for gold on the other. They soon organized themselves into kingdoms and subjected the new immigrants. The most famous personage of that time was undoubtedly Amon N'Douffou II, ruler of Sanwi, the most powerful kingdom that signed a protectorate treaty with France in 1843.
During the reign of Louis XIV, the region of Assinie was governed by an “Essouma” prince named ANIABA. The French entrusted him to the missionaries to get educated.
In 1681, he was baptized by BOSSUET, 1st officer of color who served under the French flags.
The last Akans to emigrate to Cote d'Ivoire were the Baoule which means "the child died". They took an important place in the center of the country and extended their influence over the time. They were initially led by Queen Abla Pokou, then by her niece Akoua Boni.



In order to meet the new needs of the industrial revolution of the West, the French admiral BOUET was regularly crossing the region from 1830 and signed several monopoly trade contracts with the chiefs of the different tribes. These contracts were focused on gold, ivory, rubber and palm oil. Step by step, the French settled on the whole coast until they were chased away in 1870 by the English.
However, Arthur VERDIER stood up to them persisting and finally stayed in Cote d'Ivoire. His ships being regularly plundered, he decided to plant coffee in the region of Assinie. This decision will prove to be of vital importance for the country because coffee will later become the main cash crop alongside with cocoa. BINGER is then appointed French Resident for the country establishments and as such represents France with the local kings. In 1878, he obtained the restoration of the military structures of Assinie and Grand Bassam to protect the commercial installations against the English. He then founded in 1882 the company of Kong which manages a coffee plantation. Evidence is now given of the agricultural potential of Cote d'Ivoire and Africa overall.
In 1884 France, Great Britain, Germany and Belgium divided Africa into different zones of influence so everyone could take full advantage of the continent.
In 1887 TREICH-LAPLENE, a clerk of VERDIER, went north by signing treaties in the name of France with the Betties, the Agnis and finally the Abrons. He arrived at Kong and settled down there.
From 1887 to 1889, Louis BINGER (1856 - 1926) left Senegal, and traveled 4,000 km to join Grand-Bassam. During his journey in Kong, he met TREICH-LAPLENE and they went together to Grand-Bassam. BINGER is the first to link Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire.
During this period, SAMORY TOURE, a Guinean warrior, arrived in Cote d'Ivoire in search of new territories. He first attacked the Senoufos, then the Lobis,  captured and sold them as slaves.
In 1890, Grand-Lahou for another time was officially occupied by the French and gradually the effective power of France imposed itself against the other counters still present.
In 1891, SAMORY found himself at the head of a new empire that goes from Odienne to Bouna.
In 1892, the french worried about what was happening in the North, decided to send a detachment led by Captain MENARD to capture SAMORY. This one is massacred in Seguela.
On March 10, 1893, the decree establishing Cote d'Ivoire as a colony was signed, BINGER became its governor and Grand-Bassam the capital. However, the submission of the whole country is far from gained. It will actually take more than twenty years to France to really impose itself. Apart from the difficulties of the French people living under such a climate, many conflicts appeared because the different ethnic groups didn’t understand many arbitrary decisions of the French authorities.
In 1893, the French launched an army against SAMORY.  Sure of his defeat, he fled. A real manhunt then began and stopped in 1898 when SAMORY was captured and deported.
In 1899, Grand Bassam suffered a terrible epidemic of yellow fever which killed many French forcing them to retreat to Bingerville where the air is purer and made it the new capital of Cote d’Ivoire.

In 1902, Cote d'Ivoire joined French West Africa (AOF) whose governor resided in Dakar.
By the end of the First World War, attitudes towards mistrust of education had evolved, especially as a result of those who returned from abroad. Many Africans from different countries of the AOF left to study in Dakar.
In 1932, Félix HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY, a young doctor trained at the School of Medicine in Dakar, defended the cocoa planters. From the outset, he campaigned for a peaceful struggle and dialogue.
In 1934, to increase the economic development, Abidjan became the capital of Cote d'Ivoire after Bingerville.
In 1944, the Brazzaville Conference, convened by General De GAULLE to discuss the future of the French colonies, envisaged the possibility of autonomy.
Félix HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY quickly occupied a preponderant position which made possible the abolition of forced labor for coffee and cocoa planters. In 1944, he created the first African Agricultural Trade Union to fight more heavily against injustices.
In 1945, the different colonies obtained their representation in the French Constituent Assembly and Félix HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY is elected Deputy of Cote d’Ivoire. From the following year he obtained the abolition of forced labor for all the French colonies.
In 1946, Félix HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY founded the Democratic Party of Cote d'Ivoire (PDCI), which is the Ivorian section of the African Democratic Rally (RDA).
The meeting of the Prohibited Party (PDCI RDA) was held in 1948. But soon after, many members were arrested and imprisoned in Grand Bassam. The women then mobilized and began a protest march that will have a repercussion up to France which allowed the release of the party leaders.
In 1952, Félix HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY was elected to the Territorial Assembly.
In 1956, he entered the French Parliament and then became Minister Delegated to the Presidency of the Council in France.
In 1957, he became president of the AOF Council and expressed his desire to see the birth of a republican and independent Cote d’Ivoire.
In 1959, he became Prime Minister of Cote d'Ivoire and led the country to independence.
On August 7th 1960, the independence of Cote d'Ivoire was effective.
November 1960
Election of Félix HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY as President of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire.

From the start, the President of the Republic set himself ambitious goals: rapidly achieving food self-sufficiency, diversifying crops in order to be less dependent on coffee and cocoa, and finally launching dams, Implementation of Hydroelectric Power Plants.
In the 1970s, Cote d'Ivoire experienced a very strong economic growth sustained by the prices of coffee and cocoa. The country launched an important plan for industrialization and infrastructure development.
From 1982 to 1984, Cote d'Ivoire encountered its first major economic crisis due to the simultaneous effect of drought and falling prices of coffee and cocoa.
In May 1987, Cote d'Ivoire declared itself insolvent against a debt of 4.5 billion francs.
In July 1987, Félix HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY decided to block cocoa exports in order to stop the dizzying fall of prices. However, this measure will not be followed to the letter and will therefore not get the expected effect.
On June 5th 1989, the price of cocoa paid to the farmer felt from CFAF 400 per kg to CFAF 250 (then to CFAF 200 in 1990).
On September 27th 1989, Pope John Paul II, in person, inaugurated the Basilica Notre Dame de la Paix in Yamoussoukro.

MARCH 1990
The Implementation of the austerity plan agreed in 1989 with the World Bank and the IMF, included the reduction of public service wages and the levying of a solidarity contribution in the private sector. But the plan is suspended in April following protests in Abidjan.
In May 1990, the multi-party system was proclaimed (between May and September 25 parties were created).
On October 28th 1990, Félix HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY was declared president of the republic for the 7th consecutive time. He had more than 80% of the votes.
On December 7th 1993, President Félix HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY died. Cote d'Ivoire loses its spiritual Father.
Henri KONAN BEDIE, President of the National Assembly at that time, succeeded him becoming the second president of the republic of Cote d’Ivoire.


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