The ethnic and cultural diversity is great in the Ivory Coast. Well known are the wood-carved masks, which play an important role in cultural rites and ceremonies. The Baulé people have developed a special art of wood carving. Wooden sculptures from the Ivory Coast were among the first examples of art from black Africa to be exhibited in Europe. The Dan people in the western Ivory Coast make murals with white and red clay on their houses built of clay bricks.
Written literature is a late phenomenon and has come to be linked partly to the oral tradition’s way of playing on associations, and partly to Western tradition. The first novels were autobiographical and were written in the 1950s, when criticism of colonial rule dominated. Then came works on social and political misconduct in the independent Ivory Coast, such as Ahmadou Kourouma’s Les Soleils des indépendances, in which the author mixes French with his own mother tongue, Malinke.
Werewere Liking, a leading female writer in French-speaking Africa, was originally from Cameroon but emigrated to the Ivory Coast, where tolerance for artistic experimentation was greater. The more well-known authors also include Bernard Dadié, Veronique Tadjo and Marguerite Abouet (she has also filmed her own comic book album: Aya de Yopougon, which is about young people’s lives in the Ivory Coast).
Reggae music is popular in the Ivory Coast. Reggae singer Alpha Blondy has used the music to criticize the country’s rulers. Reggae star Tiken Jah Fakoly, who lives in exile in Mali, also writes socially critical lyrics. Among the more famous Ivorian rap artists are Rudy Rudiction and Garba 50. A new star on the rap scene is Bop de Narr, whose name alludes to a French mercenary Bob Denard who, among other things, has been involved in several coups in the Comoros.
One of the most famous visual artists, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, from 1923 to 2014, created, among other things, 400 pictograms that could be combined into a written language for the Bété people. Other famous artists are Tamsir Dia, Jems Robert Koko Bi and Franck Fanny.
Director Philippe Lacôte, born in Côte d’Ivoire, had great success with the film Night of the Kings, about a young gang member in Abidjan, at the Venice 2020 festival. under the name microbes).
Ex-President Bédié is running for election
Henri Konan Bédié, who was president of the Ivory Coast between 1993 and 1999, announces his candidacy for the October presidential election. The 86-year-old ex-president represents the Ivory Coast Democratic Party (PDCI), which took power for almost 40 years after independence in 1960. Among other contenders for the presidential post are the incumbent Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly and the former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan (see June 2020). Current President Alassane Outtara does not stand for re-election (see March 2020).
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Ivory Coast, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Thirteen dead after race in Abidjan
Heavy rains result in a built-up slope in one of Abidjan’s suburbs. The breed causes at least 13 people’s death and great material destruction. According to local authorities, efforts are underway to find survivors but the death toll is feared to rise further. This year’s rainy season began in May and is expected to last until the end of July.
Ten dead in attack on military posting
A military posting in the village of Kafolo near the Burkina Faso border is being attacked by some 40 armed men. Ten Ivorian soldiers are killed. The attack is believed to be a revenge for an incident in mid-May when Ivorian forces took part in an attack on militant Islamists on the Burkinian side of the border. Defense Minister Hamed Bakayoko calls the attack in Kafolo a terror attack and links it to drug trafficking in the area. He says the state will respond with air raids and an increased presence along the border.
Pascal Affi N’Guessan is running for president
According to Abbreviationfinder, former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan, leader of the opposition party Ivorian People’s Front (FPI), announces that he will stand in the presidential election in October. The message is seen as a sign of the continuing divide in the FPI, where a falang wants to see the party’s founder and the country’s ex-president Laurent Gbagbo as the main candidate. Gbagbo is currently in Europe where he has been prosecuted by the International Criminal Court for the violence after the 2010 election. He has been acquitted but the sentence has been appealed (see September 2019). It is unclear if he will be able to return to run for office. His supporters in the party call themselves “Gbagbo or nothing” and have said they will boycott the election unless Gbagbo participates.
Opposition leaders are arrested after riots
One of the leaders of the opposition organization EDS, Étienne Daïpo N’Ponon, is charged with instigating a violent riot in early April that targeted a test station for covid-19 in Abidjan (see April 6, 2020). The umbrella organization EDS consists of political and trade union movements with close ties to former President Laurent Gbagbo’s party FPI. According to prosecutors, N’Ponon, along with a well-known network activist, should have spread false information about covid-19 and incited people to try to destroy the test station. Twelve people were arrested during the April riots.
Coronary restrictions are lifted in most of the country
The government announces that it is now lifting the restrictions aimed at restricting the spread of covid-19. The relief applies to all parts of the country except Abidjan, which was hardest hit by the infection. In the rest of the country, no new cases have been detected in just over two weeks, according to President Alassane Ouattara, and therefore children and young people can now return to schools, and shops, bars and restaurants re-open as usual
Soro is sentenced to prison in his absence
Former rebel leader and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro is sentenced in his absence to 20 years in prison and fined $ 7.6 million for embezzlement and money laundering . He is convicted of having bought a house with public funds. Abidjan’s property is also confiscated and he is prohibited from holding a public office for five years. Soro, who is in exile in France, denies the crime and claims that the verdict is political and aims to prevent him from running in the presidential election this fall. The trial is completed in a few hours and boycotted by the defense. Soro is also accused of planning a coup against President Ouattara in late 2019 (see December 2019). Earlier in April, the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) ordered that the arrest warrant against Soro be suspended pending it to take into account information provided by Soro’s lawyers that his rights were violated. ACHPR also called on the Ivory Coast to release 19 detained Soro supporters.
Unrest in Abidjan
In Abidjan, the country’s commercial center, police and residents meet in the Yopougon district. Behind the violence is a concern that a test station set up to carry out tests on people suffering from covid-19 should lead to increased spread of infection in the area. Police intervened to demolish barricades set up by residents and used tear gas to disperse those protesting. Twelve people are arrested. Up to April 3, 261 cases of covid-19 have been reported in Ivory Coast and three people have died.
Ivory Coast announces health emergency
Ivory Coast announces a health emergency to try to prevent more people from being infected with the covid-19 viral disease. As of March 24, curfew will be introduced between nine in the evening and five in the morning. All bars are also closed, and all travel without permission from Abidjan to other parts of the country is also banned. President Alassane Ouattara also says that measures may be tightened depending on how the situation develops. The day after, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly announces he is in self-quarantine after meeting people infected by covid-19.
Parliament approves controversial constitutional amendment
The two chambers of the Ivorian Parliament approve with clear majority the controversial proposal for a constitutional reform proposed by President Alassane Ouattara. 246 members vote for and two against. However, the vote is boycotted by the opposition. According to the proposal, the candidates for the presidential and vice-presidential posts are no longer in pairs. Instead, the president will appoint his vice president after the election. Representatives of the opposition say that they oppose all changes to the constitution before the fall presidential election. Alongside Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who is running for the ruling party, only former rebel leader and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro has announced his candidacy. However, Soro is in exile in France, due to a charge brought against him when he was on his way home to prepare for his election campaign.
Ivory Coast closes schools and universities
Six cases of covid-19, the disease that caused the ongoing pandemic, are reported from Ivory Coast. One man must have recovered, The Ivorian government decides to close all schools and universities from March 18 and 30 days onwards. All nightclubs, cinemas and theaters must stay closed for 15 days, while restaurants and bars can stay open. In addition, all collections are banned by more than 50 people. It also stops all travelers from countries that have reported more than 100 cases of covid-19. However, Ivorian citizens may return home if they quarantine for at least 14 days. Religious leaders also decide to set up worship services and other gatherings to protect the people in their congregations.
Coulibaly becomes the presidential candidate of the ruling party
the 13th of March
The ruling party of the Houphouetist Assembly for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) appoints Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly as its candidate in the fall presidential election in Ivory Coast. Coulibaly is close to President Alassane Ouattara. He comes from the country’s northern part, and was the mayor of Korhogo, the country’s fourth largest city between 2001 and 2018. The appointment is made a week after Ouattara announced that he would not stand for re-election and without the party voting on the matter.
First case of covid-19 in Ivory Coast
11th of March
A 45-year-old Ivorian who recently visited Italy becomes the Ivory Coast’s first known case of covid-19. According to authorities, the man was quickly isolated and everyone he has been in contact with since his return home has been identified.
Ouattara is not running for re-election
Alassane Ouattara unexpectedly announces that he does not intend to run for re-election in the October presidential election. It happens after a long period of speculation about how he would do. He has been accused of having changed the constitution in order to retain power. Ouattara has previously said he would stand in the election if his main political rivals, Laurent Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bédié, would take part. However, none of them have given any indication as to whether they intend to stand or not. Politicians from a variety of parties welcome the message.