Brief History and Politics

Development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment made Cote d’Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the tropical African states, but did not protect it from political turmoil.
The Republique de Cote D’Ivoire is a french neocolony which gained its independence in 1960. This east-African country, whose name translates to English speakers as “Ivory Coast”, was a station of Peace Corps assistance. Their local effort was situated in a remote and poor village called Braffoeby.

The political atmosphere of the Ivory Coast during its civil war contributed to the Peace Corps’ removal from the region in 2002, including the founder of our our organization, Patricia Nau Mertz.

In December 1999, a military coup – the first ever in Cote d’Ivoire’s history – overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert GUEI blatantly rigged elections held in late 2000 and declared himself the winner. Popular protest forced him to step aside and brought runner-up Laurent GBAGBO into power.

Ivorian dissidents and disaffected members of the military launched a failed coup attempt in September 2002. Fighting ensued as rebel forces claimed the northern half of the country, and in January 2003 were granted ministerial positions in a unity government under the auspices of the Linas-Marcoussis Peace Accord. Although most of the fighting ended by late 2004, the country remains split in two, with a rebel-held north and a government-held south. International troops were brought into Côte d’Ivoire to help resolve the situation.

A peace agreement to end the conflict was signed in March 2007. This opened doors to possibilities for public held elections and the reunification of the country. Though much needeew charitable efforts have been cradling the remaining impoverished yet stable situation.