Cote d'Ivoireby H. Sugar, Morna Daniels
Protected from slavers by the heavy surf and lack of harbours, the Cote d'Ivoire became a French colony in 1893. The cultivation of cocoa and coffee was introduced and today the country is one of the world's largest producers. In recent years the Cote d'Ivoire has become one of the most stable, and until the 1980s, one of the most prosperous countries in sub-Saharan Africa. President Houphouet-Boigny took power on independence in 1960 and retained it until his death in 1993, in spite of challenges to his authority. After independence, the President retained close links with France and the economy grew rapidly until the fall in cocoa and coffee prices. Since 1982, drought and rising government expenditure have resulted in debt crisis and austerity measures.
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