July 11, 2008
Cote d’Ivoire was established as a French colony in 1893 and was a member of the Federation of French West Africa from 1904 to 1958. The people of Cote d’Ivoire were French people without rights to citizenship or representation from the French government. Felix Houphouet-Boigny was the first President of Cote d’Ivoire. He was elected in 1960, the same year that Cote d’Ivoire gained independence from France. Prior to this, Houphouet-Boigny had represented Cote d’Ivoire in the French National Assembly for thirteen years. He also formed the first agricultural union for the cocoa farmers. Cote d’Ivoire was a single party state during Houphouet-Boigny’s control, during this time Cote d’Ivoire prospered economically. In the late 80’s, when the world entered the recession, cocoa and coffee prices dropped and so did employment opportunities. The state was pressured to reform and move away from the one-party status. The death of Houphouet-Boigny in 1993 saw the end of the political alliance with the west and the start of a political battle for his successor. Ethnocentrism in the form of Ivoirite began when political rivals and candidates began competing for the presidency. Ethnicity and nationality were questioned and Alassane Dramane Ouattara was not allowed to be a candidate and Henri Konan Bedie won the election. President Bedie ruled for six years amidst allegations of corruption and mismanagement. The country’s first coup occurred on December 24, 1999 when President Bedie was overthrown and General Robert Geui assumed control of the country. Geui’s promises to end corruption and create a pure Ivorian government were side lined by his political ambitions. Laurent Gbagbo was elected president after General Guei fled the country.
The education system in Cote d’Ivoire was adapted from the French...