Ivory Coast, officially the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, is a country in West Africa. Ivory Coast borders Liberia and Guinea to the west, Mali and Burkina Faso to the north, Ghana to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Close ties to France since independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export and foreign investment made Côte d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the West African states, but has not protected it from political turmoil.
Ivory Coast is heavily dependent on agriculture and related activities, which engage roughly two-thirds of the population. Ivory Coast is the world's largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans and a significant producer and exporter of coffee and palm oil. Consequently, the economy is highly sensitive to fluctuations in international prices for these products and in climatic conditions. Cocoa, oil, and coffee are the country's top export revenue earners, but the country is also producing gold and oil. Since the end of the civil war in 2003, political turmoil has continued to damage the economy, resulting in the loss of foreign investment and slow economic growth. Despite recent political instability and degrading infrastructure Ivory Coast citizens enjoy a relatively high level of income, compared to other countries in the region.
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