The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire (also called The Ivory Coast) is a republic in western Africa. Close ties to France since independence in 1960, diversification of agriculture for export, and encouragement of foreign investment have made Côte d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the tropical African states. About 20% of the population consists of workers from neighboring countries. On December 25, 1999, a military coup---the first ever in Côte d'Ivoire's history---overthrew the government. An economic downturn followed. The new regime promised to return the country to democratic rule in 2000. In October 2000, Laurent GBAGBO replaced junta leader Robert GUEI as president, ending ten months of military rule.
From the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the U.S. Department of State website. Not Wikified.