Staying in Abidjan
Abidjan has a broad range of hotels and residences guaranteeing all visitors a pleasant stay. An indicative list is available at: www.booking-abidjan.com. This list is managed by the National Organizing Committee (NOC) on behalf of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, and rates are available on the 2020 Annual Meetings website. Persons wishing to make a reservation should do so via the platform made available by the NOC at the African Development Bank.
Health care services
Health care services in Côte d’Ivoire are of an international standard and the African Development Bank is able to manage all kinds of medical emergency. Medical services at the 2020 Annual Meetings will be organized as follows:
- An essential health care and first aid centre at the Hôtel Ivoire conference centre, with services jointly provided by the Côte d’Ivoire Ambulance Service and the African Development Bank Medical Centre.
- Identified medical centres with referral services for specialized care. All those present at the conference centre or in the main hotels accommodating participants in the Annual Meetings will be able to access these facilities, either directly or via the emergency/ambulance services.
Information about hospitals and clinics is available at:
- Les services de santé à Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
- Liste des centres médicaux et cliniques
- Health in Abidjan
In the event of a medical emergency after hours, it will be possible to call the African Development Bank doctor at 75 75 05 05.
The Annual Meetings will be covered by five ambulances, one of which will be positioned at the Hôtel Ivoire conference centre.
Tourist attractions and historical monuments
Côte d’Ivoire has approximately 550 km of coastline, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, and some 300,000 hectares of lagoons: Sandy beaches, palm trees, creeks, cliffs and lagoons provide a setting for bathing, surfing, sport fishing, water sports, sailing, etc. The towns of Grand-Bassam, Assinie, Jacqueville and Sassandra, are the most popular seaside tourist destinations. In addition, the country boasts such towns as San Pedro, with its sumptuous Mono Gaga beach, and Grand-Béréby, which owe their popularity to the sublime La baie des sirènes.
The country has eight national parks and several nature reserves from north to south, offering a wide range of wildlife and landscapes. Since 1996, the Ivorian Government has been implementing a project to protect the wild areas of Côte d’Ivoire. In addition to the national parks and nature reserves, mention should be made of the sights and sounds of the country’s villages. However, their sacred character makes their development and availability to the general public a very delicate matter.
Traditional and religious tourism
Côte d’Ivoire is a true ethnic mosaic, with more than 60 different ethnicities which can be classified into four main groups (using linguistic criteria):
- The Mande group: located in the north-west of the country, this group, also called Mandingo, is principally composed of Malinke, Bambara, Jula and Fula people, plus members of other groups. In the central west, the Dan people live in the mountainous area, mainly around Man.
- The Krou group: The south central and south-west regions are home to the Krou or Magwe, mainly made up in turn by the Bété people.
- The Gur (or Voltaic) group: In the north-east, this group is one of the country’s most ancient peoples, along with the Senufo and the Lobi, who live in the north.
- The Akan group: The Akan group lives in the east, centre and south-east of the country. It is the largest ethnic group in Côte d’Ivoire and is divided into the Central Akan (mainly Baoulé), Border Akan (Anyin, Abron, etc.) and Lagoon Akan (Ebrié, Abouré, Adjukru, Appollonian, etc).
In addition, Côte d’Ivoire is also home to nationals from other West African countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Liberia, Ghana, Niger, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Mauritania, and more), all living in perfect harmony with native Ivorians.
Each of these groups finds a physical expression of its way of life through its art:
Wood and bronze
Raffia, rattan, wood and bamboo are used for wickerwork, woodcarvings, artistic furniture, etc. Bronze, worked using the ancient wax process, is known almost everywhere in Côte d’Ivoire.
Statues and masks
The main difference between a statue and a mask lies in the fact that a statue remains immobile during ceremonies, while a mask is actively used in every phase of the ritual, secured around the face of a participant, often an initiate whose anonymity is preserved.
Weaving and painting
The Baoulé, Jula and Senufo excel in the art of weaving. And the Baoulé and Senufo people are renowned for their fabric painting. Onto a panel of unbleached linen, the artist paints symbolic animals and geometric motifs. The weavers of the north use vegetable dyes such as indigo and kola. Kaolin is used to decorate the faces and bodies of those taking part in traditional and religious ceremonies.
The western region of Côte d’Ivoire has one of the richest dance traditions. The traditional repertoire consists of around 300 dance routines. The best-known include: The Tématé de Facobly, (a girls’ homage to the spirits for providing an abundant rice harvest), the dance of the stilt walkers, among many others, the Goly, Gouessesso and Danané. The stilt walkers perform original choreographed routines, carried out by masked young people, featuring brilliant gymnastics – all on stilts 3m high.
Weights for weighing gold
The Akan group are widely associated with gold. Their talent finds its special expression in copper figurines, used in days gone by for weighing gold, and serving today as beautiful decorations. Among the Anyin and Abron, every ceremony is an opportunity to adorn themselves in jewellery, eyeglasses and gold necklaces.
Pottery is practised by all ethnic groups, most often by women. The Malinke people produce some of the best pottery. Bowls, canaries and vases are created by hand and heated on the fire itself. The women potters of Katiola are the most renowned in the country.
Musical instruments are associated with different forms of worship. The most famous instruments are the tam-tam drums, whose rhythmic base is often supported by gourds covered in pearls or cowrie shells. Their sound is deep and vibrant. The balafon (or xylophone), used particularly in the north, is also appreciated by the Baoulé, Dan and Guéré peoples.
Religion in Côte d’Ivoire is characterized by a great diversity of practices. The religious faiths with the highest numbers of followers in Côte d’Ivoire are Islam (38%), and Christianity (Catholicism, 22%, and Protestantism, 5.5%). Many Ivorians (17%) maintain their traditional religions which continue to fairly dominate all the other beliefs. A further 17% of the people of Côte d’Ivoire practise other faiths.
The two largest religious buildings are:
The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro (central region, 230 km from Abidjan), was recorded by the Guinness Book of Records in 1989 as the largest religious building in the world.
The Great Mosque of Kong (north-east region, some 550 km from Abidjan), an Islamic religious building destroyed in 1897 by Samori Ture and rebuilt at the dawn of the twentieth century.
Côte d’Ivoire boasts several other wonderful religious buildings that enable believers from all backgrounds to come for spiritual refreshment: The Cathedral of Saint Paul and the Great Mosque, both in the Plateau district of Abidjan, the Marian Shrine of Abidjan, the Great Mosque of Yamoussoukro, and more.
The sporting landscape in Côte d’Ivoire is populated with many federations: football, handball, basketball, cycling, rugby, athletics, taekwondo, swimming, the Bandama Rally, golf, horse riding, canoeing, the Abidjan International Marathon, etc.
There are three golf courses in Côte d’Ivoire, in Abidjan, Yamoussoukro and San Pédro, each with 9 or 18 holes. There is an international competition every year, for which the Félix Houphouët-Boigny trophy is awarded. However, golf is not widely played in the country, given the high cost of the equipment needed to play the sport.