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Where in the World is . . . Côte d’Ivoire (TU) ITU Zone 45 CQ Zone 35

October 8th, 2019 Comments off

Where in the World is . . . Côte d’Ivoire (TU) ITU Zone 45 CQ Zone 35

Ivory Coast or officially The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is a West African country with beach resorts, rainforests and a French-colonial legacy. Surrounded on the east by Ghana, on the west by Guinea and Liberia and on the North by Burkina Faso and Mali.

For more than three decades after its independence from France, Ivory Coast was known for its religious and ethnic harmony, as well as its well-developed economy.

The Western African country was hailed as a model of stability. But an armed rebellion in 2002 split the nation in two; a Muslim North and a Christian South. Since then, peace deals alternated with renewed violence as the country slowly edged its way towards a political resolution of the conflict. Despite the instability, Ivory Coast is the world’s largest exporter of cocoa beans, and its citizens enjoy a relatively high level of income compared to other countries in the region.

Abidjan, on the Atlantic coast, is the country’s major urban center. Its modern landmarks include, the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro It surpasses even St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, with an exterior area of 340,000 square feet Finished in 1990, its design is said to have been inspired by its Vatican City sibling, with a hefty dose of Renaissance and Baroque style. It can hold about 18,000 worshipers, though is very rarely full. North of the central business district, Banco National Park is a rainforest preserve with hiking trails.

The first Europeans to explore the West African coast were the Portuguese. Other European sea powers soon followed, and trade was established with many of the coastal peoples of West Africa. The absence of sheltered harbors along its coastline prevented Europeans from establishing permanent trading posts. The slave trade had little effect on the peoples of Ivory Coast, though s profitable trade in ivory was carried out during the seventeenth century, but it brought about such a decline in elephants that the trade itself virtually had died out by the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Only in the mid-nineteenth century did the French establish themselves firmly in Ivory Coast. Activity along the coast stimulated European interest in the interior. France wanted to maintain a presence in the region to stem the increasing influence of the British along the Gulf of Guinea coast.

In 1885 France and Germany brought all the European powers with interests in Africa to rationalize what became known as the European scramble for colonies in Africa. That conference set off a scramble for territory, primarily by France, Britain, Portugal, and Belgium. Eventually, Ivory Coast b ecame an independent nation in 1960.

The literacy rate in Ivory Coast is low. Only 48% can read and many children between the age of 6 and 10 are not enrolled in school. Likewise, the healthcare system is not well built out in the country. HIV Aids are prevalent in much of the population. Also, postnatal heath issues are a problem as well. Medical care is supplemented by Africa Mercy (www.mercyships.org), a fully equipped hospital ship that makes regular visits to Ivory Coast.

According to Club Log’s Most wanted DXCC list, Ivory Coast is listed at the 141st Most Wanted DXCC entity. QRZ lists a total of 93 Amateur Radio Operators. About 30% of these from various DXpeditions or temporary visitors. In 2011, I had a QSO with TU2T, the Italian DXpedition team and in 2017, I worked TU7C, a DXpedition sponsored by the Radio Club de Provins (F6KOP).

Reporting from the Dark Side,

Ron, K5HM

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