Abidjan

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Abidjan

Abidjan (ăbĬjän´), city (1995 pop. 2,793,000), former capital of Côte d'Ivoire, a port on the Ébrié Lagoon (an arm of the Gulf of Guinea). Abidjan is Côte d'Ivoire's administrative center, commercial capital, and largest city. Its modern port is centered on Little Bassam Island, which is linked with the rest of the city by two bridges; the Vridi Canal passing through the lagoon bar provides access to the Atlantic Ocean. Coffee, cacao, timber, pineapples, manganese, and plantains are the chief items shipped from the port. Abidjan's major industries are food processing, sawmilling, automotive assembly, and the manufacture of textiles, chemicals, beverages, and soap. A communications and transportation hub, the city is connected by road or rail with neighboring countries. An international airport is nearby. In 1934 Abidjan became the capital of France's Côte d'Ivoire colony. After 1950, the city became the financial center of French-speaking W Africa. In 1983 Yamoussoukro was designated as the national capital, but most government offices and foreign embassies are still in Abidjan. The Univ. of Abidjan, several technical colleges, and the national library and museum are in the city, which is also a popular tourist spot. A national park with a remarkable rain forest is nearby.

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