Area Handbook for Ivory Coast

By T. D. Roberts; Donald M. Bouton et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 14
FOREIGN POLICY

The twofold aim of the President's foreign policy is to maintain close cultural ties with France and to prevent the development of events which might result in a decrease of financial and technical assistance from France. He is interested in attracting both private and public capital, especially private, from other countries as well.

Serving as his own foreign minister, the President in 1962 made several trips abroad. The purpose of these trips, in the words of President Yacé of the National Assembly, was:

. . . to announce the presence of the Ivory Coast in the concert of nations and to define unequivocally [ Houphouët-Boigny's] political stand on the great international problems, a stand which could be defined as an effort for rapprochement and cooperation with all independent nations in the context of African unity to which we are so much, if not primarily, committed.

The primary commitment is to the economic development of the Ivory Coast itself, and to that end all efforts are bent.


HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

The story of the Ivory Coast in the French Community and why Houphouët-Boigny apparently reversed his stand, leaving the Community for independence, is an integral part of the history of the country's relations with its neighbors and friends. The 1958 French Constitution instituted the Community, the members of which were "to enjoy autonomy." If a member state chose independence, it would thereby cease to belong to the Community.

As a minister of state in the French Government ( May 13, 1958, to May 21, 1959), Houphouët-Boigny had helped to shape the new constitution, especially in regard to the provisions on the Community. The French Government was offering its African territories a chance to choose autonomy (as opposed to full independence) within a framework conceived as beneficial to the Africans.

The Community did not constitute the ultimate French-African federation of equals, which was Houphouët-Boigny's ideal. On the contrary, the French Republic was clearly the senior partner in the undertaking, as evidenced by the fact that the President of the Republic, in whose choice the other member states had only the smallest voice, was "to preside over and represent the Community." In addition, the Executive Council of the Community was so organized that there

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Area Handbook for Ivory Coast
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Preface to the Second Edition ix
  • Country Summary xi
  • Summary of Events: January 1963--December 1972 xv
  • Bibliography lvii
  • Preface to the First Edition lxv
  • Section I. Sociological Background 1
  • Chapter 1 General Character of the Society 1
  • Chapter 2 Historical Setting 7
  • Chapter 3 Geography and Population 29
  • Chapter 4 Ethnic Groups and Languages 55
  • Chapter 5 Family 79
  • Chapter 6 Social Structure 95
  • Chapter 7 Education and Intellectual Expression 111
  • Chapter 8 Religion 131
  • Chapter 9 Artistic Expression 145
  • Chapter 10 Health and Welfare 155
  • Chapter 11 Social Values and Patterns of Living 169
  • Bibliography 179
  • Section II. Political Background 189
  • Chapter 12 Constitution and Government 189
  • Chapter 13 Political Dynamics 213
  • Chapter 14 Foreign Policy 231
  • Chapter 15 Information and Propaganda 251
  • Chapter 16 Attitudes and Reactions of the People 265
  • Bibliography 273
  • Section III. Economic Background 283
  • Chapter 17 Character and Structure of the Economy 283
  • Chapter 18 Agriculture 289
  • Chapter 19 Industry 309
  • Chapter 20 Labor 331
  • Chapter 21 Domestic and Foreign Trade 349
  • Chapter 22 Financial System 367
  • Bibliography 387
  • Section IV. National Security 395
  • Chapter 23 Public Order and Internal Security 395
  • Chapter 24 the Armed Forces 411
  • Bibliography 427
  • Glossary 431
  • Index 437
  • Published Area Handbooks 449
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