ATTITUDES AND REACTIONS OF THE PEOPLE
The Ivory Coast is a state, which its leaders are trying slowly to develop into a nation without the disruptions nationalism so often has brought in its train. Most of the inhabitants are uneducated country people, living close to the land, steeped in local tradition and preoccupied with affairs of the family and their own small communities. In comparison, educated urban people with broad national outlooks are few, but their proportion to the entire population is slowly growing, and their influence far exceeds their number. A basic problem of the leadership is to transform diffuse tribal and ethnic loyalties into support for a modern national organization. Tribal attitudes are only slowly disappearing, but the younger generations are questioning the traditional values, and a sense of national entity is gradually emerging.
In a geographical area inhabited by more than 60 ethnic groups and only in recent years considered a distinct political unit, the task of creating a concept of nation is a prime one for the country's leaders. Nation-building demands that all the citizens increasingly identify themselves with one another and at the same time learn to differentiate themselves from citizens of neighboring states. The elite furthered these ends years ago, in the fight for autonomy as opposed to federation and in the 1958 riots against the white-collar workers from neighboring countries. In both instances the motive force was economic. In both, the Ivory Coast was thought of as an economic unit, well-endowed in comparison with the other parts of West Africa. In the postindependence era the nation-building drive has continued to take a largely economic form.
Such an emphasis does not represent a break with the recent past. Political centralization facilitating overall guidance of economic development is a heritage from French rule. Continuing the development of the nation in the pattern followed by the French since the end of World War II, with only a minimum of change, appeals to most members of the small elite--the educated, articulate, politically sophisticated rulers of the country. Acutely conscious of their status and patronizing toward their untutored compatriots, the civil servants, clergy, educators and businessmen believe the country can best attain modern stature by means of a cautious process of education,