Ivory Coast (or Côte d'Ivoire) is a country in West Africa that borders Liberia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Ghana. It was inhabited by African states such as the Wattara Kingdom, with European merchants trading in ivory and slaves with inland kingdoms from the 15th to 18th centuries, establishing coastal forts, most notably the French one at Grand Bassam. In 1844 the colony became a French protectorate, but accelerated inland exploration and colonisation did not begin until 1886, with the advent of the Scramble for Africa. The wars with the Wattara did not end until the region was pacified in 1917. It was part of French West Africa until it's independence along with other Francophone African states in 1960, when Félix Houphouët-Boigny became president, and established strong ties with France in the form of 'Françafrique'. Quasi-dictatorial juntas ruled until after two Ivorian civil wars in 2002 and 2011, after which democracy was finally established. As of 2018, it has a population of about 24 million people. It uses the West African CFA Franc, but issues commemorative coins of it's own.
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