- a country in West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea; population 20,617,100 (est. 2009); capital, Yamoussoukro; languages, French (official) and West African languages. Also called Ivory Coast.
The area was explored by the Portuguese in the late 15th century. Subsequently, it was disputed over by traders from various European countries, who mainly sought ivory and slaves. Made a French protectorate in 1842, it became a fully independent republic in 1960