General Information

Abidjan is the economic capital of Côte d'Ivoire and is one of the most populous French-speaking cities in Africa. It is the fourth most populous city proper in Africa, after Lagos, Cairo and Kinshasa. Considered the cultural crossroads of Africa, Abidjan is characterised by a high level of industrialisation and urbanisation.

The city expanded quickly after the construction of a new wharf in 1931, followed by its designation as the capital city of the then-French colony in 1933. Abidjan remained the capital of Côte d'Ivoire after its independence from France in 1960.

Because Abidjan is also the largest city in the country and the centre of its economic activity, it has officially been designated as the "economic capital" of the country. The Abidjan Autonomous District, which encompasses the city and some of its suburbs, is one of the 14 districts of Côte d'Ivoire.

The traditional language of the city was Ebrié. Since independence, the official language in Abidjan and throughout Côte d'Ivoire has been French. While the official language is a formal variety standard French similar to that of Paris, the most commonly spoken form of French in Abidjan is a colloquial dialect known as français de Treichville or français de Moussa which differs from standard French in pronunciation and in some of its vocabulary.

The district of Cocody is also home to many single-storey wooden villas, surrounded by vast gardens of lush vegetation, fed by the heavy rains that water the city. Wealthier inhabitants constructed villas in imitation of Greek temples in this district. In addition, many houses were built on stilts on the edge of the Ébrié Lagoon.

There are textile industries with the packaging of cotton in the north both for export or for on-site processing of cloth, canvas, batik clothing and miscellaneous. There are several offshore oil wells in operation (Côte d'Ivoire is an oil producing country), which leads to the presence of a chemical industry with oil refineries and an oil port. It also works on stones and precious metals for exportation.

The city also has a large wood processing plant at the port by river from the forests of central Canada. It exports natural mahogany, peeled wood, plywood and chipboard for the past two centuries.

Abidjan is a unique city in Africa. Its nicknames, such as "Manhattan of the tropics", "Small Manhattan" or "Pearl of the lagoons", explain the city's unpredictable and triumphant image. With its accommodation facilities – such as the Golf Hôtel – and sporting facilities, its lively night life, transport and communication lines as well as its impressiveness, it is the perfect city for business tourism.

Abidjan also has beaches around the lagoon, with palm and coconut trees, in the Vridi area, which are very popular at weekends with the picturesque sight of the pineapple and coconut sellers. Nevertheless, the rip-tides which affects practically the whole of the Gulf of Guinea's coast, means that in this area swimming is not usually allowed.

At the edge of the park, a small river serves as a wash-house where the fanicos, laundry men, work after collecting the laundry from the whole of the city. It is one of the 'small jobs' which exist in Abidjan.

Overall, the nightlife in Abidjan is considered to be one of the liveliest in the whole of Africa. The district has an abundance of night-clubs, maquis, out-door areas, and go-go bars. These entertainment platforms provide a musical 'pipeline' encompassing mainly DJs, Coupé Décalé and Zouglou, and, in lesser amounts, other local and international varieties.

Formerly containing only local traditional varieties, Congolese music and Western music, Abidjan's night life has experienced a positive cultural disruption in its music since the start of the 2000s, with the arrival of Coupé Décalé.

The Treichville mosque, the Cocody mosque, the Plateau Mosque, and Saint-Paul's Cathedral in Abidjan, created by the architect Aldo Spirito and consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1985, make up the city's main religious buildings. The cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Abidjan. On April 5, 2015, the construction of a new LDS Temple in Abidjan was announced.

Monuments and museums include; The National Library of Côte d'Ivoire In Cocody, The Goethe Institute, The Municipal Museum, The American Culture Centre (CCA), The Ki Yi M'Bock Village (in the Riviera), Cocody Museum of Contemporary Art, Point d'Orgue, private music education centre.