U.S. Relations With Cote d'Ivoire

Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
June 21, 2017

More information about Cote d'Ivoire is available on the Cote d'Ivoire Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States established diplomatic relations with Cote d’Ivoire (then called Ivory Coast) in 1960 following its independence from France. A coup in 1999 ushered in several years of coup attempts, disputed elections, rebellions, and attempts at reunification. In 2011, a new president was formally inaugurated after a period of fighting brought on by the incumbent's refusal to cede power following 2010 elections. In 2015, Cote d’Ivoire held very successful presidential elections and President Ouattara peacefully won reelection. President Ouattara introduced a new constitution in 2016, approved in a nationwide referendum.

In 2016, the country ranked among the top ten fastest growing economies in the world. Though the recent fall in the price of cocoa, Cote d’Ivoire main export, is expected to affect growth, Cote d’Ivoire remains a country with considerable potential. With investments by the United States and other international partners, Cote d’Ivoire can act as a bulwark against religious extremism and support U.S. efforts to promote democratic institutions, regional stability and counter the spread of terrorism.

U.S.-Ivoirian relations have traditionally been friendly and close. The United States participates in the international effort to assist Cote d’Ivoire in moving beyond its decade-long crisis, providing more than a quarter of the funding for the UN Operation in Cote d’Ivoire. The U.S. Government’s overriding interests in Cote d’Ivoire have long been to help restore peace, encourage disarmament and reunification of the country, and support a democratic government whose legitimacy can be accepted by all the citizens of Cote d’Ivoire.

U.S. Assistance to Cote d'Ivoire

The U.S. assistance to Cote d’Ivoire is focused on four priority areas. These are strengthening democracy and governance, expanding economic opportunities, advancing security sector reform, and improving health care systems and outcomes. The overall purpose of our programming is to create a peaceful and stable environment that will promote U.S. strategic and commercial interests and enable the Ivoirian people to prosper. U.S. assistance is implemented by diplomatic engagement across the political spectrum to promote multi-ethnic participation in the democratic process in lieu of violence and separation; strengthening institutional capacity of national, provincial, and local governmental institutions, the media, and civil society leading to better governance and increased public confidence in the democratic process; supporting electoral and follow-on activities; promoting respect for the rule of law and human rights; and addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic through expanded access to prevention, care, and treatment services. MCC programing in Cote d'Ivoire offers the opportunity to leverage existing efforts in public health, good governance, and economic openness.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Cote d’Ivoire is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. U.S. exports to Cote d'Ivoire include plastics, machinery, oil, agricultural products, vehicles, and iron and steel products. The United States is one of Cote d’ Ivoire’s top trading partners importing cocoa, oil, rubber, wood, and cashew nuts. U.S. firms have made investments in oil and gas, banking, cocoa, health, and international courier services. The United States has a trade and investment framework agreement with the West African Economic and Monetary Union, of which Cote d’Ivoire is a member. In 2014, Cote d’Ivoire was awarded a Millennium Challenge Corporation Threshold program and in December 2015, they were made MCC compact eligible. Currently, MCC is developing a five-year compact with Cote d'Ivoire and expects to announce the size of the compact this year. The program will improve technical and vocational education and facilitate the transportation of goods and people in to and out of Abidjan.

Cote d'Ivoire's Membership in International Organizations

Cote d'Ivoire and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. On June 2, 2017 Cote d'Ivoire was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the next two years.

Bilateral Representation

The position of U.S. Ambassador to Cote d'Ivoire is currently vacant; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Cote d'Ivoire maintains an embassy in the United States at 2424 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20007; tel: 202-797-0300.

More information about Cote d'Ivoire is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Cote d'Ivoire Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Cote d'Ivoire Page
U.S. Embassy
USAID Cote d'Ivoire Page
History of U.S. Relations With Cote d'Ivoire
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Country Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics (see Ivory Coast)
Export.gov International Offices Page
Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions Page
Millennium Challenge Corporation: Cote d'Ivoire
Library of Congress Country Studies (see Ivory Coast)
Travel Information