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Abidjan is the largest city and the chief port of the country of Côte d'Ivoire / Ivory Coast located in the continent of Africa. Presently, Yamoussoukro is the official capital of Côte d'Ivoire, but Abidjan holds its position as the most important commercial and banking centre in the country. Known as the “Paris of Africa”, it is one of the largest populated cities in Western Africa with a major French speaking population.

The city is situated on the Ébrié Lagoon, consisting of several peninsulas that are linked by bridges. The Ébrié Lagoon is separated from the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean by the Vridi Canal sandbar.

Today Abidjan’s seaport is known for exporting agricultural products such as coffee, cocoa, timber, bananas, pineapples, and manganese. The total area of Abidjan extends from the main administrative area to the industrial area in Petit-Bassam and the petroleum and mineral docks in the Vridi Canal.

The city has been beautified by a number of wide streets and green garden squares. There are a number of museums, research institutes and libraries that add up to the value of the city with its arts and crafts displays. Attractions such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, Hôtel Ivoire and Banco National Park help in drawing a lot of attention towards the city.

Image Source: Creative Commons/abdallahh

  • Meaning of “Abidjan”
The origin of the name Abidjan is an interesting story. It is said that an old man was returning home with wood branches in his hand, probably for burning a fire or building his house. On his way he came across a European traveller, who had got lost in the woods. When the traveller asked him the name of the nearest destination, the old man got frightened and thought he was asking what he was doing there. He dropped his wood branches and began shouting “tchan me bidjan”. The European traveller thought this was the name of the city and that is how Abidjan came into being.
CountryCôte d’Ivoire
CityAbidjan
CapitalYamoussoukro
RegionLagunes
Population3,660,682
Co-ordinates5°20′28″N 4°1′41″W
Time ZoneGMT (UTC+0)
Dialing Code+225
Official languageFrench