Ivory Coast (Cote D'Ivoire) is a 124,504 square mile nation that is situated in the western region of Africa. Over the years, the boundaries of Ivory Coast have gone through some significant changes. Archaeologists find it challenging to determine the date of the first habitation of Ivory Coast as the country's climate makes it difficult for remains to be preserved. However, historians have been able to determine that some kingdoms were situated within Ivory Coast's borders such as the state of Gyaaman, the state of the Baoule, and the Wattara Empire. The boundaries of Ivory Coast began taking their present-day shape after the French developed an interest in the region and made it a protectorate in 1843. Ivory Coast attained the status of a colony nearly 50 years after it was made a protectorate in 1893. The modern boundary of Ivory Coast is approximately 2,194 miles long and is shared with five countries, which include Mali, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Guinea, and Ghana.
Border Countries of Ivory Coast/Cote D'Ivoire
Ivory Coast-Mali Border
The border that separates Mali and Ivory Coast is roughly 372 miles long and is Ivory Coast's second shortest land border. The border is situated in the northwestern section of Ivory Coast. The boundary between Ivory Coast and Mali traces the path of several rivers such as the Baoule River in the western section and the Bagoe River in the northern section. There are some important towns along the border such as Manankoro, Kadiana, and Zegoua on the Malian side, and Tingrela and Nielle on the Ivorian side. One of the most distinct points in Ivory Coast, the northernmost point, is situated along the border with Mali.
Mali and Ivory Coast have longstanding diplomatic ties that go back to the colonial period as both nations were under control of the French. The diplomatic ties were made stronger after the president of Ivory Coast, Houphouët-Boigny, brokered a deal between Mali and Burkina Faso ending a longstanding border dispute. The diplomatic ties are also improved by the fact that both nations are members of the same regional organizations such as the African Union and ECOWAS. In Mali, the government of Ivory Coast is represented by an embassy situated in Bamako. On the other hand, the government of Mali is represented by an embassy situated in Abidjan and a consulate general located at Bouake.
Ivory Coast-Burkina Faso border
Ivory Coast's shortest border is the one that separates it from Burkina Faso, and it is approximately 372 miles long. The boundary traces the path of some rivers such as the Leraba and the Komoe. There are some important towns along the Burkina Faso-Ivory Coast border such as Ouangolodougou and Varale in Ivory Coast, and Batie and Banfora in Burkina Faso. The border is exceptionally significant particularly to Burkina Faso as the southernmost section of the country is located along the border.
The ties between Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast date back to the colonial period as France colonized both nations. However, despite the close ties between the nations, the relationship was adversely affected in 2014 after the ouster of Burkina Faso's leader Blaise Compaore. The leaders of Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast met roughly two years later and agreed to cooperate on several areas such as infrastructure and security.
Ivory Coast-Ghana Border
The border between Ghana and Ivory Coast is roughly 450 miles long and is situated in the eastern section of the country. The Black Volta, which is one of the most important rivers in the region, forms part of the boundary between the two nations. There are some significant cities along the border between the two nations such as Bole and Berekum on the Ghanaian side and Agnibilekrou and Tanda on the Ivorian side.
Ghana and Ivory Coast have had a tumultuous relationship, particularly in the early years after both nations had gained their independence. The government of Ghana accused the Ivorian government of allowing dissidents to use their country as a base. The relationship between Ghana and Ivory Coast had steadily improved by 1992; however, the progress was reversed after some incidents in 1993 and 1994. Ghana and Ivory Coast were also involved in a maritime dispute in 2010 that was resolved by the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea. In Ghana, the government of Ivory Coast is represented by an embassy situated in Accra while in Ivory Coast the Ghanaian government is represented by an embassy situated in Abidjan.
Ivory Coast-Guinea Border
The border between Guinea and Ivory Coast is approximately 507 miles long and is located on the western edge of Ivory Coast. A section of the Ivory Coast Guinea border traces the same path as the Sankarani River. There are some well-known towns close to the border such as Odienne and Bako on the Ivorian side and Soukourala and Lola on the Guinean side.
The ties between the Ivory Coast and Guinea date back to the colonial era as both nations were under French rule. Due to their close ties, the nations have collaborated on some projects such as roads that connect several Ivorian cities like Varale, Boundiali, and Odienne to Guinean cities such as Soukourala and Beyla.
Ivory Coast-Liberia Border
The boundary that separates Liberia and Ivory Coast is approximately 483 miles long and is situated on the southwestern side of Ivory Coast. The border follows the path of some rivers such as the Cavally River and the Dube River.
Due to their proximity, Liberia and Ivory Coast have close ties. One of the instances, when the close ties were demonstrated, was when an Ivorian medical unit went to Liberia to take part in a peacekeeping mission. In Ivory Coast, the Liberian government is represented by an embassy situated in Abidjan. On the other hand, in Liberia, the government of Ivory Coast is situated in Monrovia.
The Impact of Border Disputes
Border disputes have a significant impact particularly on people living along the border. In some instances, the disputes have been known to reduce the volume of trade in a region which significantly affects the economy.