Abidjan

Abidjan
Autonomous District of Abidjan
District Autonome d'Abidjan  (French)
Abidjan skyline
Abidjan skyline
Flag of Abidjan
Flag
Official seal of Abidjan
Seal
Motto(s): 
"District d'Abidjan, acteur de développement"
Abidjan is located in Ivory Coast
Abidjan
Abidjan
Location in Cote d'Ivoire
Coordinates: 5°19′N 4°2′W / 5°19′N 4°2′W / 5.317; -4.033

Abidjan (n/ JAHN, French: [abidʒɑ̃]) is the economic capital of Ivory Coast and one of the most populous French-speaking cities in Africa. According to the 2014 census, Abidjan's population was 4.7 million, which is 20 percent of the overall population of the country, and this also makes it the sixth most populous city proper in Africa, after Lagos, Cairo, Kinshasa, Dar es Salaam, and Johannesburg. A cultural crossroads of West 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. The completion of the Vridi Canal in 1951 enabled Abidjan to become an important sea port. In 1983, the city of Yamoussoukro was designated as the official political capital of Côte d'Ivoire. However, almost all political institutions and foreign embassies continue to be located in Abidjan.

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.

Geography

Location map of Abidjan

Abidjan lies on the south-east coast of the country, on the Gulf of Guinea. The city is located on the Ébrié Lagoon. The business district, Le Plateau, is the center of the city, along with Cocody, Deux Plateaux (the city's wealthiest neighborhood and a hub for diplomats), and Adjamé, a slum on the north shore of the lagoon. Treichville and Marcory lie to the south, Attecoube, Locodjro, Abobo Doume and Yopougon to the west, and Île Boulay is located in the middle of the lagoon. Further south lies Port Bouët, home to the airport and main seaport. Abidjan is located at 5°25′ North, 4°2′ West (5.41667, −4.03333).[4]

Climate

Abidjan experiences a tropical wet and dry climate, according to the Köppen climate classification (Köppen climate classification: As). Abidjan has nonconsecutive rainy seasons (precipitation above 60 millimetres (2.4 in) with a long rainy season from March to July and a short rainy season from September to December, and three dry months (January, February and August). Precipitation is abundant during the summer months, except for August, due to activation of the Benguela Current, which reduces the precipitation total throughout the month.[5] The Benguela Current also lowers the mean temperature during August, making it the coolest month of the year, averaging 24.5 °C (76.1 °F). Abidjan has two additional dry months (January and February). Abidjan is generally humid, with average relative humidity above 80% throughout the year.

Climate data for Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.0
(95.0)
35.7
(96.3)
34.9
(94.8)
35.0
(95.0)
34.9
(94.8)
36.2
(97.2)
34.0
(93.2)
32.0
(89.6)
32.1
(89.8)
32.8
(91.0)
35.0
(95.0)
33.7
(92.7)
36.2
(97.2)
Average high °C (°F) 30.5
(86.9)
31.0
(87.8)
31.1
(88.0)
31.2
(88.2)
30.4
(86.7)
28.7
(83.7)
27.4
(81.3)
26.9
(80.4)
27.6
(81.7)
29.2
(84.6)
30.5
(86.9)
30.3
(86.5)
29.6
(85.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.8
(80.2)
27.7
(81.9)
27.9
(82.2)
27.7
(81.9)
26.9
(80.4)
25.8
(78.4)
24.7
(76.5)
24.5
(76.1)
25.6
(78.1)
26.8
(80.2)
27.4
(81.3)
27.0
(80.6)
26.6
(79.9)
Average low °C (°F) 23.5
(74.3)
24.6
(76.3)
24.9
(76.8)
24.9
(76.8)
24.6
(76.3)
23.7
(74.7)
22.9
(73.2)
22.1
(71.8)
22.3
(72.1)
23.6
(74.5)
24.4
(75.9)
23.8
(74.8)
23.8
(74.8)
Record low °C (°F) 14.7
(58.5)
16.0
(60.8)
19.0
(66.2)
15.9
(60.6)
18.5
(65.3)
18.6
(65.5)
17.1
(62.8)
17.2
(63.0)
15.2
(59.4)
17.5
(63.5)
19.5
(67.1)
16.5
(61.7)
14.7
(58.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 16.3
(0.64)
48.9
(1.93)
106.7
(4.20)
141.3
(5.56)
293.5
(11.56)
561.8
(22.12)
205.7
(8.10)
36.8
(1.45)
80.5
(3.17)
137.7
(5.42)
143.3
(5.64)
75.1
(2.96)
1,847.6
(72.75)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 3 4 9 11 19 22 12 8 11 14 16 9 138
Average relative humidity (%) 84 86 83 82 84 86 85 86 89 87 83 83 85
Mean monthly sunshine hours 183 212 226 210 192 117 115 121 141 202 225 208 2,152
Source #1: Deutscher Wetterdienst[6]
Source #2: Danish Meteorological Institute[7]
Abidjan mean sea temperature[8][9]
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
28 °C (82 °F) 28 °C (82 °F) 28 °C (82 °F) 29 °C (84 °F) 29 °C (84 °F) 28 °C (82 °F) 26 °C (79 °F) 25 °C (77 °F) 25 °C (77 °F) 26 °C (79 °F) 28 °C (82 °F) 28 °C (82 °F)

Territorial divisions

Abidjan is composed of northern Abidjan and southern Abidjan. Each has ten formal boroughs, or communes, each being run by a mayor.

Communes of Northern Abidjan

Some buildings in the Plateau
  • Abobo consists mainly of public housing. Abobo has a large population of low-income migrants. This area has developed spontaneously.
  • Adjamé developed from the village of Ébrié, which existed before Abidjan developed. Although polluted and small in size, this commune is commercially very important for the Ivorian economy. It contains a varied shopping district and its bus station is the Côte d'Ivoire's main hub for international bus lines.
  • Yopougon is the most populous commune of Abidjan, lying partly in Northern Abidjan and partly across the lagoon in Southern Abidjan. It is home to both industrial and residential areas. The research station ORSTOM, the Pasteur Institute, and a training hospital are located in this commune.
  • Plateau is Ivory Coast's business center, with very modern, tall buildings. Although the governmental and administrative capital of Côte d'Ivoire officially transferred to Yamoussoukro in 1983, the institutions of the republic such as the Presidency and National Assembly are still located in Plateau. It is the main administrative, commercial and financial center of Ivory Coast.
  • Attécoubé contains Banco forest, classified as a national park.
  • Cocody is famous for its residential districts, Deux-Plateaux and Riviera. The Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny, a public institution, and some private universities are also located within the commune. Radio Television Ivoirienne (RTI) is located in Cocody. The President of the Republic also resides in this commune, which contains the embassy district.

Communes of Southern Abidjan

Beach of Vridi
  • Koumassi: This commune has an important industrial area.
  • Marcory: This commune is mainly residential, and contains the upscale Biétry [fr] and Zone 4 neighborhoods where many foreigners live.
  • Port-Bouët: This commune includes the (SIR refinery and the Félix Houphouët-Boigny International airport. There is also an established office of the IRD, the centre of Little Bassam.[10] The famous lighthouse sweeps the Gulf of Guinea for several nautical miles out. The Vridi beach area is busy every weekend although the ocean is very rough; this phenomenon widely holds all along the Gulf of Guinea. From 1950 on, Vridi has been the primary employment hub in Abidjan because of its increasing number of factories and warehouses.
  • Treichville: This commune is home to the Autonomous Port of Abidjan and to many stores. The port area is also industrial. There is also the Treichville state swimming pool (PET), the Treichville sports palace, the Palace of Culture, and the Abidjan racetrack.

Suburbs

Towns near Abidjan include Jacqueville, Grand-Lahou and Dabou in the west; Sikensi, Tiassalé, Agboville, Adzopé and Alépé in the north; and Grand-Bassam to the east.

The towns (or sub-prefectures) of Anyama, Bingerville, Brofodoumé and Songon are within the Abidjan Department, which is co-extensive with the autonomous district.