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The Legacy of Felix Houphouet-Boigny - Cote d'Ivoire - Essay Example

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The Legacy of Felix Houphouet-Boigny – Cote d’Ivoire Professor: Contents Introduction 3 Houphouet-Boigny 3 After Houphouet-Boigny 5 Implications for the future 8 Conclusion 9 References 10 Introduction Born on October 18, 1905, Felix Houphouet-Boigny was the first president of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, formerly the Ivory Coast, and through his work he created a prosperous and strong nation throughout the 1960s and 1970s…
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The Legacy of Felix Houphouet-Boigny - Cote dIvoire
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"The Legacy of Felix Houphouet-Boigny - Cote d'Ivoire"

Download file to see previous pages This effect was so strong, that during Houphouet-Boigny’s reign, Cote d’Ivoire was perceived as a model state and one to be aspired to. Consequently, on Houphouet-Boigny’s death, he left a significant legacy in his country. Since Houphouet-Boigny died, the sovereign state has been subject to significant inner conflict which cumulated in a civil war and high tensions across the country. Currently, with a democratically elected president of Cote d’Ivoire, there is a chance that the legacy of Houphouet-Boigny will be realized and the country may return to stability and economic prosperity. Houphouet-Boigny Cote d’Ivoire is a highly diverse state, containing more than 60 different ethnic groups. The varied nature of this population makes peace difficult, and the effectiveness of political power has varied depending on the political leader (Cocodia, 2008). This diversity is prevalent throughout the African nations and is thought to be one of the key factors. Currently, there are approximately 20.2 million people living in Cote d’Ivoire (BBC News, 2011). The main ethnic groups in the region are Akan, which comprise 42.1% of the population, Voltaiques or Gur (17.6%), Northen Mandes (16.5%) and Krous (11.5%). A number of small ethnic groups also exist. Religion is also highly varied, with 38.6% of the population being Muslim, 32.8% Christian, 11.9% Indigenous and 16.7% none. This distribution is confounded by the fact that approximately 70% of migratory workers are Muslim and 30% are Christian (Central Intelligence Agency, 2012). These factors show the significant challenges that Houphouet-Boigny faced in the creation of a unified country. Additionally, they show the ease in which the country could fall back into tension and conflict. Each ethnic or religious group has different perceptions about many things, such as politics and rights. Consequently, if a president aligns himself with a particular group, he may anger two or three others. This makes the creation of a representative and unifying government difficult. Felix Houphouet-Boigny achieved peace and unity in his country through two means. The first of these was the redistribution of wealth away from ethnic groups that were traditionally rich to those that were poor. This was a crucial move as it not only helped to stabilize the state’s economy, but it also assisted Houphouet-Boigny to become recognized as a fair leader as his own ethnic group was one that he shifted funds away from. Furthermore, this aided to provide strong ethnic stabilization as no group was treated as superior to another. Secondly, Houphouet-Boigny worked to maintain peace through sharing and redistributing power (Tangeras & Lagerlof, 2009). While he was in power, Houphouet-Boigny maintained a strong conscious focus over politics and the distribution of power among ethnic groups. In doing this, he was able to avoid the buildup of tensions within the nation (Cocodia, 2008). Through these actions, Houphouet-Boigny was able to create a government that most people supported. As president, Houphouet-Boigny maintained strong authority, significantly grew the economy of Cote d’Ivoire and gained respect from his people by running a highly representative government (Cocodia, 2008). Despite the fact that both Houphouet-Boigny and his ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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