Côte d’Ivoire

Ivory CoastCôte d’Ivoire is located in western sub-Saharan Africa. It borders Liberia and Guinea in the west, Mali and Burkina Faso in the north, Ghana in the east, and the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) in the south. Côte d’Ivoire gained independence from France in 1960, led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who ruled the country until 1993. Since the end of Houphouët-Boigny’s rule in 1993, Cote d’Ivoire has experienced one coup d’état and two religion-grounded civil wars. Politically, the country is a republic with a strong executive power invested in its president.

At – a – glance

Capital: Yamoussoukro

Official Language: French

President: Alassane Quattara (since 2010)

Population: 22.7 million (2014)

National Anthem: L’Abidjanaise

The Media & Freedom of Expression Landscape in Côte d’Ivoire

Although there are prohibitions on speech that incites violence, hatred, or rebellion, press freedom and freedom of speech are protected by the constitution and by the country’s laws. In December 2013, the National Assembly passed an access to information law. In March 2014, the government announced that it would launch a Commission on Access to Information to monitor the application of the law.

Also, there are no reports that the government restricted access to the internet or monitored online communications in 2013; however, only about 3 percent of the population had access to the medium as of 2013.

In all, conditions for press freedom have improved since the end of the 2010–11 conflict, and incidents of violence and intimidation against journalists are increasingly rare.

For more information on the status of FoE in Côte d’Ivoire, visit: Freedom House

Media Regulatory Bodies in Côte d’Ivoire

The media in Cote d’Ivoire is controlled by the government. Audiovisual communications are regulated by the Conseil national de la communication audiovisuelle (CNCA), an administrative arm of the national government.

In addition, the media regulatory body, the Conseil National de la Presse (CNP), which frequently fines or reprimands journalists and suspends outlets for allegedly spreading incendiary or false information is a constitutionally established regulatory body in the country. In the first eight months of 2014 alone, the CNP gave 12 such punishments, prompting calls for restraint by free press advocates who fear that such measures will stifle or discourage independent or critical reporting.