ETHNIC GROUPS OF IVORY COAST

Ivory Coast also known as Côte d’Ivoire has an estimated population of over 25 million people according to a 2018 census. There is a diversity of ethnic groups which comprises over 60 ethnic groups in this State where Akan is the predominant ethnic group of the entire population.

AKAN COMMUNITY

Akan ethnic group is the predominant and largest in Ivory Coast which forms over 40% of the total population of Ivory Coast found in the central and eastern regions of the country. The Akan people are believed to have migrated from the Saharan desert and Sahel region of Africa settling  in Ghana where they are still present and migrated into Ivory Coast.

The Akan ethnic group is a community which has subgroups including; the Ashanti, Abinghi, Abidji, Ahafo, Bono, Fante, Kwahu, Wassa and others. They were known for their trade in gold and cash crops.

The native language spoken by the Akan community is the Akan language belonging to the Tano language family is spoken by over 40% of the total population of Ivory Coast.

GUR COMMUNITY

The Gur community are also known as the Voltaiques (French name for River Volta). It is the second largest community in Ivory Coast with over 15% of the total population. They are mostly found in the northern region of the country and are divided into two; Northern Gur and Southern Gur.

The Gur community can be found in Mali, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin Republic having a diversity of languages from the Gur language.

NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN MANDE

The Southern and Northern Mande are ethnic groups that are predominantly found in the Western and Northwestern regions of the country. They are believed to have descended from the Saharan people. They make up 10% and 15% of the total population respectively.

Other ethnic groups that can be found in Ivory Coast includes the French, Lebanese and Guineans which make up about 10% of the population.

Written and edited by Ebenezer Oladokun

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