Chronology  Click here
I-MAG STS    Corporation
Laurent Koudou Gbagbo was born 31 May 1945 in the village of Mama, near
Gagnoa. The city was the eighth largest in the Ivory Coast, with a population of
over 100,000. It is southwest of the new capital (since 1983) of  Yamoussoukro,
which had a population of about 200,000. The old capital, Abidjan, is 240
kilometers southeast on the coast, and with over five million people and the major
port facilities, remains the most  important city in the country. Mr. Gbagbo was
trained as a historian, and, despite being imprisoned from April 1971 to January
1973 during the regime of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny (President 1961-1993
and quite a colorful character in his own right), he obtained his doctorate at Paris
Diderot University in 1979. The agricultural sector experienced significant
development: between 1960 and 1970: cocoa cultivators tripled their production to
312,000 tons; and coffee production rose from 185,500 to 275,000 tons. In 1978
the economy of Côte d'Ivoire experienced a serious decline due to the sharp
downturn in international market prices of coffee and cocoa. This was
compounded by a poorly thought-out raise of prices to resist international tariffs
on raw materials as well as a terrible drought from 1983 to 1984. Even the
production of the offshore oil drilling and petrochemical industries was affected
by the 1986 worldwide economic recession. Poverty went from 11% in 1985 to 31%
by 1993. The army mutinied in 1990 and again in 1992. After the death of President
Houphouët-Boigny in 1993, National Assembly President Aimé Henri Konan Bédié
muscled out Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara (appointed 1990), and was
President until the end of 1999. Following the ten month term of retired general
Robert Guéï, Dr. Gbagbo served as the fourth President of Côte d'Ivoire from 2000
until recently. In summer of 2002 I-MAG STS did an econometric analysis, and
concluded the Ivory Coast could not afford a sustained war, and that neither part
(presuming a north-south partition around 7 degrees north latitude near Bouake;
see next page) would be viable. An un-civil war began September 19,2002. Most of
the fighting ended by late 2004, and a peace treaty was signed in March 2007.
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