Year Founded: 1960
Called the Ivory Coast in English, this country borders the Gulf of Guinea to the south. It was colonized by France for more than 60 years. Upon gaining independence in 1960, its president promoted agricultural exports, making it the world’s third-largest coffee exporter at the time (it is currently ranked in the top 15). It later became the world’s largest cocoa bean producer. The Ivory Coast has one of the largest economies in Africa, making it the first choice for immigration among its neighbors. However, this has also planted the seeds of ethnic conflict. After the year 2000, its presidential elections have often triggered conflict, once even leading to a 5-year civil war, causing its presidential election to be postponed until 2010 when the war finally ended.