President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sent a message of heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to the Government and people of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire on the occasion commemorating the 56thIndependence Anniversary of that neighboring country.
August 7 is commemorated each year as the Independence Day of Cote d’Ivoire, also known as Ivory Coast. It was the day, in 1960, Cote d’Ivoire gained its freedom from France. The French made contact with Cote d’Ivoire in 1637, when missionaries landed on Assinie near the Gold Coast, now part of Ghana. France began extending its control over Cote d’Ivoire from 1843, and it became a French colony in 1893. From 1904 to 1958, Cote d’Ivoire became part of the Federation of French West Africa. In 1956, under the terms of the Overseas Reform Act, France transferred more power to the local government and in December 1958, Cote d’Ivoire became an autonomous republic within the French community. Finally, on August 7, 1960, Cote d’Ivoire became an independent nation with Felix Houphouet-Boigny as its first president. According to a Foreign Ministry release, in the message to her Ivoirian counterpart, H. E. Mr. Alassane Ouattara, President Sirleaf expressed the hope that as the people of Cote D’Ivoire commemorate this joyous occasion, the historic and cordial ties of friendship and cooperation subsisting between their two countries and people will be further strengthened and cemented for their mutual benefits as they continue to work together in furtherance of the principles of the Mano River Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union and the United Nations for the promotion of international peace, security and economic cooperation amongst all nations. The Liberian leader then prayed that the Almighty God will endow President Ouattara with abundant wisdom and strength as he leads his people to sustainable peace and greater prosperity.