9. French Ivory Coast (1946-1960)

 

Crisis Phase (April 6, 1946-August 7, 1960): The Democratic Party of the Ivory Coast (Parti Démocratique de la Côte d’Ivoire – PDCI) was established by Félix Houphouët-Boigny on April 6, 1946.  Ivory Coast became an Overseas Territory of France on October 27, 1946.  Andre Latrille was appointed as Governor of Ivory Coast on October 27, 1946.  Oswald Durand was appointed as Governor of Ivory Coast on February 20, 1947.  Georges Orselli was appointed as Governor of Ivory Coast on January 29, 1948.  Laurent Elisee Pechoux was appointed as Governor of Ivory Coast on November 10, 1948.  Following the arrest and detention of 30 members of the African Democratic Rally (Rassemblement Démocratique Africain – RDA), Félix Houphouët-Boigny denounced political repression by French authorities on July 24, 1949.

Victor Biaka Boda, a member of the French National Assembly and member of the RDA, was killed near Bouaflé on January 28, 1950.  RDA protesters and French government troops clashed in Dimbokro on January 30, 1950, resulting in the deaths of 13 protesters.  French government troops were deployed in Abidjan on January 31, 1950,and the French government banned all activities of the RDA on February 1, 1950.  Some 50 individuals were killed in political violence in Ivory Coast in January and February 1950.  Legislative elections were held in the Ivory Coast on March 30, 1952, and the PDCI won a majority of the seats in the territorial assembly.  Pierre-Francois Pelieu was appointed as Governor of Ivory Coast on April 25, 1952.  Camille-Victor Bailly was elected as Governor of Ivory Coast on July 10, 1952.  Pierre Messmer was appointed as Governor of the Ivory Coast on February 19, 1954.  Legislative elections were held in Ivory Coast on January 2, 1956, and the PDCI won a majority of seats in the territorial assembly.  Pierre Lami was appointed as Governor of Ivory Coast on February 18, 1956.  Municipal elections were held in Ivory Coast on November 18, 1956.  Ernest de Nattes was appointed as Governor of Ivory Coast on February 23, 1957.  Legislative elections were held on March 31, 1957, and the PDCI won all of the seats in the territorial assembly.  A referendum on a new French Constitution, including the granting of autonomy to Overseas Territories of France, was approved in a referendum in the Ivory Coast held on September 28, 1958.  France granted autonomy to the territory of Ivory Coast within the French community on December 4, 1958.  Ernest de Nattes was appointed as High Commissioner of the Republic of Ivory Coast on December 4, 1958.  On March 26, 1959, the Constituent Assembly of Ivory Coast adopted a new constitution.  Legislative elections were held on April 12, 1959, and the PDCI won 100 out of 100 seats in the legislative assembly.  Félix Houphouët-Boigny, leader of the PDCI, became prime minister of Republic of Ivory Coast on May 1, 1959.  Yves Guena was appointed as High Commission of the Republic of Ivory Coast on July 15, 1960.  The Republic of Ivory Coast formally achieved its independence from France on August 7, 1960.

[Sources: Jessup, 1998, 350-351; Langer, 1972, 1266; Tillema, 1991, 62.]

 

Selected Bibliography

Mortimer, Edward. 1969. France and the Africans, 1944-1960: A Political History. New York: Walker and Company.