A city on the southern Atlantic coast of Côte d'Ivoire (aka the Ivory Coast), Abidjan is the country's urban hub and the economic capital with skyscrapers reaching for the sky and contemporary landmarks that include a ziggurat-like construction named "La Pyramide". You will have to brush up on your French linguistic skills so that you can chat with the locals at this cultural crossroads of West Africa. With a population of about 4.7 million (think 20% of the whole country), Abidjan is the 4th most populous country in Africa. Once a small fishing village that suffered from a series of yellow fever epidemics (1896), it was the French colonists who decided to move the town to a safer place and this is where Abidjan stands today. When the Vridi Canal was completed in 1951, the town became an important seaport and in 1983 it was designated as the official political capital of the Cote d'Ivoire. The city is laid out like most colonial towns in a grid pattern, so you shouldn't have too much trouble locating a coworking venue or if you do, there are plenty of locals to ask directions from.
The Ivory Coast has set itself up to be the "Startup Nation of Africa" aiming to create, develop and finance African digital platforms. Its government is in the process of finding solutions to support the growth and strengthen the abilities of its startup souls to dramatically transform the country's economy. According to the government IT represent 7 to 8% of the country's GDP and is being touted to reach 15% by the year 2020. The Minister of the Digital Economy believes that IT pursuits can help the country develop more quickly and create jobs, which is why he created the Virtual University of the Ivory Coast in pursuit of this goal and to fight youth unemployment.
Aiming to create the foundation for an economy of knowledge, coworking venues appearing on the Ivory Coast are one more positive step to support its fledgling startups.
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