Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire)象牙海岸
The lagoons and sandbars of the coast rise gently into a deep band of tropical rainforest; the northern plateau is covered in savanna grassland. The people are mainly employed in agriculture, producing coffee, cocoa, bananas and palm oil. Formerly a French colony, it became independent in 1960.
Population: 18 million.
Main religions: traditional, Muslim, Christian.
Link man Les Shears
Correspondence team leader (French language) Les Shears
CBM activities Visits are made each year from the UK.
Ecclesias Abidjan (about 20 members in total).
Fishing for Men in the Ivory Coast
Fishing boat at Abidjan
In 1990 Brother Maximus Mensah left Cape Coast in Ghana because over-fishing was destroying his livelihood. In an open boat he travelled 200 miles west and settled in a shanty-town outside Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast.
When not fishing he preached the word, first to Ghanaian immigrants like himself, then increasingly to Ivorians and immigrants from other French-speaking countries such as Togo and Benin. A meeting was formed and first visited by the CBM in 1992.
Ethnic troubles in 1993 led to many deaths among the immigrant Ghanaian community. Thankfully our own members were uninjured, though some lost their homes. Many Ghanaian brothers and sisters fled back and settled in their own country.
Happily others stayed and the little meeting continued to grow. In 2000 the CBM was able to buy a small property in Port-Bouet, a coastal suburb of Abidjan. The brothers and sisters hope that leaking roofs and evictions are now in the past and they look forward eagerly to preaching the Gospel to their new neighbours.