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Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire

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Yamoussoukro, a town of 100,000 inhabitants located 240 kilometers North of Abidjan, is the administrative capital of Côte d'Ivoire.

Queen Yamousso, the niece of Kouassi N'Go, ran the village of N'Gokro at the time of French colonization. The village then comprised 475 inhabitants, and was one of 129 Akoué villages.

Diplomatic and commercial relations were then established but, in 1909, on the orders of the Chief of Djamlabo, the Akoué revolted against the administration. Bonzi station, seven kilometers from Yamoussoukro on the Bouaflé road, was set on fire, and the French administrator, Simon Maurice, was spared only by the intervention of Kouassi N'Go. This respected former leader persuaded the Akoué not to wage a war which could only have turned into a disaster.

As the situation returned to normal, Simon Maurice, judging that Bonzi had become unsafe, decided to transfer the French military station to Yamoussoukro, where the French Administration built a pyramid to the memory of Kouassi N'Go, Chief of the Akoué, and in homage to Yamousso, N'Gokro was not renamed Yamoussoukro

In 1919, the civil station of Yamoussoukro was removed, and Felix Houphouët-Boigny[?] became the leader of the village in 1939. A long period was passed where Yamoussoukro, small agricultural town, remained in the shadows, until after the war, when it saw the creation of the African Agricultural Trade union, and first conferences of its Chief. But it was only with Independence that Yamoussoukro finally started to rise.

After 1964, the President Felix Houphouët-Boigny made ambitious plans and started to build. One day in 1965, later called the Great Lesson of Yamoussoukro, he visited the plantations with the leaders of the county, inviting them to transpose to their own villages the efforts and agricultural achievements of the region. On July 21, 1977, Houphouët offered its plantations to the State.

In March 1983, Yamoussoukro became the political and administrative capital of the Côte d'Ivoire, after, in one century, Large-Bassam (1893), Bingerville (1900) and Abidjan (1933). The majority of economic activity still takes place in Abidjan.

Yamoussoukro is also the site of the largest Christian place of worship on Earth: The Notre-Dame de la Paix Basilica[?], consicrated by Pope John Paul II on September 10, 1990.

Also noteworthy are the Kossou Dam, the Felix-Houphouët-Boigny Foundation, the PDCI-GDR House, the various schools of the Felix-Houphouët-Boigny Polytechnic Institute, the international airport (with an average of six hundred passengers and 36 flights in 1995, it is only airport in Africa which can accommodate the Concorde), the Town Hall, the Protestant Temple, the Mosque, and the Palace of Hosts.



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