The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (CI) is governed by a unicameral National Assembly with its seat of government in Yamoussoukra, the capital. It is a member of the UN, UNESCO and the World Trade Organization.
Côte d’Ivoire is the world's 102nd largest economy by GDP and has a population of 22,848,945.1 Internet users as of June 2012, stood at 968,000, or 4.4% of the population.2 No data exists as to the number of Facebook users in the country.
In Q4 of 2012 the total number of mobile subscribers in Côte d’Ivoire was approximately 18,150,000 and in Q4 of 2013 the total was approximately 19,453,000, a year-on-year increase of 7.18%.3 This figure includes both contract and pre-paid connections.
Currently, the youth population (0 - 14 years) represents 38.4% of the population.4
Côte d'Ivoire developed a National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI) plan in 2000: ‘Plan de Développement de l'Infrastructure Nationale de l'Information et de la Communication, 2000 - 2005’.5 The NICI envisioned using ICTs to lead the country’s economic, social and cultural development and sustain key economic sectors by developing a competitive service industry to contribute growth and job creation. The plan’s objectives included democratizing access to ICTs, developing reliable and high capacity infrastructure and improving public service delivery. Connecting universities and high schools was one of the main priorities of the NICI. In order to implement the plan, the government created the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.6
Initiatives for Internet Governance in Côte d'Ivoire (IGICI) is the country’s national Internet Governance Forum, founded in 2009.7 In addition to committing to holding an annual national conference, IGICI has a range of roles, including domain name allocation and developing strategy and policies relating to topics such as cyber-security.
It is clear that Côte d’Ivoire’s online safety journey is in its formative stages. However, once ICT has been integrated into classrooms at the elementary and secondary level and teachers have been trained in the use of new technologies, it may be a natural progression to see government or NGO provision in this space.
The country’s laws cover a broad range of offenses which could be committed against children as a result of use of the Internet, but electronic means are not included in legislation and as yet there is no acknowledgement of cybercrime, cyberbullying or any of the other risks which other countries have found it necessary to add to the statutes.
There do not appear to be any organizations currently offering online safety advice or information, other than CI-CERT, the nation’s Computer Emergency Response Team. The advice provided here is largely practical advice on technical protection, such as automatically installing security updates and how to minimize spam, rather than advice on safe behaviors.
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Côte d’Ivoire’s education sector was one the first in Africa to implement valuable Internet applications.8 Whilst a few ICT projects are operated in higher education, elementary and secondary schools do currently not benefit from ICT programs because of the low priority accorded to social issues by present policies.
As part of supporting young people to gain the essential ICT skills they need to gain an advantage in the employment market, Microsoft provided training, software codes and trained 50 Scout leaders on the theme of ‘The Importance of ICT in the Job Market’.9 The newly-trained leaders then shared their learnings with their communities, extending the reach of the training.
There is currently no information available regarding Internet safety lessons in schools.
This section contains details of the country’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.
Article 334, Penal Code. This Article imposes a penalty of imprisonment for a term of between one month and two years, plus a fine ranging from 30,000 to 300,000 CFA for anyone who: manufactures, possesses, imports, exports, transports to trade, distributes, rents, displays or exhibits any indecent printed matter, writings, drawings, posters, prints, paintings, photographs, films, pictures, materials, emblems or other indecent objects; sells or offers, even for free or privately, displays, exhibits or projects any indecent printed materials or objects listed above; sings, shouts or speaks indecently or draws public attention to an occasion of debauchery. The penalties will be doubled if the offense is committed against a minor.
Article 335, Penal Code. Defines procuration as in any way aiding, assisting or knowingly protecting the prostitution of others or soliciting for prostitution. Committing procuration is punishable by imprisonment for one to five years and a fine of 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 CFA. Procuration also includes sharing proceeds of the prostitution of others and receiving money from a person who habitually engages in prostitution; knowingly living with a person who habitually engages in prostitution and not being able to justify resources corresponding to his/her lifestyle; hiring or maintaining, even with consent, a person for prostitution or debauchery; acting as an intermediary in any capacity between persons engaged in prostitution or debauchery and individuals who exploit or remunerate the prostitution or debauchery of others. The attempt to commit the crime of procuration is also punishable.
Article 336, Penal Code. States that the penalties prescribed in the preceding Article shall be doubled where the crimes was committed against a person under the age of 21; with threats, coercion, violence, assault, abuse of authority or fraud; with the use of a firearm, visible or hidden; by the spouse of the victim; by the father, mother or other relatives of the victim, guardian or person having authority over him/her or the person responsible for the victim’s education or care; with respect to several people; jointly by more than one offender. Attempted offenses under this section are also punishable.
Article 337, Penal Code. This Article states that anyone who incites, encourages or facilitates the corruption of juveniles or minors under the age of eighteen will be liable to imprisonment for two to five years and a fine of 500,000 to 5,000,000 CFA. Attempts to commit this crime are also punishable.
Article 338, Penal Code. Sets a penalty of imprisonment for between fifteen days to three months, plus a fine of 50,000 to 500,000 CFA for anyone who, by gestures or written or spoken words, solicits for persons of either sex for debauchery.
Article 339, Penal Code. Defines the offense of managing, directly or through intermediaries, an institution whose principal objective is to facilitate prostitution. The crime is punishable by imprisonment for between two to five years and a fine of 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 CFA. The same penalty applies to anyone who accepts or tolerates the prostitution or others on their property. The attempt to commit any of these offenses is also punishable.
Article 354, Penal Code. This Article states that the offense of rape is punishable with imprisonment for a term of between five to 20 years. An aggravated penalty of imprisonment for life will apply if the crime is committed jointly by more than one person, or if the offender is responsible for the victim’s education or care, has authority over the victim or is his/her father or a relative. Life imprisonment will also apply if the victim is under the age of fifteen.
Article 355, Penal Code. States that anyone who indecently assaults a person of either sex using violence will be liable to imprisonment for between two to five years and a fine of 100,000 to 1,000,000 CFA. The penalty will be increased to between five and ten years’ imprisonment and a fine of 200,000 to 2,000,000 CFA if the offender is responsible for the victim’s education or care, has authority over the victim or is his/her father, mother or a relative; if the offense was committed jointly by more than one person; if the victim is under the age of fifteen.
Article 356, Penal Code. This Article states that it is an offense to commit or attempt to commit indecent assault without violence on a person under the age of fifteen. The offender will be liable to imprisonment for one to three years and a fine of 10,000 to 100,000 CFA.
Article 357, Penal Code. Imposes a penalty of imprisonment for between one to five years and a fine of between 20,000 to 200,000 CFA for anyone who indecently assaults or attempts to assault, without violence, a child under the age of eighteen, whilst being responsible for the victim’s education or care, having authority over the victim or being his/her father, mother or a relative.
Article 358, Penal Code. A person who commits an indecent act or an act against nature with a minor of the same sex who is sixteen or seventeen years of age is liable to imprisonment for a term of between six months to two years and to a fine of 10,000 to 100,000 CFA. An increased penalty of imprisonment for one to three years and a fine of 20,000 to 200,000 CFA will apply if the crime is committed by the father, mother or a relative, or if the offender is responsible for the victim’s education.
Article 359, Penal Code. This Article states that the provisions in this section relating to minors under eighteen shall apply to indecent assault and indecent acts with or against nature committed against persons unable to protect themselves because of a physical or mental disability.
Article 360, Penal Code. States that anyone who publicly displays indecent behavior will be punished by imprisonment for a term of between three months to two years and a fine of 50,000 to 500,000 CFA. If the act is a shameless act or an act against nature with an individual of the same sex the penalty will be increased to imprisonment for six months to two years and a fine of 50,000 to 300,000 CFA. The sentence may be doubled if the crime was committed against a minor or in the presence of a minor under the age of eighteen.
Côte d’Ivoire Computer Emergency Response Team
Established by the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency of Côte d'Ivoire (ATCI) in June 2009, CICERT aims to alert the Ivorian population to IT vulnerabilities, and improve response times to incidents and attacks. To find out more go to http://www.cicert.ci/
Centre d’Education à Distance Côte d’Ivoire (CED-CI)
The CED-CI is a specialized center for training established by the Ivorian government, offering technical, educational and financial support from the World Bank. The Centre provides a framework for sharing knowledge through video-conferencing and e-Learning. To find out more go to http://www.ced-ci.org/
Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education is responsible for all primary and secondary education in Côte d’Ivoire. They develop relevant plans and programs, implement them and evaluate their results. To find out more go to http://www.education.gouv.ci/
Initiatives for Internet Governance in Côte d'Ivoire (IGICI)
In addition to committing to holding an annual national conference, IGICI has a range of roles, including domain name allocation and developing strategy and policies relating to topics such as cyber-security. To find out more go to http://www.igici.ci/
Page last reviewed August 26, 2014
1 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ (last accessed August 19, 2014)
2 http://www.internetworldstats.com (last accessed August 19, 2014)
3 https://gsmaintelligence.com/ (last accessed August 19, 2014)
4 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ (last accessed August 19, 2014)
5 http://www.uneca.org/aisi/nici/Documents/cote_d_ivoire_niciplan.doc (last accessed January 4, 2011)
6 http://www.telecom.gouv.ci/ (last accessed January 4, 2011)
7 http://www.igici.ci/index.php/presentation/quest-ce-que-igici-.html (last accessed April 15, 2013)
8 http://www.infodev.org/en/Document.397.html (last accessed January 4, 2011)
9 http://www.microsoftlocalimpactmap.com/#2/4058/1/////////1/188/2837/188//////////7/7.5586%252c-5.5471 (last accessed September 5, 2013)