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Global Connections: Connect Canada and the Ivory Coast?

September 24th, 2010
12:45 PM ET

When you mention two countries as different as Canada and Ivory Coast, you wouldn't naturally think that they have much in common.

But if you stretch your mind a little bit and think a tad bit harder, you would be surprised to learn they're much more similar than you think.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/24/can.art.gi.jpg
caption="What do you know about Canada?"]

We've chosen Canada and the Ivory Coast as our fifth set of countries in a segment on CNN International's "Connect the World," that we're calling "Global Connections."

Canada is renowned for being one of the most multicultural places on earth and having some of the friendliest people. The country is also famed for its love of hockey, frigid temperatures during winter and vast stretches of wilderness.

The country is also well-known for being one of the world's leading economic powers and the cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are consistently ranked as some of the most livable cities in the world.

The west African country of the Ivory Coast on the other hand has a much less stellar reputation.

The Ivory Coast, or Republic of Côte d'Ivoire as it is officially known, has just over 20 million people and is unfortunately, more well-known its tumultuous history with civil war.

So what on earth could the connections between these two countries possibly be?

Well, that's why we are relying on YOU.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/24/ic.art.gi.jpg
caption="Can you connect Canada with the Ivory Coast?"]

We need you to send in your ideas and comments on what connections exist - whether it be text, video or photos. We'll be choosing the best ones and then airing them on CNN International. This is your chance to appear on the show to share your connections with the world.

The connections can be anything from culture and geography to music and the economy.

We also want to hear your personal stories too. Perhaps you have a family member that moved from one country to the other years ago and you want to get in touch? Maybe you visited one country years ago on holiday and something special happened? Whatever connection you think there is, we want to know.

We will even bear hearing from award winning Canadian singer, Nelly Furtado on a interesting connection she has with Canada and what it means for her to be Canadian.

All you have to do is leave your comments below on what connections you think exist and then one of our team members will be in touch.

Now it's time for you to get involved - get connecting!

Filed under:  Global Connections
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Linda Sampson

    Ivory Coast is a French Speaking nation, were as Canada has several provinces that speak french. Both countries have a history of french colonization or settlers.

    They have differences in their national sports teams, such as Canada is into Ice Hockey and Ivory Coast is into Football but the similarity between the two sports is they both have crazy and dedicated fans.

    September 24, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  2. Canukastani

    both countries share a francophone heritage

    September 24, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  3. James

    I'm Canadian, ashamed to say I know hardly anything about the Ivory coast, and though I applaud your attempts to enlighten the world a little bit by bringing developed and underdeveloped together ... I can't really see any kind of relationship at all ...

    Other than perhaps a colonial past, however, Canadians are 'from' the UK/Europe whereas Ivory Coast citizens are largely native to that area so it's not the same thing.

    Most African countries are rife with corruption, fraud, scams, rape, violence – you name it. I'm not judging those people or pointing fingers as to how or why, or saying that Canadians are better in the eyes of God etc., just laying down the facts. Canada is one of the cleanest, safest, least corrupt places on the planet.

    There are actually relatively few black people in Canada so ethnically it would be difficult to draw a connection.

    September 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  4. Moawwaz

    French is an official language of both countries.

    September 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  5. Canajan

    I'm going to guess that Ivory Coast/Cote d'Ivoire also has two official languages: English and French.

    September 24, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  6. Julie

    The misconception that people in Canada speak French is amusing. "several provinces that speak French"? Not quite. Outside of Quebec and its border regions, it is extremely rare to hear anyone speaking French. Despite it being an "official language", it is almost never spoken by anyone outside of Quebec. There are more people in Canada who speak Mandarin than French. The majority of English-speaking Canadians don't look favourably on French-speakers and vice versa. Now, let's find the connections between a potato and the space station! I'm sure we can find a pair of countries that have tangible and interesting connections rather than playing a childs game of "what's the same?".

    September 24, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  7. daniel

    @ julie so out of the 33 million people in all of Canada, 7.8 million are living in quebec. They all speak french(i live there). You are therefore claiming more then 7.8 million people in canada speak Mandarin. You are obviously uneducated.

    September 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  8. Art

    I'm sorry to tell you, but comparing Canada to Ivory Coast is like comparing a palm tree to a wheelbarrow. They are totally at opposite ends of the spectrum, from a political, cultural, economical, and geographical point of view. Not even any historical ties. The article is right about one thing, though – I would be surprised to learn that they're much more similar than I think.

    Now Canada and Sierra Leone, there's a connection:

    September 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  9. Philp Ideh


    Canada has great monuments and Churches and the Ivory Coast has the largest Cathedral similar to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, outside the Eternal City!

    September 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  10. Joe

    this is a reply to Jule:

    I live in New Brunswick, Canada which has a pretty significant Francophone population. It is a requirement in most areas to be bilingual, especially in the southeast with Moncton/Dieppe. There are even a few french speaking villages in Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland. We may not see eye to eye, but English and French here has been peaceful. Before you pretend to be able to disavow a connection between us and the Ivory Coast, please take five minutes to learn about your own country.

    September 24, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  11. Chuck

    I would agree with most of what Julie says here, French is spoken commonly by about a quarter of Canada's population. The only provinces to have French as a provincial official language are Québec (French only) and New-Brunswick (both languages). Although Ontario has a sizable French-speaking community (especially in the regions that border Québec). Other than that, other provinces are almost exclusively English speaking, and in an area such as Vancouver BC you would hear a lot more Mandarin than French, just like Julie pointed (but it is not true that more people in Canada speak Mandarin, 23% of the population speak French as a native-language)

    Where I disagree is when you say that the vast majority of English-speakers don't look favorably on French-speakers and vice-versa. I have never seen or even heard of signs of hostility towards one another, except maybe in history books or in some fancy political opinion paper. Now if you count the rants of some old Torontonians and Quebeckers as the "vast majority" well maybe you should revise what a majority constitute.

    As for the connections between Côte d'Ivoire and Canada, the only thing that comes to mind is the language and some heritage from France. I'll admit that I don't know much about this country, but after reading the Wikipedia entry, I still don't see a suitable connection between the two.

    September 24, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  12. Hugh Brown

    I live in Toronto, Canada, but born in the UK. Left at 17.

    I am presently am in Vancouver, and I have traveled extensively to Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and the East Coast,

    I have no idea the point of your story,


    September 24, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  13. Pierre

    Where does anyone get the notion that there are more people in Canada who speak Mandarin than French? According to the latest Canadian census figures (2006), about 23% of Canadians declared French as their mother tongue. About the same percentage report speaking French in the home. Can anyone provide comparable numbers for Mandarin? A total of 18% of Canadians declared a language other than English or French as their mother tongue. Mandarin would be a portion of that percentage.

    Canada has only one officially bilingual province: New Brunswick. The following provinces have sizeable French populations: Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI.

    September 24, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  14. Michael Bowser

    Typical American ignorance about Canada once again on the cover piece regarding the use of french in Canada. I agree wholeheartedly with Julie's comments. Why not an article about the inability of Americans to find a country other than its own on a map – but than again I'm not sure the majority could. Oh, by the way do most Americans speak Spanish?

    September 24, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  15. Lisa

    My husband's parents were in Ivory Coast when he was born and now they're living in Canada and we're in France.

    September 24, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  16. Jeff Tracey

    In 1981 my parents from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, travelled deep into Sierra Leone with a non-profit organization to conduct volunteer work to assist local villagers. My mother was a nurse, and worked at the local "hospital" and my father assisted the men in repairing equipment so they could fix their homes. The befriended a young boy, Sam who was 3 at the time, and decided to assist him through a $50 donation once a month. Afterall, there was little hope for Sam's future, in the decrepit conditions he was living in. Fast forward to 2005...my father received a letter from Sam, from London, England. In it he explains that he owed his life to my mother and father....through their donations, he was able to attend university, marry a wonderful woman, and have 2 healthy children. Sam was writing from Oxford University, where he just graduated with his Doctorate in Philosophy.....all because of 2 generous from Cape Breton Island.

    My father continued to donate his time to the Ivory Coast, volunteering with Canadian Crossroads, to bring young Africans to the East Coast of Canada to experience the blessed life we have here. My father died two weeks ago in Cape Breton, and I was proud to mention this story to eulogize him.

    Jeff Tracey

    September 24, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  17. Busola Alaiyegbami

    There is a signed agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of the Ivory Coast on Air Transport.September 3, 1987 Ratified by Ivory Coast 04 April 1990.

    September 24, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  18. Busola Alaiyegbami

    There is also a diplomatic relations between Canada and Niger were established in 1962. Diplomatic representation is ensured by the Embassy of Canada in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The Embassasy is accredited to Niger and has an Office located in Niamey. The Republic of Niger is represented by its Embassy in Ottawa.

    Canada has joined others in raising concerns about the socio-political consequences of the steps undertaken by the President of Niger to remain in power beyond his two term limit set out in the 1999 Constitution. Canada is concerned for the democratic advances made in Niger over the past ten years.

    September 24, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  19. Jeff Tracey

    Regarding my previous post, I do realize that Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast are two distinct nations, however my father was directly involved in sending Canadians TO the Ivory Coast, and Ivory Coastans to Canada through the Canadian Crossroads Organization.

    September 24, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  20. Kevin

    I feel compelled to clear up the 'misconception' that one never hears french outside of Quebec and that more people speak Mandarin than French in Canada. Quebec is majority Francophone and New Brunswick, Ontario, PEI and Manitoba all have very significant Francophone minorities. I live on Salt Spring Island off the west coast and I have French friends. Also, the entire population of other language speakers in Canada, including Mandarin speakers, is just a little more than half the francophone population. I have regularly encountered French in all parts of Canada from Nunuvut to BC to Quebec and between – and I wasn't trying and the only french I speak I got off a cereal box. How is Canada similar to Côte d'Ivoire? We are both Maritime nations with significant coast lines relative to Land area, we both have significant cultural divisions – linguistic in Canada and religious and economic in Côte d'Ivoire, we both have resource intensive economies, we were both colonized, at least in part, by France, we both have significant Catholic populations. There are also many misconceptions, both internal and external, about both countries. I think the greatest link between all nations is a desire by the majority to live fruitful lives while letting others live fruitful lives of their own. Some nations just seem to do less well at realizing that than others – usually due to power inequalities that give undue strength to those with the biggest guns and lowest tolerance.

    September 24, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  21. Damian Lukenda

    Both countries have an extensive diamond trade

    September 24, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  22. Ahmed

    Canada is one of the hightest and richest countries in the world so i can say even Every coast is so funny according to Africa so both countries may have their quality and capacity so i dont think if there are so big difference but some people can say there are because Every coast is one of African countries so i can guess where the shoe goes wrong so it is normal to make so big imagination some times in here Ok by

    September 24, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  23. J.J.

    French is common in Northern Ontario and rural parts of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick Julie, demographically insignificant as these vast and sparsely populated regions may be. Nevertheless, I agree with you that this is a dumb exercise. Hmmm. Potato and the space station? Guess I have to say both could be called a spud-nik. 🙂

    September 24, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  24. Levi


    In fact it's not as misleading as you make it believe. You can find french speaking communities in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia as well as other parts of Canada, not only Quebec.

    As for the whole French vs English issue, I come from Montreal which is almost totally bilingual and I can assure you that there is no animosity. People always fear and even hate the unknown.

    Finally, you sound like you know a lot about Ivory Coast which would make you the perfect judge on connections. Maybe you should try to relax a little and work on those connections between the ears.

    September 24, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  25. Rick

    Contrary to Julie who obviously has not traveled much around Canada, French is spoken by about 30% of the population in New Brunswick and there are towns in NB where English is not spoken. In fact, it's not uncommon to hear French spoken throughout the three Maritime provinces.

    There are also about half a million Francophone people in Ontario and it's not uncommon to hear French spoken far from the Quebec border in places such as Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins.

    Winnipeg has a large Francophone community and so does British Columbia and there are French communities scattered across the Prairie provinces.

    While there is a small (vocal) minority of French and English that don't look favourably on one another, the vast majority of Canadians appreciate our unique multiculturalism.

    September 24, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  26. Colin Barton

    There are Canadian Police Personnel in Coted'Ivoire as part of UNOCI.

    See http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/unoci

    September 24, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  27. Colin Barton

    Cote d'Ivoire exports petroleum. Does Canada?

    September 24, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  28. Colin Barton

    Cote 'Ivoire produces over 40% of the world's cocoa annually. Canada recently imported US$288 million of this commodity in one year. In same year USA imported US$1684 million.

    September 24, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  29. TAC44

    Above the french heritage and culture, the two countries share a lot of ties from their citizens as they are a lot of ivorian citizens that have canadian citizenship and have immigrated to Canada. For over 2 generations now, a lot of ivorian scholars have studied, done internships and worked in Canada, mainly in Quebec but elsewhere as well. So if you look at senior managers in I.C. today, you will see that a lot of them have canadian degrees. In addition, there is an agreement between the 2 governments to grant reduced school fees to a number of ivorian students. Good cooperation exist between the two countries in the education sector – a few canadian universities have subs in the Ivory Coast to train students who will spend the last semester or last year in Canada. Although not much or not enough is done on the economic side, there are a lot of talks at a very high level as to change that. Both countries have failry large diplomatic representations in their respective capitals with active ambassadors. As the Ivory Coast slowly gets out of its troubled period, this collaboration should lead to bigger and better things.
    I had the privilege of studying chemical engineering in Montreal and have appreciated the hospitality of the canadian people and their sympathy. I like to think that they share this with the ivorians who have shown tremendous hospitality during the years to people from everywhere. Both countries have and will continue to benefit from their diverse immigration and residents.

    September 24, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  30. Yaya B.

    The following passage in the article make me think that the author has the country wrong:
    "The Ivory Coast, or Republic of Côte d'Ivoire as it is officially known, has just over 20 million people and is unfortunately, more well-known its tumultuous history with civil war. "

    I don't think that there is much to support the statement that Cote d'Ivoire has a history of civil war. Sierra Leone or Liberia, maybe; but not the Ivory coast. In that I will agree with ART comment that Sierra Leone and Canada could have more in common.

    September 24, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  31. Derrick

    There is a very strong connection between the two countries through the history of slavery in America. Many Africans who were shipped to America as slaves were from current-day Cote D'Ivoire, or they shipped from there. In America, many slaves managed to escape their bondage by making the dangerous trek to Canada where slavery was not permitted. This means of escape (using cellars, secret tunnels, and other hiding spots that were provided by a network of people willing to risk their own safety for that of the slaves) became known as the Underground Railroad. Many Canadians today are descendants of the slaves and can trace their ancestry back to Cote D'Ivoire.

    September 25, 2010 at 1:52 am | Reply
  32. sarah white

    We both have significant diamond stores.

    September 25, 2010 at 2:24 am | Reply
  33. mike

    What the hell is Michael Bowser ranting on about Americans for? This piece has nothing to do with America. It is about finding a common thread through Canada and the Ivory Coast you bigot.

    September 25, 2010 at 2:52 am | Reply
  34. Jean Moulin

    Although things are considerably worse in Ivory Coast, Canada has many of the same problems, and they are growing. Canada just has a much better spin industry or more deluded citizens. Here are just some of the similarities:

    Ivory Coast: Corruption rampant

    Canada: Corruption rampant – Brian Mulroney, AdScam, BC Rail Scandal, etc, etc, + politically appointed judiciary, and "Canada's spy agency suspects that cabinet ministers in two provinces are under the control of foreign governments. Several members of B.C. municipal governments are also under suspicion." CBC News, June 23, 2010

    Ivory Coast: much of the population illiterate

    Canada: much of the population functionally illiterate – "More than 40 per cent of Canadian adults have literacy skills below high school graduate requirements." Raise a Reader, Postmedia Network Inc.

    Ivory Coast: Child poverty

    Canada: Child poverty – Canada "now has the second highest rate of child poverty in the developed world – one in five – outstripped only by the United States." Maclean's Magazine, Author Patricia Chisholm

    And then there's organized crime, the drug trade, terrorists, abuse of workers, human trafficking, the list goes on.

    "Canada – the Greatest Illusion on Earth!"

    September 25, 2010 at 5:18 am | Reply
  35. Michele M.

    Both countries have high populatuions density concentrations in coastal cities, and are set to be very affected by climate change in the coming years if greenhouses gas levels continue to rise. As warming continues, and sea level rise increases, this could cause massive displacement of populations, with changes in ecosystems (and ultimately livelihoods) as a result.

    While I feel Canada might have better adaptive capacity and resources to off-set some of the serious IMMEDIATE consequences of displacement, Cote D'Ivoire may need more international and national government assistance for its millions of poor coastal dwellers.

    September 25, 2010 at 5:33 am | Reply
  36. M McGee

    Both Canada and Ivory Coast are former French colonies which are now independent and part of the French Commonwealth of Nations. French is considered an official language of both countries. Both Canada and Ivory Coast signed/ratified the Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol.
    Most people of the Ivory Coast live near the coast and the interior is empty. Similarly, most Canadians live near the coast or the U.S. border where the weather is warmest and the interior is virtually empty.
    Both countries are rich in natural resources, including petroleum and natural gas. Both countries also have significant sources of fresh water.

    September 25, 2010 at 6:06 am | Reply
  37. Patricia

    Definitely the French connection, otherwise not much in common. As for the French Canadian, yes we learn another language and that's more you can say for the English Canadian or English speaking people anywhere. Strange how in Europe they learn various languages and they are looked up to and yet the English still are unable to master any other language but their own. Mind you if you learn English as a second language you speak it better than most U.K. citizens.

    September 25, 2010 at 7:10 am | Reply
  38. Bass

    I am originally from Ivory Coast and have travelled to Canada many times during my years living in the US. For that reason, I would be in a better position to comment on the similarities of those 2 countries.

    Canada is a very successful and well respected country in the world. Its rich culture comes from its European (French and English) background mixed with the north American culture. Its proximity to the US has benefited Canada as many Canadians living and working across the border have brought back the success of the American society, back to their own neighbourhood. Canada is also successful due to its open migration policy, where millions of skilled workers have moved to, creating a powerful diversity for progress.

    Like Canada, Ivory Coast has a French heritage. Abidjan the capital of Ivory Coast can be compared to Toronto (in a smaller scale). Abidjan is a very beautiful city with western like constructions and architectures, with natural waterfront. Abidjan was once seen as the jewel of Africa. Ivory Coast is the number 1 producer of cocoa and coffee, high commodity in the US and Canada. The success of Ivory Coast was also due to its open migration policy where labourers from neighbouring countries have flocked in to work in the large agricultural plantations.

    Unlike Canada where migrants are integrated with a path to citizenship, Ivory Coast migrants are still considered foreigners which today is the source of many conflicts.

    Ivory Coast can learn a lot from Canada to have a better impact in the world stage.


    September 25, 2010 at 7:46 am | Reply
  39. Mohamed Zein

    Ivory Coast's and Canada both have a strong French tradition . What they also have in common is that they are both very multicultural countries. They have both relied on immigrants to develop their economies for example Ivory Coast is the home of immigrants from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinée, Mali, Liberia, Togo, Cameroon MArocco, Lebanon, France and many other countries. Canada prides itsels as well on its multicultural background. They are both some of the most tolerant countries on this planete. They are both Francophonie countries.

    September 25, 2010 at 9:43 am | Reply
  40. stanley

    I am really amazed!!!!!!!!
    You people know very little about THE IVORY COAST.
    This topic is being discussed in a forum where hardly any Ivorian come on. I am GHANAIAN but i have been to the Ivory Coast a couple of times.

    The Ivory Coast is a very beautiful country inhabited by alot of BRITISH AND FRENCH EXPATIATE until FRANCE enginered CIVIL WAR IN that country.

    The climate there you can not compare it to any part of CANADA. The economy is picking up after the civil war and in 10 years time the real IVORY COAST will be seen again.

    With all their problems, they are the highest producer of COCOA that you people in canada use for your CHOCOLATES. They are also one of the highest producers of COFFEE .

    They have rised a formidable team to go to the SOCCER WORLD CUP on two consistent occasions, which CANADA with all it's money and peace and cleaniness and good economy and all that have, not managed to achieve that.

    Finally let me tell you this, most problems of AFRICA is from the WEST and yet we in AFRICA are not sinking.

    You give us bad press everyday, i live is BRITAIN and i can telll you there not angels either,

    DRUG ABUSE, DIVORCE, MURDER, SERIAL KILLERS, RAPE and many other things face the west but they keep quite and talk about others and forment trouble in their countries


    September 25, 2010 at 9:56 am | Reply
  41. sam

    Well plain simple , Both countries share the Francophone heritage and simply almost all francophones love being around each other. yes as in example,Lebanese ,Ivorian Canadian,senegalese ,etc... all love France as much we love our home nation. Please people dont look at what you have or not in common but rather francophones have a unique thing is called multi culture and which is amazingly fantastic unlike other nations.

    September 25, 2010 at 10:12 am | Reply
  42. Lara Kurik

    I was born in Quebec to a Canadian father and British/South African mother. Though we left Canada when I was in my early teens for Swaziland and then South Africa, we have gone back many times over the years so have kept abreast of life as it were in Canada.

    Though on paper Canada is a considerably affluent country, it seems many Canadians share the same concerns as any other member of the international community. Ivory Coast being no exception. Parents share the same safety concerns for their children, workers share the same concern for job security and people in general want to know that they can provide for themselves and keep a roof over their head.

    Culturally, the vast majority of African countries are extremely different to Canada aside from perhaps some of its historical heritage. A very good friend of mine from Canada has a father from the Ivory Coast and a Canadian mother and if you had to ask him, he would probably agree that his parents come from very different backgrounds but the regard and care, concerns and interests for their children and life in general differed very little. They both had large, close knit families who made it their prime concern to maintain unity and a nurturing environment for their family members. Adversely, they both encountered racial discrimination due to their inter-rational marriage on both sides of the Atlantic.

    We live in a world that is ever changing, ever developing and diversely different in a hundred different ways but when scrutinized those differences seem somewhat insignificant to the many ways in which we are all the same.

    September 25, 2010 at 10:54 am | Reply
  43. Dan

    The world's largest credit union based in Québec (Caisse Desjardins) has an extensive presence in the Ivory Coast, and has had a beneficial presence for years.

    September 25, 2010 at 11:10 am | Reply
  44. vivian

    guess there are two points in comman:
    1. language, both of them use French as their official language
    2.peacekeeping operation, UN settle its peacekeeping operation in Cote d’Ivoire called UNOCI, there are lots peacekeeper from Canada.

    That's all i know

    September 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  45. agoussi abouya

    You are all wrong!! I have lived in calgary-alberta for 2 years.I am originally from the ivory coast.Except the weather and good governance in canada(less corruption;social security;;wealth well spread),ivory coast and canada have a lot in common/ both are two french speaking nations.Both are deep muti-cultural countries.both have been french colonies.The biggest misconcepton here is that much of you by ignorance think the ivory coast is poor.It's a rich country like canada with a bad government(corruption / war /election fraud /sponsored by France so they can steal or manipulate all the ressouces and wealth). Both country have huge natural ressources.As a reminder ivory coast is the first cocoa and cotton producer in the world;the third coffee producer; we have gold;diamond ; oil and millions acres of natural forrest. Maybe we neee to rent a good president from canada for a few years who can change things around here starting from the corrupted justice department/ both countries have hugh catholic community and i think the biggest basilica in the world is in the ivory coast. last but not least these are the two countries with the most open immigration policy in the world(a lot of west africans come to the ivory coast for better life).

    September 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  46. Jared

    just to point out really only people in Quebec speak french and some in NB... but i agree with Julie as im from the west and really no one speaks french out there... and in the west most are not to fond of the french.. im not one of them as ive traveled a lot and been to Paris and France many times along with montreal, so i see things from a different point of view... i think the french are viewed as arrogant, but i think they have changed their ways because i was treated with respect and kindness each time ive been in Quebec or France.. Their history has just continued to haunt them in that respect i think..

    I do agree with most people though you could have chose a better country to compare Canada with.. could have been a fun assignment if you compared us to a western European country that people have actually traveled to...

    @ joe: maybe she lives in the west where people dont speak french... harsh comments..

    @ Michael Bowser: LMAO... couldnt agree more with ya..

    Ive lived all my life in the west and ive never heard anyone speak french... I know of french families but as there are only a couple in some towns they never speak french as who are they going to converse with?? ive traveled all around Canada and the only french ive come across is in Quebec.. thats just my point of view...

    September 25, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  47. Rob

    They both have purpose-built national capitals, Ottawa and Yamoussoukro.

    September 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  48. zach swan

    Before the people of the Ivory Coast were abducted/sold and brought to USA as slaves, the people of the Ivory Coast lived free. Once those same people escaped slavery in the USA via the underground railroad to Canada, they were again free. I'm going with that as a connection.

    September 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  49. Pete

    Canada was a French colony called New France until the British took over. Cote D'Ivoire was a French colony until the 1960s. I was walking past a small protest of Ivorians opposite 10 Downing Street, London about 4 years ago and found that they were protesting the arrival of the French President. As it was an anti French demonstration I joined in. What a lovely bunch of people the Ivorians were and the very non violent but noisy protest was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. So, both countries have a French past and both countries have very pleasant people living in them.

    September 25, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  50. JZF

    I am attending French language courses at St Boniface College in Manitoba. My instructor is from the Ivory Coast.

    September 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  51. ian

    both countries share a deep sense of pride and nationalism, they are independent, strong and free but they both still maintain a strong connection with their respective european counter part.

    both have multicultural diversity in terms of religion. both still have aboriginal people, both have a strong sense of connection to nature and both have deep respect for it, both depends on natural resources for trade. Though Canada is close tied to US thru trade and economy, Canada made known to the world that it is a different country from the US from its government and foreign policy – example is Canada still has a diplomatic relations with Cuba. Same with Ivory Coast, though it is an African Nation, it is still remains a strong connection to European nations.

    September 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  52. jelena

    I adore Canada and its forests are truly amazing and breathtaking.As for the Ivory Coast I am a complete ignorant: (

    September 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  53. emeka Opara

    @James, u must be a real racist, among all the comments, i find yours disgusting , Abdijan the Capital of Ivory Coast is very beautiful, ur media house only show the bad part of Africa, dey dont show the beautiful city and culture, its true that their is wide spread poverty and corruption in Africa, but its ur western government that sow the seed of corruption. U westerners dont even know anything about history i will tell u more about your country than u expect to kwn. Canada and Ivory coast have French as an official language.

    September 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  54. Curt

    1. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police RCMP have been part of a special UN Police force in Ivory Coast since 2004

    2. Canada and the Ivory Coast share the Atlantic Ocean and French

    3. Ivory Coast is a major coffee producer while Canada's largest coffee/restaurant chain, Tim Horton's is the largest seller of coffee.

    September 25, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  55. Mike

    I am Canadian, and know one connection that should never be forgot. The Ivory Coast was the exit point for most of the slaves brought to the U.S. from Africa. Later during the underground railroad many of these people and the decedents found new homes in Canada and also returned to Africa from Canada.

    I know several people who can trace their families to the dock on in the Ivory Coast.

    September 25, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  56. koffi Djauman

    hey I am from Ivorycost,and i have been in Canada,both country have many foreigners,Ivorycost has more than6millions people comming from every were and working and making money.We have cacao coffee,diamant,oil,naturel gaz ,but france try to destabiliz the country with stupid war ,that stop the progress made by the president gbagbo.Ivorien and canadien have the same hospitality they have their doors open for everyone,I know some poeple from canada who will tell more about the nice beachese of Ivory coast also the divers culture we have.Please come and surf on our sees,eat the nice seefood like in canada,so we have some things in comon

    September 25, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  57. Jose Nagbe

    It's quite interesting for me to talk about those two countries. I am an Ivorian citizen and reside in Canada for somtimes now. Ivory Coast and Canada share a language heritage. They both use French as official languages and have both been colonized by the Fench as well. Beside that they are quite diferent, econically, politically and of course socially. The Ivory Coast has a head of State as ruler whereas Canada is administered by a prime minister and responds to Queen Elizabeth II.
    There are also notcieable differences that cannot be all written here, however, I appreciate the inniative by CNN to contrast and present countries in a way they are doing. This helps those who do not have the opportunity to travel learn about other places.

    September 25, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  58. john.warren@shaw.ca

    Julie, je demeure en Colombie-Britannique, je parle et j’entends parler la langue Française à chaque jour ici a Vancouver. Je suis la moitié Canadien-Français et l`autre moitié Irlandais. Je suis d`origine de la Belle Province. Viens faire un tour dans les autres provinces avant te parler...

    I sure hope she understands that! 🙂

    September 25, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  59. Maka

    Julie, you're an idiot! A simple search "languages of Canada" would show your stupidity. French 21.5%, Chinese 2.6%.

    September 25, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  60. Brown

    Both have white in their flags.
    Ivory coast is approximately the size of Newfoundland and Labrador.
    There are about 400 Candaians living in Ivory coast
    I am going to leave French out as It has evoked quite a response.

    September 25, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  61. AFH

    Thank you to those of you who really thought about it and actually did find many similarities. I won't comment on the whole french thing, but as an anglophone who lives in Quebec, I enjoy the bilingualism of it, and I myself am not completly bilingual. As we've heard there are many french communities throughout our country, which just brings a strong element to our wonderfully multicultural country. I am proud to be Canadian, but still enjoy learning about and visiting other countries and cultures.

    September 26, 2010 at 1:34 am | Reply
  62. Bob Nelmes

    They grow cocoa... we love hot chocolate!

    September 26, 2010 at 1:52 am | Reply
  63. Sylvia N'Guessan

    I am an Ivory coast Citizen but I live in California.
    However, I have a couple of friends that have moved to Canada to pursue their studies. One of the main reasons is because French is spoken there but also the immigration process is not as painful and difficult as in France.
    For example couple of Ivorian friends of mine I grew up with who were very bright in school, went to College in France. However they have a hard time finding jobs that match their qualifications. The working permits and immigration rules of France are so difficult that people with the equivalent of an engineering degree wind up having very low paying jobs.
    As result, a lot of Ivorians choose to study in Canada because they are offered better job opportunities in a more racially inclusive society than the French society.
    Also the cost of College education is not as high as the cost of education in the US, which makes Canada a much more appealing option than the US (for example).

    I feel blessed that I studied in the US. Because I now work as a Software engineer for Cisco Systems. I am very satisfied because I know that in other countries like France, it would have been far more difficult for me to get hired in such a strong position, knowing that I am black African woman. I don't think I would have had the same opportunity if I had studied in France or in Canada.

    Anothing that I remember is that there was a time (early 90's) that Canada was being extremely flexible with having a more diverse population. Our neighbours got some kind of Canadian immigration invitation, and in a glimpse of an eye, they moved there. I have not heard from them since. I should look them up on Facebook... who knows...

    September 26, 2010 at 3:20 am | Reply
  64. Pawel

    I think that in addition to having French as an official language, Canada and the Ivory Coast do share some common points. Perhaps the most obvious one would be the importance of commodities in their economic make up, and their subsequent vulnerability to swings in world prices. A more settle point deals with the mixture of French culture with native population. Although the result of the mixture is quite different in Canada than it is in Ivory Coast, there are some common points, principally associated with Catholic religion and the accompanying values. Also, with Canada being as multicultural as it is, I imagine there are family ties as well – however small it might be, the portion of Canadian population who was born, or had their parents/grandparents come from the Ivory Coast.

    September 26, 2010 at 3:23 am | Reply
  65. Kristian

    I 100% agree with Julie September 24th, 2010 6:54 pm ET

    September 26, 2010 at 5:11 am | Reply
  66. Hermann

    Hey everybody ,

    I have spent nearly an hour reading each and everybody comment l. I Think CNN initiative deserves some credits despite its not surprisingly negative briefly presentation of the Ivory Coast ( the west loves loves to scare people away from Africa). Other than that, as an Ivorian , I can only see some few similarities between both countries namely their common language and greatly cosmopolitan population. Just see to CNN action, an initiative to bring people together and discover that all is common between all of us. Now it is up to you to chose to stay in your comfort zone or to build some experiences approaching others. For those of you who may be interested in knowing Ivory coast ( cote d' ivoire) behind any passion, you should take a look at the beautiful cities of Abidjan, Yamoussoukro; for Ivory coast used to be a very popular destination for tourism before France went to do evil there by engineering that not even civilian but truly economic war, we hate wars . Ivorian are lovely and peaceful people well known for their undeniable kindness and hospitality ( 26% of its population are foreigners). It's fair to say though we far from a perfection....

    Thank you all and special thanks to CNN team for this good initiative.

    September 26, 2010 at 5:19 am | Reply
  67. Tano Kouamé

    Canada and Ivory Coast do in facts have similarities (when you reallllly stretch your mind...).

    Ivory Coast and Canada have long histories of allowing foreigners to come in their countries and settle there.
    Canada has a great immigration system that encourage students and young qualified workers to emigrate to Canada. You don't need to be rich, like the the US. Ivory Coast has also welcomed immigration for the past 50 years that the country has been independant. An estimated 26% of the ivorian population is not ivorian. It is also the only country in subsaharan africa where you will see immigrants who have realized their dreams and are wealthy business owners, professors, lawyers, etc.
    This doesnt happen anywhere else in subsaharan Africa. Or in the USA. But in Canada and Ivory Coast, immigrants who have come from nothing can legally come in and realize their dream.

    I beg to differ from the author of the article about the quality of living in Ivory Coast. I'll write more on it later though.

    September 26, 2010 at 8:28 am | Reply
  68. Patrice

    To Julie ... I am French speaking (francophone) and do not live in Quebec ... Please, Quebec is very isolated and ignores the rest of Francophones in the country. does not make them very popular with the French Canadian community outside of Quebec.

    Aside from this, Being a native Canadian, i recently had the chance to interact in my professional capacity with people from Ivory Coast. I had to teach them (over the Internet) a networking course. This is my first interaction with people from that country and they were great students. Well educated and experienced, focused, determined in the topics i was teaching. It is true to say that since Ivory coast people are French speaking, they will have a tendency to focus more on French speaking Canada. The same as ... say South Africans would tend to place theirs on English Canada (expediency, that's all).

    I love what Canada has become over the years, very proud of the multicultural aspect of my nation. Having lived in the US in the past, i can easily compare the two countries approaches. One must also realize that not all Canadians have that appreciation, like in any other country.

    September 26, 2010 at 10:45 am | Reply
  69. frank-ibel

    Hi guys,You have just gas by comparing Canada with Ivory Coast.Why not Canada and Canada?They are both bilingual countries and some how multicultural

    September 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  70. frank-ibel

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Hi guys,You have just gas by comparing Canada with Ivory Coast.Why not Canada and Cameroon?They are both bilingual countries and some how multicultural

    September 26, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  71. Capt. Canuck

    Congrats to the individuals who have found some real interesting similarities and differences. And to those who understood this was for fun and education.

    I have lived in 6 provinces. I was born in Quebec, as was my dad, and his, etc...9th generation Canuckois. The argument about the value or non-value of French language and culture is franchement, really lame and irrelevant. So what if my parents spoke English at home and Dad spoke French to most of his buddies. Who cares? Canada IS, whether Julie et al. recognizes it or not, multi-lingual and multi-cultural. This is a gift to all Canadians. Educated and traveled Canucks know the history of the country and the spread of the colonists. Yes, you find French speakers in many corners of Canada. I rejoice at the minuscule amount of conflict that remains after its harsh colonial history. And Canada remains relatively open to ethic evolution, while celebrating its cultural mosaic.

    The Ivory Coast has had a colonial history that has led it on its own path. For me, this is the most profound similarity. There are human stories that are interwoven with colonists and their countries of origin. Canadians, whatever their background, are part of the same human family tree. We are bonded by being a part of this changing world.

    September 26, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  72. John Miller

    Could have sworn there was a small ocean called the Atlantic that was shared by the ivory Coast and Canada?

    Hey, how about common and unusual points of interest between Brasil and Australia?
    Rum Rebellion

    September 26, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  73. marcel A.

    i will suggest that Canada be compared with Cameroon rather than Ivory Coast.Canada and Cameroon are the only two countiries in the world having both French and English as its official languages

    September 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  74. Jerbee Nerbee

    What's the point of this hare-brained exercise?

    Next question: What do shoes and thumbs have in common?

    Give it a thought and then ask yourself: Why am wasting my time at CNN?

    September 26, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  75. Jerbee Nerbee

    Uh, both countries are almost entirely overlooked by the rest of the world?

    Uh, they have the same population if you subtract 14 million?

    Uh, nothing of any importance whatsoever?

    September 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  76. Busola

    I would point to their French link, Roman Catholicism and parliamentary form of government.

    September 26, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  77. Marinelle M

    I'm Canadian and have been living in Europe for many years I'm afraid there is very little that Canada has in common with Ivory Coast other than the fact that the French colonised both countries.
    I disagree with the comment that Mandarin speakers outnumber French speakers. When I was in high school in Ontario all students had to learn French until Grade 10 and so French became my second language. Although French was not strictly required to obtain employment knowlege of the language has been beneficial in more ways than one.
    Vive le Canada!!

    September 26, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  78. stanley brown

    Ivorians get on board and tell us more about your beautiful country

    September 26, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  79. Hall

    Les deux sont fondamentalement des républiques de bananes...

    September 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  80. E. Scott Borgman

    As I tap these words from Toronto, in this my first trip to Ontario, I can easily reflect back to my childhood as a Missionary kid in the Ivory Coast. My parents were American Missionaries in the capital of Abidjan and I spent almost all of the years of my life between the time when my four year old feet touched the African soil until I was almost 18.

    The people were some of the most generously welcoming to my family and I remember time and time again when we were invited into a home and offered their last chicken or if they didn't have a chicken, they would offer us their time, as much time as we would take to talk of life, laugh or just sit together. "Cote d'Ivoire" has about as much diversity as Canada in that it has about 60 different languages spoken by that many different tribes who live in harmony. Canada will shock and surprise you as you stroll the streets easily passing by turbans, Africans, Arabs, Indians, Latino's and the ever so often Canadian.

    But all are accepted as if they had always lived in Canada. They are Canadians. A Wonderful Cornicopia of colors and shapes and sizes of people. This is also the same in Cote d'Ivoire, where you can find great people and hospitality, proud of their nationality.

    Trees bind these two countries together, Forests of them, Colorful in this Canadian Fall, and Green in Cote d'Ivoire. Rivers. The wildlife, among many others, like the National Elephant and the mighty Lion in Cote d'Ivoire, while Bears and Moose roam the "best part of North America", as the Canadians like to say.

    Canada is known for people being "Nice", for Hockey, for Beavers being noble creatures. The Ivory Coast is known for "Nice" people, for Soccer and for Elephants being noble animals.

    We can't forget religion as binding. Both these countries have great family life, religious expression. They have their share of challenges, but for the most part, if you smile at the people, they will smile back, and if you invite them into your home, they will invite you into their home. These are great qualities! So visit Canada, and visit Cote d'Ivoire, you will see that they are not that far away from each other!

    September 27, 2010 at 3:44 am | Reply
  81. Brenda

    Having lived in the Ivory Coast over a period of 11 years it is a country that I call home. Born & raised in Canada I also call it home so that is where the connection & similarities start for me.

    Both countries have french as one of it's languages.

    Physically, both countries are beautiful – from the ocean shores to the mountains to the green forest groves.

    Culturally, Canada is known for the many ethnic groups that make it so colorful. The Ivory Coast also has many ethnic groups represented from within the country and from many different countries making it a very multicultural country – as is Canada.

    And the people – what can I say. Having grown up in western Canada, hospitality was just a given. We would go visiting neighbors, relatives etc and always be offered coffee and whatever was available to go along with that. In the Ivory Coast the Baoule people group are known for their amazing hospitality – in their greetings you are always asked if you want water. In fact you are not allowed to leave their home or even a village until you have asked and are given permission and that means first having eaten a meal together and in the olden days having had a rest!!! Also, they often sent us home with a chicken or some gift of some sort.

    So, yes for me there are many connections between the Ivory Coast and Canada – many similarities and many friends that we have stayed connected to.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  82. shehu birdling

    they have french language i common.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  83. Kristin

    I am originally from Norway and work for the UN in New York. I was in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire for 5 weeks on mission with work when I met my current Canadian boyfriend. He was working as a UN Peacekeeper and we were introduced to work on a project together. It was love at first sight, but of course the circumstances seemed difficult. He finished his mission and returned to Canada, while I returned to New York. That is now1,5 years ago and we are planning our wedding and future together in Canada – although we will both always have a very special connection to Ivory Coast! I know this is probably not CNN was looking for, but when one asks what connection I have to Canada and Ivory Coast, the answer is love.

    September 27, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  84. SDR

    2 of the biggest cities, Montreal and Abijdan have almost the same population – around 3.5 million

    September 27, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  85. Philippe Pango

    Ivory Coast has a total of 65 different dialects (or tribes). I am pretty sure if you include the numerous indian nations living in Canada, you will easily get to 65 "tribes" in Canada too.

    September 28, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  86. Philippe Pango

    Both Canadians and Ivorians are human beings. Sometimes it's important to remind people of obvious things, that we are all equal.

    September 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  87. Kassi C.

    Both Canada and Ivory Coast have huge immigrants living on their soil. Despite the political turmoil, 23% of the population in Ivory Coast come from abroad, mainly Burkina Faso and Mali.

    September 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  88. Papou Leneutre

    Both countries have access to the Atlantic Ocean

    September 28, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  89. Phil

    I am a Canadian currently on a business trip in Cote d'Ivoire. Yes, this is the official name of the country, which is not supposed to be translated into English. What do these countries have in common? Ice rinks! Obviously Canada is full of them. But in the 1980s and 90s Cote d'Ivoire was the only country in sub-Saharan Africa (other than South Africa) which had an ice rink. AND... when I lived here in the 1980s my two young Canadian daughters learned to skate on the ice rink at the Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. Sadly the hotel has since deteriorated and the rink is closed. The hotel is now being renovated, though it is not known if the rink will be reopened.

    September 28, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  90. kone mohammed

    ivory coast and canada are the top two immigrants receiver in the entire world/ one in four person living in the ivory coast is coming from the west africa for better life/

    September 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  91. Yusuf

    well both talk the french
    both receive so much people from outside the country
    but not both are rich Canada rich and developed but cost ivory developing and poooor and has civil war
    not both play foot ball cost ivory football (drooooooogba) ...Canada hokey

    September 30, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  92. Merli

    The music.

    September 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  93. Jurgen R. Brul

    Dear CNN friends,

    The friendship between Canada and Côte d’Ivoire is strong. Canadian investments in Côte d’Ivoire, estimated at over $1.2 billion, are mainly in the oil and mining sectors. Emerging sectors such as education and the environment are attracting the attention of Canadian companies. Bilateral trade totalled $301 million in 2007.

    Canada has contributed $20 million to the United Nations Peacekeeping Fund for 2006-2008. The fund supports peacekeeping work in countries that have entered a post-conflict phase, and Côte d’Ivoire recently became eligible for the fund’s support.

    Canada continues to support the arms embargo and the targeted sanctions ordered by the UN. Canada’s authorized contribution to the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) is nine police officers, most of whom are from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Sûreté du Québec. There are currently eight officers in the country working for the United Nations Police (UNPOL).

    Let us Now CONNECT to make our world
    a Better Healthier and Beautiful World
    for You and for Me!

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    October 1, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  94. majd istwani

    Braking News
    Days, going against Israel along the line no matter how armed with the strongest weapons ... Israel is losing ground in the world – Israel lose Turkey as a friend – Israel loses its legitimacy – Israel in front of a small organization (Hezbollah) can not enter the libel and occupied by 2006 – Israel abandon South Lebanon in 2000 – Israel give up Gaza – Israel can not edit Shalit – Israel has become a phenomenon of words and do not do anything in the issue of Iran – this is actually certain what happened in the past ... what would happen in the future ... Israel give up the West Bank – Israel give up East Jerusalem – Israel give up the Golan Heights – started to reverse migration out of Israel – Demographic imbalance in favor of Arabs and Jews inside Israel -... I would expect this during the next ten years at most in one Ierdhany Is my expectation that this even from Israel itself?

    October 8, 2010 at 9:15 am | Reply
  95. connecttheworld.blogs.cnn.com

    Global connections connect canada and the ivory coast.. Great! 🙂

    April 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Reply

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