Destinations Western Africa

6 Interesting Similarities Between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire

similarities between ghana and cote d’ivoire
Written by Teresa Mwangi

AFCON 2023 brought about interesting insights into the similarities between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The West African country was pre and post-colonially known as Ivory Coast but it changed to Cote d Ivoire in 1986.

The Abidjan headquartered country makes up for the most important history in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hosting the 2023 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) illuminated the unique attributes of this country.

One of them is its shared customs with Ghana which is taking a lot of football fans in Abidjan, Korhogo Yamoussoukro, San Pedro and Bouake cities by surprise. See Africa Today looks into this interesting scenario bridging West African borders.

What are the Similarities Between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire?

Isn’t it amazing that two countries with very distinct languages share a heritage? Welcome to Africa. Below are similarities between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

Twi Language

Beyond the native languages that Ghana and her neighbour have, Ivory Coast’s beach town, Assini speaks Ghanaian Twi. For the record, Cote d’Ivoire is a French-speaking country while Ghana speaks English. However, Assini has embraced Twi which is the widely-spoken Ghanaian native language.

This connection is deep as the beach town isn’t too far from the Ghanaian border. Residents in this town are gradually warming up to the Ghanaian culture.


similarities between ghana and cote d’ivoire

A group of women from Ivory Coast. Photo/D&D Clothing

The culture of Akan people presents a clear picture of the similarities between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. While both countries have very different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, they are similar in several customs, holidays, and languages.

For example, the Akan people are found in both countries meaning they share linguistic and cultural traditions. Linguist and historical scholars posit that their common language in and out of Ghana helps them co-exist peacefully. They also use the language to uphold their cultural beliefs.

Economic Activities

Cocoa production is a shared economic activity between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Both nations significantly contribute to the global cocoa supply, and this agricultural sector plays a significant role in their economies. Cocoa growing has molded the economies of these two countries in a big way, especially in the creation of employment opportunities.

European History Ties

The presence of European colonizers has a share in similarities between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. While it was the French who colonized Didier Drogba’s birth country, the British had a similar role in Ghana. This explains why French and English are respectively the national languages in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. European colonizers left a lasting impression always seen in the social, political and economic structures of both countries.

Geographical Setting

Both countries in West Africa have vast coastlines along the Gulf of Guinea that are crucial to their history. Essentially, they both enjoy a tropical weather pattern characterized by lush landscapes from end-to-end of each country.


Religion influenced by the Akan tribe spread across Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana birth an important factor in spirituality in both nations. They are deeply spiritual people who have jealously guarded the purity of their norms and culture for decades. Their Twi and Bia languages led them to worship a Supreme power whom they identify as Onyame/Onyankopon/Asase Yaa.

What is the Economic Exchange Between Ghana and Cote D Ivoire?

Available data from 2020 indicates that Cote d’Ivoire exports to Ghana earned $236 million. Ivory Coast majorly exports wood, wood products, fruits such as bananas and pineapples, cashew nuts and cocoa beans. Further, Ghana buys a lot of cattle and poultry from Abidjan.

Inversely, Ghana exports processed foods, flour, biscuits, and beverages to Ghana. Other exports include clothing, footwear, building materials, chemicals and plastic.

What does Ghana Import from Cote d Ivoire?

similarities between ghana and cote d’ivoire

Cote d’Ivoire pineapple exports. Photo/Fresh Produce Middle East & Africa

Beyond similarities between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana is a big consumer of the following 21 imports from Ivory Coast.

  1. Fruits
  2. Poultry products
  3. Cattle
  4. Mineral fuels
  5. Vegetable oil
  6. Animal fats
  7. Cocoa beans
  8. Wood pulp
  9. Furniture products
  10. Milling products
  11. Aluminium
  12. Pharmaceutical products
  13. Copper
  14. Salt
  15. Cement
  16. Vinegar
  17. Rubbers
  18. Nickel
  19. Spices
  20. Sugar confectionary
  21. Sugar

What are 5 Facts About Ghana?

How much do you know about Ghana? Here are five interesting facts about it.

  1. Ghana is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to attain independence from British colonialists in 1957. Its first President was Kwame Nkrumah.
  2. Ghana is renowned for its rich cultural traditions, which include music, dancing, and art.
  3. Ghana is the world’s second-largest producer of cocoa after Cote d’Ivoire.
  4. There are at least 100 ethnic groups in Ghana with Christians and Muslims forming a chunk of its population.
  5. This West African country is home to a variety of ecosystems, such as grasslands, coastal marshes, and rainforests.

About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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