Yamoussoukro (yäməsōˈkrō) [key], city (1990 est. pop. 100,000), designated capital of Côte d'Ivoire, S central Côte d'Ivoire. A small town of less than 20,000 people until the late 1970s, Yamoussoukro was designated in 1983 to become the new national capital and an adminstrative and transportation center. Perfume and fishing industries are in the city. It was the home of Côte d'Ivoire's long-term president, Félix Houphouët-Boigny. He sponsored the city's rapid growth, which included hotels and a large highway connecting Yamoussoukro to the former capital of Abidjan, where most government offices and foreign embassies remain. The city also has the world's largest Christian church, Our Lady of Peace Yamoussoukro, which rises to a height of 489 ft (149 m). Yamoussoukro's development (especially the cathedral) drew popular criticism for its extravagance during a difficult economic period. The city suffered neglect after Houphouët-Boigny's death (1993), but in 2001 the government began making preparations to move to the city.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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