Cote d'Ivoire


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Basic information of the country/area
Name of the country/area Cote d'Ivoire
Formal name of the country/area Republic of Cote d'Ivoire
Country/area information The World Factbook (CIA)
Wikipedia (English)


Local sign for "Cote d'Ivoire"

sign for Cote d'Ivoire

Illustrations in the literature

"Cote d'Ivoire" (In: Japanese Federation of the Deaf ed. Supervisor: Hedberg, Tomas. 2003. Country name-signs. Helsinki, Finland: World Federation of the Deaf. 98.)

Major cities


Yamoussoukro (capital)

Spoken languages

French and other ethnic languages. Official language is French.

Sign languages

Francophone African Sign Language (Langue des Signes d'Afrique Francophone (LSAF)), a pidgin sign language created with ASL and spoken French in Africa.

Population of Deaf/deaf people

  • Population of the "deaf-mute" ("sourds-muets" in French) in the national census in 1998: Total 50,689 (Men 26,668; Women 24,021) (Cited from Ministère de la Famille, de la Femme et des Affaires Sociales, République de Côte d'Ivoire. 2007. Politique Nationale en Faveur des Personnes Handicapées. Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire)
  • The National Government’s official number of Deaf people : 50,689. (WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. : See Bibliography below.)

Legal status of sign languages

  • Status of the National Sign Language(s) from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).

1. The country’s government does not formally recognise the country’s sign language(s).

2. Deaf Association/Deaf Group lobbies the government for the recognition of the country’s sign language(s)

Organizations and associations of the Deaf/deaf

  • There are two associations of the Deaf recognized by the government:

(1) Association Nationale des Sourds de Côte d'Ivoire (ANASOCI) (Facebook) (WFD member; established in 1991. (WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. : See Bibliography below.))

(2) Association Ivoirienne des Sourds pour la Promotion et la Défense (AISPD)

  • ONG Handicap Alliance Internationale (H.A.I.) is a group that conducts training of sign language interpreters.
  • Society without Barriers-Côte d’Ivoire (SWB-CI) is a think tank for persons with disability which is run by persons with disabilities themselves, including Deaf staff. The Director is Yédê Adama Sanogo, a Deaf Ivoirian man, who finished the training course of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) in 2008: "Mainstreaming and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (PwD) in Africa."

Institutes, associations and universities for sign language studies

Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Cocody (Institut de Linguistique Appliquée (ILA), Université de Cocody): A paper on sign language studies was presented in the 5th annual meeting of this institute on February 25, 2010.

Education for the deaf

In 1974, Andrew J. Foster, an American Deaf missionary, founded Ecole Chrétienne Ivoirienne pour les Sourds (ECIS) in Abidjan, which became the first school for the deaf. It was renamed Ecole Ivoirienne pour les Sourds (ECIS). It became a national school in 2009 and is the only one school in this country. (Ecole Ivoirienne pour les Sourds)

  • Access to Education from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).

1.The government recognizes that Deaf children and Deaf students have the right to receive an education.

2.Legislation or policies on Deaf Education:


3.The government provides those educational settings for Deaf children and Deaf students:

Primary (From 5/6 years old to 12/13 years old)

4.The government provides bilingual education using the country’s sign language(s) for Deaf children and Deaf students in those educational settings:

Primary (From 5/6 years old to 12/13 years old)

5.Total number of schools specifically for Deaf children and Deaf students in the country, and the educational approach for communicating with Deaf children and students at the Deaf School:

One Deaf School
Oral and Sign Language (Total Communication)

6.Deaf people’s access to a University education and sign language interpreting services at University:

None, Because of the Sign language not being recognised as an official language the problem of communication is a handicap into which is added the lack of specialised structures.

Sign language interpretation

  • Status of Sign Language Interpreting Services from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).

1.The number of sign language interpreters in the country:


2. Sign language interpreting qualifications.


3.The provider of the sign language interpreting services:


4.The payment for interpreting services, and those who are responsible for paying:

Sign language interpreters do not receive payment for interpreting services

5.Sign language interpreters do not provide voluntary service for all sign language interpreting assignments.

6.National Association of Sign Language Interpreters:


7.National Code of Ethics for sign language interpreters:


8.Legislation or policy in the country which states that the government has a responsibility for the provision of sign language :


Deaf communities and cultures

Activities by the Deaf are found in Abidjan, the largest city in Cote d'Ivoire. Danane has a branch of ANASOCI.

Religious activities by the Deaf

Christians and Muslims. In Abidjan, CMA (Eglise Protestante Evangélique CMA) has the largest network of churches of the Deaf. A few Christians go to Catholic churches.

Famous Deaf persons and hearing persons concerned with sign languages

Mamadou (Deaf, man, Ivorian): the first Deaf teacher of ECIS. Deceased.

N'zébo (1958-2007, Deaf, man, Ivorian): a Deaf teacher of ECIS; the founder and the President of ANASOCI. Deceased.

Andrew J. Foster (1925-1987, Deaf, man, American): A missionary, the founder of ECIS. Deceased.

Sign language dictionaries

Sanogo, Yédê Adama (edidor), Kamei, Nobutaka (supervisor). 2012. Ecoute mes mains : dictionnaire de langue des signes. Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire: EDILIS. (Ecoute mes mains)


SANOGO, Yédê Adama. 2014. Signe avec moi : manuel bilingue d'alphabétisation en langue des signes. Tome 1. Abidjan: EDILIS.

Tano, Angoua Jean-Jacques. 2013. DOCUMENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF LANGUE DES SIGNES DE COTE D'IVOIRE (LSCI). Poster presentation at Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR11)

Kamei, Nobutaka. 2010. Livelihood of people with disabilities in Côte d'Ivoire: With a focus on the exceptional recruitment in formal sectors. In: Mori, Soya ed. Poverty reduction for the disabled in developing countries: How do they live?. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, Publishers. 187-211.

Kamei, Nobutaka. 2009. The exceptional recruitment in formal sectors: Livelihood of people with disabilities in Côte d'Ivoire. In: World Trend (Institute of Developing Economies). 168 (September 2009): 28-31.

World Federation of the Deaf and Swedish National Association of the Deaf. 2008. Global Survey Report. WFD Regional Secretariat for Western and Central Africa Region (WFD WCAR). Global Education Pre-Planning Project on the Human Rights of Deaf People. World Federation of the Deaf. Finland.


Kamei Nobutaka (since 2008)

Yédê Adama Sanogo (since 2010)

History of sign language research

In February-March 2010, Kamei Nobutaka conducted fieldwork on the Deaf community and their sign language in Abidjan.

In October 2008, Kamei Nobutaka conducted a preliminary research on the Deaf community and their sign language in Abidjan.


A paper on sign language studies was presented in the 5th annual meeting of the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Cocody on February 25, 2010. [Kamei, Nobutaka, Sanogo Yédê Adama et Tano Angoua Jean-Jacques. 2010. Promotion de la recherche sur la Langue des signes en Côte d'Ivoire (Promotion of the research on the sign language in Côte d'Ivoire). Dans : le 5ème Colloque Annuel de l'Institut de Linguistique Appliquée (ILA), Université de Cocody « Linguistique ivoirienne : théories et pratique » (the 5th annual meeting of the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Cocody "Ivoirian linguistics: Theories and practice") (February 25, 2010, Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Cocody, Cocody, Abidjan, Republic of Côte d'Ivoire).]


Ecole Ivoirienne pour les Sourds

Society without Barriers-Côte d’Ivoire (SWB-CI)

Deaf cultures and Sign Languages of the world: Cote d'Ivoire


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