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Living in Abidjan

Located on the south-east coast of Ivory Coast, Abidjan is the economic capital of Ivory Coast. The cultural diversity and unique scenery in the city make Abidjan a popular destination for expats. Read up on the healthcare system, education, and local transportation in the InterNations Expat Guide.

Healthcare in Abidjan

Ivory Coast dropped public healthcare, mainly due to the political and economic instability affecting the country. However, the government has now confirmed that it will begin rolling out a universal public healthcare scheme, which will be funded by a mandatory health insurance payment collected from all working residents. However, most expatriates living in Abidjan prefer to use the private healthcare system, as the public system has poor facilities and understaffed medical centers.

 If you wish to use the private healthcare system whilst living in Abidjan, you should ensure that you take out comprehensive medical insurance to cover your costs. Even so, some expats living in Abidjan will still travel to their home country for major treatments or to stock up on prescription medicines, as even the private system is lacking behind those of countries in the west.

Education in Abidjan

The public education system in Ivory Coast is not of the same standard as most western countries. As a result, many expatriates living in Abidjan will send their children either to an international school in the city, or to school in their home country.

As the economic capital of the country, and a popular expatriate destination, Abidjan has some of the best international schools in West Africa, which will either teach the French, English, or American curriculum. Abidjan also has a number of universities, including the Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny and the Université de Cocody. Both teach in French only.

Transportation in Abidjan

As the economic capital of Ivory Coast, Abidjan has an excellent transportation network. Expatriates living in Abidjan will be able to drive legally on the roads using an international driving permit, but as the roads are usually heavily congested and aren't always of the best quality, many residents will either use one of the plentiful taxis in the city or the public transport network.

Abidjan has inner-city bus and rail networks, which are relatively cheap and easy to use. In addition, the main railway station has a direct rail link to Ouagadougou in nearby Burkina Faso, as well as trains to both Bouaké and Ferkesssédougou throughout the day. At peak times, however, the trains and buses can be very busy.

Adam Malewski

"I use InterNations mainly for business and made some very valuable expat contacts here in Abidjan."

Lotta Koskinen

"Settling as an expat woman in Abidjan wasn't easy in the beginning. Until a friend invited me to InterNations..."

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