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Félix Houphouët-Boigny

Félix Houphouët-Boigny (c. 1905-1993) was the first President of Côte d'Ivoire and led the country for over 33 years. He gained prominence during the colonial period when he founded the multinational party Rassemblement Démocratique Africain, which advocated independence for Africa's European holdings.

Under Houphouët-Boigny's ideologically moderate leadership, Côte d'Ivoire (formerly Ivory Coast) prospered economically because of a combination of sound planning and the country's significant cocoa industry. Despite economic success, however, his government presided over a de facto one-party state for most of his reign. Houphouët-Boigny moved the country's capital to his hometown of Yamoussoukro and built the world's largest church there.

Upon Houphouët-Boigny's death, National Assembly president Henri Konan Bédié took power.