Beware of making comparisons between Ivory Coast and Canada that might give the impression that "things are better in Canada". As in France, people from Ivory Coast give a firm handshake when first meeting.You should, therefore, keep an arms length from the person to whom you are speaking and give a solid handshake (but not to the point that it is painful, of course).If someone from Ivory Coast asks for your opinion on the political situation in the country, you should be very diplomatic and discreet or simply state that you do not know enough about what is happening to voice a strong opinion on the subject.

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When you first meet someone, this kind of behaviour will make you appear flippant, impolite, and disrespectful.

The family is at the core of Ivorian culture and it is important and well received to ask about someone’s family when you first meet.

It is also worth noting that people from Ivory Coast are generally very interested in learning more about your country and culture.

Be prepared to answer many questions about Canada’s cultural, political, and economic life and other queries about your family and friends.

If you enjoy making these kinds of jokes, wait until you know your audience a bit better before trying them out.

You will undoubtedly be able to do so to your heart’s content later on.

They tend to get closer to each other when they are enthusiastic, angry, or if they are trying to convince you of something.

Touching someone when speaking is acceptable, but usually only between people of the same gender.

If you have friends or acquaintances in common, you should mention them and ask how they are doing.

Ivorians like making these kinds of connections and discovering that you know their cousin, neighbour or even a local political figure.

If you are speaking to a member of the local political class or to a manager, you should remain humble and put the emphasis on listening and asking questions about the country or certain aspects of your work rather than trying to show off your expertise or talking about yourself right away.