THE NORTHERN AGNI OF CÔTE D'IVOIRE
1% Protestant or Independent
Palmer (1987) characaterized the receptivity of the Northern Agni as "high but not `dramatic.'"
Indicators Favoring Receptivity
Low churchedness, low denominational protectionism
Indicators Restricting Receptivity
Low homogeneity, high mobility, low actual recent church growth
For country--102.02 persons/sq. mile; The Agni area is within the range of 65-195 persons/sq. mile.
All Agni, total 400,000. The northern Agni occupy the larger but less densely populated area. Palmer believes that observations of northern Agni could be applied to the south, but all research was conducted in the north.
The Agni live in an area of mixed tribal make-up. For most areas, the percentage of non- Agni is 20-40% of the whole. The non-Agni are primarily migrant workers from Ghana, Mali, and Burkina Faso. The towns in northern Agni have large Dioula populations.
There are four dialect sub-groups among the northern Agni, but for the most part these amount to accent variations and a few vocabulary differences.
There is less protectionism among the Agni than in other areas of Côte d'Ivoire. The Protestant work is limited and the Catholics do not feel threatened.
Islam has flourished in the Agni cities and towns, but has only marginally infiltrated the villages. Most Muslims are Dioula from Burkina Faso or Mali. The number of Muslims is higher near the government-run cocoa farms. The Agni have traditionally shown apathy toward Islam.
Traditionally the Agni have not been highly mobile, but there is a trend for the youth and those without land to leave the tribal area for education or jobs. Foreigners among the Agni tend to follow the fortunes of the cocoa plantations. In Côte d'Ivoire, there is a major movement to the south and southwest of the country where there are still large tracts of forests.
Availability of Scripture
There are no published Scriptures in Agni, but there is reportedly an S.I.L. couple doing literacy and translation work in one of the Agni dialects.
Expectations of Government
The Church of Christ is not registered in Côte d'Ivoire, but missionaries are currently living in Bouaké and Dabou without registration.
For further information see Philip D. Palmer, "Prospectus: The Northern Agni of Ivory Coast," October 1987, available in the A.C.U. Missions Dept.