And Eriksson acknowledged that his new side had a tough task ahead when they arrive in South Africa.
He said: "We are in a difficult group and it will not be easy but I think the Ivory Coast with all their talents can get through it.
"That's the first target and we will have to work very hard for it.
"Brazil are one of the favourites and Portugal are one of the best teams in Europe.
"But there are six African countries in the World Cup, it is in Africa for the first time, and I am sure two or three will spring some big surprises and we have to make sure we are one of those that do.
"We should have lots of support and the tournament in South Africa should be very good for the whole continent and the game of football."
Eriksson was appointed by England in 2001 after a successful club management career in Europe, including an Italian championship win with Lazio in 2000.
The high point of his reign was the 5-1 win over Germany in the qualifiers for Japan and South Korea only months after he had taken over.
Since leaving England after the 2006 World Cup, he managed Manchester City and the Mexican national team and most recently was director of football at Notts County.
No details were given about the length of Eriksson's contract.
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