Overview

  • Côte d’Ivoire—the world’s largest producer of cocoa and cashew nuts and an oil exporter with a substantial manufacturing industry—has enjoyed remarkable economic success since 2012 and is a major economic power in the subregion.

    Political Context

    Political stability has been restored and maintained, despite recent tensions within the ruling coalition. In August 2018, President Alassane Ouattara announced an amnesty for 800 political prisoners prosecuted for crimes related to the post-election crisis of 2010–2011, a decision hailed across the political class and civil society as an important step toward reconciliation. Since then, hundreds of political prisoners have been released, including former First Lady Simone Gbagbo. Following municipal and regional elections in October, consultations with the political class are expected to be held with a view to reforming the Independent Electoral Commission ahead of the presidential election scheduled for 2020—an election with high stakes both for consolidating peace and political stability and for maintaining the pace of economic growth. Like all countries in the subregion, Côte d’Ivoire has had to grapple with the threat of terrorism. The country was hit by a jihadist attack in Grand Bassam (in the southern part of the country) in March 2016.

    Economic Overview

    In 2017, Côte d’Ivoire continued to be one of Africa’s most vibrant economies, with the growth rate expected to remain at around 7.6%. This sound performance, attributable to the rebound in the agriculture sector, attests to the country’s resilience to internal and external shocks.

    The economic outlook for the next two to three years is positive. The growth rate is expected to hold steady at around 7% in 2018 and 2019, which bodes well for the maintenance of moderate inflation and the management of public finances through prudent fiscal and monetary policies, as well as the furtherance of reforms aimed at improving the business climate and fostering the effective use of public-private partnerships.

    However, the Ivorian economy remains vulnerable to external risks, including volatility in the prices of agricultural and mining products, climate conditions, global and regional security risks, and a tightening of regional and international financial markets.

    Social Context

    Government negotiations with labor unions resulted in a truce, putting to rest a series of conflicts that had led to several strikes that paralyzed the administration and public services in 2017.

    The key social challenge will be to keep the country’s economy on a strong growth path in order to reduce inequalities significantly. In 2018, Côte d’Ivoire ranked 170th among 189 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index. Between 1985 and 2011, the depth and severity of poverty increased considerably, and the proportion of poor population rose from approximately 10% to 51%. However, the findings of the most recent Living Standards Monitoring Survey carried out by the World Bank in 2015 indicate that the recent economic upturn has brought the poverty rate back down to 46%.

    The Government of Côte d’Ivoire must now strive to ensure that the most vulnerable segments of the population receive a greater portion of the spoils of economic growth. It must also work to develop the country’s human capital to better meet the needs of the labor market. The production of modern goods and services requires skills that are still missing from the local workforce. Women must not be overlooked in this drive to develop human capital. Despite recent efforts, Côte d’Ivoire remains one of the countries with the highest gender inequality rates in the world.

    lastupdated: Jan 11, 2019

  • Since 2012, Côte d’Ivoire has experienced a rapid increase in GDP, as a result of which poverty has begun to decline. The Government adopted a new National Development Plan (NDP) for the period 2016–2020, which aims to transform Côte d’Ivoire into a middle-income economy by 2020 and further reduce the poverty rate. In April 2016, donors pledged $15.4 billion in grants and loans to support the NDP. The World Bank Group committed to doubling its support, bringing it to approximately $5 billion by 2020.

    World Bank Group Engagement in Côte d’Ivoire

    The new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Côte d’Ivoire was approved by the World Bank Group on September 29, 2015. The CPF covers a four-year period and will support Côte d’Ivoire in creating a competitive, equitable, and inclusive economy. Overall, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have each planned a $1 billion lending and investment program, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) is open to analyzing new guarantees.

    The CPF pursues mainly the following two goals: (i) creating better quality jobs, particularly in agriculture and agribusiness, through sustainable growth led by the private sector; and (ii) building human capital to generate inclusive growth and improve the quality of social expenditures so as to enhance access to basic services. In order to attain those goals, the following five prerequisites must be met:

    • Social and political stability
    • Macroeconomic stability and public debt sustainability
    • Land reform
    • The development of an inclusive financial sector
    • Improved governance

    As of September 20, 2018, the World Bank Group was financing 23 active projects in Côte d’Ivoire, with a total financial commitment of $2.48 billion (including projects still in preparation). In 2017 the Group approved the largest loan ever granted to Côte d’Ivoire ($325 million), for the purpose of expanding access to power, particularly in rural areas. Projects approved since the beginning of 2018 relate to rural land tenure, the competitiveness of the cashew industry, the digital economy, infrastructure, coastal erosion, identification systems, education, transparency of information in the extractive industries, forest resource management, and child nutrition and development.

    International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    Of the $1 billion invested in Côte d’Ivoire by IFC over the past four years, one half has consisted in equity financing. In particular, IFC provided guarantees for the Azito III and CIPREL IV power plants, which increased the country’s power generation capacity by 370 megawatts. Currently, IFC and its partners finance almost 50 percent of the energy produced in Côte d’Ivoire. In the financial sector, IFC, through the Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP), helps banks increase their support for small and medium enterprises, cooperatives, farmers, and smallholders.

    Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)

    While Côte d’Ivoire was still regarded as a high-risk country, MIGA helped attract private investments in the energy sector. Since the end of the post-election crisis in 2011, a total of $2 billion has thus been invested, particularly in the conversion of the simple-cycle power plant at Azito into a combined-cycle plant, thereby making it possible to double its power generation capacity without increasing gas consumption.

    MIGA also covers a loan to finance the extension of the FOXTROT International LDC gas- and oil-production platform. In Abidjan, the Agency has provided guarantees for the Henri Konan Bédié toll bridge and the Azalaï Hotel. MIGA plans to expand its business portfolio over the next four years.

    lastupdated: Jan 11, 2019

  • The World Bank Group’s strategy aims to increase investments and growth as well as improve the population’s standard of living, in particular through the projects described below.

    West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP)

    Launched in 2011, this project has enabled thousands of rural women to improve their standard of living. In addition to agricultural produce processing equipment, the project disseminated technologies that help increase plantain, cassava, and corn yields significantly.  Cassava varieties such as Bocou 1 and Yavo are a source of pride for many cooperatives, whose average yield per hectare increased from 25 to 35 metric tons, compared to an increase from 8 to 10 metric tons using traditional cassava varieties.

    The project’s first phase, completed in 2016, allowed rural population groups, particularly in forest zones, to shift from food crops, such as plantains and cassava, to cash crops, which are financially more advantageous.

    Emergency Youth Employment and Skills Development Project (PEJEDEC)

    Shortly after the post-election violence of October 2010, the World Bank and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire sought to set up a job creation program that would offer thousands of unskilled young people their first employment opportunity. Those persons were direct victims of the political unrest that had rocked the country for more than 10 years. The goal was to enable young persons seeking employment and recognition to aspire to a better future. The result was PEJEDEC, launched in 2012 with an initial grant of $50 million, which benefited approximately 27,500 young persons. Additional financing in the amount of $50 million (about CFAF 25 billion) enabled the project to broaden its scope by targeting, in particular, women and rural inhabitants.

    Post Conflict Assistance Project (PAPC)

    Closed on June 30, 2016, the PAPC provided Côte d’Ivoire with solid experience in managing the needs of communities and in local governance (participatory development), thereby enabling it to narrow the gap with adjacent countries, such as Burkina Faso. Through an exceptional $150 million grant from the World Bank, the PAPC supported the Government’s efforts to end the country’s protracted crisis.

    lastupdated: Jan 11, 2019

  • Donors are currently organized around 14 working groups, which include mechanisms and technical teams to ensure their functioning. These working groups collaborate well, especially during project preparation. Since 2011, the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Union (EU) have coordinated closely in the design and implementation of their support for Côte d’Ivoire. The World Bank Group has also coordinated closely with the European Union, the French Development Agency (AFD), and other key donors, such as the Government of France, in the design of agricultural investment programs and in youth employment programs.

    lastupdated: Jan 11, 2019

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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
Banque Mondiale
01 BP. 1850
Abidjan 01, Côte d’Ivoire
(225) 22 400 400
For general information and inquiries
Enoh N'dri N’guessan
Communications Officer
endri@worldbank.org
For project-related issues and complaints
cotedivoirealert@worldbank.org