ABIDJAN, February 8, 2018‒ With a GDP growth rate projected to reach 7 percent in 2018 and 2019, Côte d’Ivoire continues to be one of the most dynamic economies in Africa. The sixth Economic Update for Cote d’Ivoire, launched today by the World Bank notes the undeniable performance of the Ivoirian economy, but also points out the urgent need to encourage greater private sector participation and to improve public finance management, especially in education and health.
The report entitled, At the Gates of Paradise, proposes a strategy based on three complementary pillars:
- Opening the country’s economy to attract foreign investors in order to benefit from transfers of technologies and skills.
- Strengthening local competencies to assimilate, adapt and successfully implement new technological tools.
- Lowering physical and virtual transportation costs, by improving the performance of the Ivoirian ports (and their related connections), but also by reducing the costs associated with the use of mobile telephone and Internet tools.
Additionally, the report focuses on how the country can make up its technological lag. “Economic theory has long demonstrated the key role played by technological innovation in a country’s development process,” said Jacques Morisset, Lead Economist, World Bank. “To be successful, Côte d’Ivoire must not only open up to the exterior but also enhance the skills of its labor force and the connectivity of its economy. These two factors play an essential role in the dissemination of new imported technologies and their adaptation to the local economic fabric.”
This model for the dissemination of technology has been implemented by numerous countries in Asia and more recently in Africa. “The strategy behind the success of money transfers by mobile phones that is now spreading all over Africa would help firms operating in Côte d’Ivoire become more competitive and so create productive jobs for the fast-growing labor force,” said Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director in Côte d’Ivoire. “It will enhance the excellent performance achieved the country these last few years.”