Overview

  • Côte d’Ivoire—the world’s largest producer and exporter of cocoa  beans and cashew nuts and a significant producer of coffee and palm oil—has enjoyed remarkable economic success since 2012 and is a major economic power in the West African subregion.

    Political Context

    Côte d’Ivoire has maintained a relative stability since the end of the 2010-2011 post-electoral war. But recent political developments have been fueling tension in the country. With presidential polls due in October 2020, President Alassane Ouattara has not said whether he will seek a third term. The coalition he formed with Henri Konan Bédié, his former ally against Gbagbo, has collapsed and a presidential bid by Bédié cannot be ruled out.

    Former president Laurent Gbagbo was acquitted by the International Criminal Court but released under conditions pending an appeal by the prosecutor. If the appeal is completed in time, he could possibly join the presidential race. Recent tension within the ruling RHDP coalition has also culminated in the recent resignation of the speaker of the Parliament, Guillaume Soro.

    In the meantime, talks for the reform of the Independent electoral commission (CEI) has started between the government and representatives of opposition parties. The United Nations has at several occasions stressed the need to overhaul the CEI, saying that it does not reflect the reality of the political landscape of Côte d’Ivoire. Many Ivoirians fear that without consensus on a reformed electoral commission and enhanced confidence in an impartial election administration, the upcoming 2020 presidential poll would lack legitimacy risking a return to violence and conflict.

    Economic Overview

    The economy has expanded by an average of 8% per year since the exit of the political crisis in 2011, which makes Côte d’Ivoire one of the fastest growing country in the world during this period. However, the country’s GDP growth has gradually declined from 10.1% in 2012 to 7.7% in 2017 and is estimated at 7.4% in 2018. The economy is facing the dual challenge of maintaining a rapid growth rate and of making it more inclusive (poverty remains high at 46.4%) while reducing fiscal imbalances. The proximity of the national elections (October 2020) may create uncertainty and have a negative impact on private investments. 

    Social Context

    In early January, President Alassane Ouattara declared 2019 as a “year of social actions”, with the aim to make social services available and affordable for the most vulnerable, create thousands of jobs for the youth and hire over 10,000 teachers for primary and secondary education. A few later, public school teachers started a long strike from the end of January to early March after government negotiations with labor unions over allocations and conditions failed. Other civil servants have also threatened to walk out and end a truce that put to rest a series of strikes that paralyzed the administration and public services in 2017.

    The consecutive years of rapid economic growth since 2012 have been less inclusive than expected. Poverty rate is still high in the country. 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 government indicate that the recent economic upturn has brought the poverty rate back down to 46.3%.

    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.

    Last Updated: Apr 13, 2019

  • World Bank Group Engagement in Côte d’Ivoire

    As for fiscal year 2019 the World Bank Group portfolio includes ten projects totaling $1.14 billion.

    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.

    The current World Bank Group strategic framework for Côte d’Ivoire is the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) endorsed by the Board on May 16, 2018. The PLR shifted the focus of the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) from infrastructure to shared prosperity and resilience and introduced the Maximizing Financing for Development approach to leverage private sector investments. The PLR also extended the duration of the CPF until FY21 to align with the political cycle and the National Development Plan (2016-20.

    A CPF (FY16-19) was approved in September 2015 to accelerate and scale up WBG engagement. The CPF emphasized three focus areas:

    ·      accelerating sustainable private sector-led growth;

    ·       building human capital for economic development and social cohesion;

    ·      strengthening public financial management and accountability.

    CPF activities under each strategic objective were also expected to integrate the two cross-cutting issues: governance and spatial inequalities.

    International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    IFC engagements have grown less rapidly than anticipated; nevertheless, their portfolios remain among the largest in the region. IFC has a total commitment (own account of $244.5 million and mobilization of $65.5 million) in Cote d’Ivoire of $310 million, with the majority of these funds directed towards the electricity sector. Currently, the third- and fourth-largest exposures are to financial services intermediaries, BACI and SIB RSF ($17.8 million and $17.4 million, respectively). Since 2015, at the beginning of CPF implementation, IFC has engaged in ten investment transactions and eight advisory operations.

    Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)

    MIGA has three active projects with a total exposure of $659.4 million in critical oil and gas and infrastructure activities. This makes Cote d’Ivoire one of MIGA’s highest-exposure countries, guaranteeing coverage of risks of transfer restriction and currency inconvertibility, expropriation, breach of contract, and war and civil disturbance. MIGA’s exposure is in support of the CI-27 gas field expansion, the Henry Konan Bédié Bridge in Marcory, and an upgrade of the existing Azito thermal power plant.  

    MIGA is also working with clients on other potential projects, including a hospital PPP, a wastewater treatment plan, and a biomass IPP. In addition, MIGA has been requested by the government to explore support for the health and roads sectors and is actively engaging with the relevant ministries.

    Last Updated: Apr 13, 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 people 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.

    Last Updated: Apr 13, 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.

    Last Updated: Apr 13, 2019

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LENDING

Côte d’Ivoire: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

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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