Côte d’Ivoire has enjoyed vibrant, robust, and stable economic growth since 2012, but experienced a slowdown in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 crisis. The country nonetheless remains Francophone West Africa’s economic hub and exerts significant influence in the region.
Côte d’Ivoire’s score on the World Bank’s human capital index (0.38) improved slightly in 2020 relative to 2019. Poverty fell sharply from 46.3% in 2015 to 39.4% in 2020, but this decline was confined to urban areas as rural poverty levels rose by 2.4% over the same period. The country should include its most vulnerable population groups in its economic recovery strategy, further integrate women into the economy, and develop its human capital to better meet the needs of the labor market.
Legislative elections held in early March 2021 were won by the ruling RHDP party. The elections were deemed to be broadly inclusive, with the participation of the country’s main political parties, including the PDCI of former president Henri Konan Bédié and the coalition supporting Laurent Gbagbo, both of which boycotted the presidential elections held in October 2020. Official reports indicate that 87 persons died in violent clashes that marred the reelection of Alassane Ouattara for a third consecutive term in 2020.
President Ouattara appointed Patrick Achi prime minister in March 2021 to replace Hamed Bakayoko who had passed away earlier in the month. Achi has been tasked with continuing the political dialogue for national reconciliation, particularly with the parties of former presidents Henri Konan Bédié and Laurent Gbagbo.
Following the decision of the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to confirm the acquittal of Laurent Gbagbo who had been prosecuted by the ICC for eight years for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the 2010-2011 post-electoral crisis, Gbagbo announced his intention to return to Côte d’Ivoire and participate in the country’s political life.
Prior to the global shock triggered by the pandemic, Côte d’Ivoire had one of the most robust economies in Africa and in the world and had grown at an annual average rate of 8% since 2012. However, the global health situation adversely affected Ivorian households and businesses and slowed the growth rate to 1.8% in 2020. Robust domestic demand and stable exports are expected to drive the country’s economic recovery in 2021.
- While the construction sector and public investments were the main drivers of growth in 2019, the manufacturing sector, services, and exports are expected to support the economic turnaround in 2021.
- The main challenge remains the implementation of a reform agenda that fosters a sustainable economic recovery and more inclusive growth by promoting the private sector in order to create better jobs, improve the business environment, provide access to financing for SMEs and VSEs, build capacity in the agricultural sector, and develop human capital, among other things.
Last Updated: May 03, 2021