ABIDJAN, December 6, 2012 - After a decade of multifaceted crises, the Government of Côte d’Ivoire adopted on March 28, 2012 a comprehensive medium-term development strategy called the National Development Plan (2012-2015 NDP), constituting the frame of reference for government action, with the primary goal of making Côte d’Ivoire an emerging country by 2020. In this context, the Government requested assistance from the World Bank, which has helped set in place an Advisory Group solely dedicated to the mobilization of external public and private financing to propel the country along the path of sustainable growth.
This meeting of the Advisory Group, an international forum of senior Ivorian officials and their main external partners, provided an opportunity not only to underscore the economic and social development prospects awaiting Côte d’Ivoire, but also to identify the major challenges facing the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, notably the consolidation of peace and national reconciliation, good governance, public administration capacity building, and improving the business climate. Successful implementation of an investment program that revolves around powerful engines of growth, capable of driving the dynamics of strong and sustainable growth consistent with the principles of solidarity, job creation, and environmental protection, also requires boosting the security of people and property throughout the country and consolidating political and social stability.
Maintaining the Pace of Reform
Côte d’Ivoire’s partners also reaffirmed their commitment to support implementation and financing of the 2012-2015 NDP by coordinating and harmonizing their interventions. In addition, a mechanism for monitoring the implementation of commitments and financial flows will be created in the spirit of the Paris, Accra, and Busan Declarations on Aid Effectiveness. “Côte d’Ivoire will not stand alone during this critical phase of its process of emerging from crisis. The World Bank will help out with all the instruments at its disposal,” in the words of Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region.
The 2012-2015 NDP set the goal of significantly raising the rate of public investment, which averaged just 3 percent of GDP over the last ten years, but reached 5.3 percent in 2012. It should climb to 7.4 percent in 2013, 9.3 percent in 2014, and 9.7 percent in 2015 in order for public investment to fulfill its role as a lever of growth. In 2011, the real growth rate in GDP was negative (-4.7 percent), but it should reach 8.6 percent in 2012, and the National Development Plan anticipates a rate of 9 percent in 2013, then an average of 10 percent between 2014 and 2015. To meet these growth targets, however, investments totaling roughly CFAF 11,076 billion (approximately US $22 billion) will be needed, of which more than US $8 billion was promised by the partners meeting in Paris.
The challenge now is to maintain the pace of reform, particularly in regard to management of public finance and key sectors of the economy (especially the coffee-cocoa industry), not to mention rehabilitation of the business climate (with Côte d’Ivoire remaining at the bottom of the list in the 2013 edition of Doing Business). But the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative Completion Point was reached in June 2012 and the first phase of the French Government’s Debt Settlement and Development Contract (C2D) is now in effect, so the future looks bright for Côte d’Ivoire, and the December meeting of the Advisory Group indisputably gave new life to the post-crisis reconstruction process.