WASHINGTON, June, 9 2014 –The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a grant totaling US$5 million in additional financing to the Côte d’Ivoire Governance and Institutional Development Project. The grant aims to support enhanced transparency and efficiency in the management of public finances and improved governance and efficiency in the cocoa sector.
The grant will support the Government’s positive reform achievements by scaling up efforts in the public finance and cocoa sectors, and by responding to new challenges that have emerged in these areas. Côte d'Ivoire is the world’s largest cocoa producer, with an average production of 1,300,000 tons of beans per year, and accounts for one quarter of its exports and public revenues. Approximately 700,000 smallholder families (about 6 million people) depend on cocoa production as their main source of income, which is an essential pillar of the rural economy. However, poor management of the sector’s agencies has limited cocoa’s contribution to rural growth and poverty reduction.
The additional financing will cover three components of the original project: (i) strengthening the public financial management (PFM), with a particular focus on systems interfacing, internal controls, local public finance management, and management of public enterprises; (ii) strengthening the cocoa sector to ensure increased professionalization of cooperatives; and (iii) supporting project implementation and communication.
“The additional financing responds to the Government’s appeal to development partners to support public financial management and the strengthening of the cocoa sector, and builds on a comprehensive PFM strategic plan that the Government is putting in place with donors’ assistance, and on the cocoa reforms which are starting to provide more income to cocoa farmers and to help reduce poverty in the rural areas,” said Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Country Director for Côte d’Ivoire. An estimated 60 percent of cocoa farmers live below the poverty line and they account for some 28 percent of all the poor in Côte d’Ivoire.”
A key element for strengthening governance and efficiency in the economically pivotal cocoa sector is the achievement of the conformity status with the new Organization for the Harmonization in Africa of Commercial Law (Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires – OHADA) Uniform Act by all the cooperatives operating in the sector in this regard.
“There is a critical need for technical and organizational assistance to support the professionalization of producers and the development of well-managed cooperatives,” said Robert Yungu, Senior Public Sector Specialist and Task Team Leader for the project. “The development of a fully integrated financial management information system is also crucial so as to improve the transparency, accountability, and efficiency of PFM,” he said. The Project will also support on-going efforts to provide capacity building support to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Budget, and the Ministry of Agriculture.