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Country overview: Ivory Coast also known as Côte d’Ivoire is located in West Africa bordering the north Atlantic Ocean. It shares borders with Ghana to the east, Liberia & Guinea to the west and Mali, Burkina Faso to the north. It gained its independence from France on 7 August 1960. Its legislative capital is Yamoussoukro while Abidjan is the administrative capital with 12 Administrative districts. It is a multiparty Presidential Republic with the President sitting as the Head of State and Prime Minister as the head of government. It runs a bicameral national assembly consisting of Senate and National assembly, and its official language is French. It has a balance mix of both Moslem and Christian and it practices a civil law legal system based on French civil code. It has an area size of 322,463 million sq km. Ivory Coast plays a key role in transit trade for neighbouring landlocked countries and its economy has grown faster than most other African countries since independence. The country’s role as a hub to the regional market is underlined through the presence of several regional headquarters of foreign affiliates and institutions.
Demographic Information: Ivory Coast has an estimated population of 27.48 million comprising mostly of younger population (less than 25 years) which makes up about 58.7% of the population, those in the age bracket of 25-64 years makes up of about 38.4% of the population and above 65 years age group makes up of about 2.9% of the population. The average population density is estimated at 83 inhabitants/km2. In terms of human development indicators, it has a life expectancy of 63.6 years (Women) and 59.2years (Men). It achieved universal primary education with a 100.32% Primary enrolment rate in 2019 and overall literacy level of 47.2% as at 2018.
Broad Economic Overview: Ivory Coast economy is mainly dependent on agriculture. It is the world’s largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans and a significant producer and exporter of coffee and palm oil. It is also one of the three bigger producers and exporters of cashew. Agriculture is estimated to contribute about 20% of GDP and employs about 48% of the country’s workforce. Ivory Coast is also rich in mineral resources with abundant deposit of hydrocarbons, ore (gold, copper, iron, manganese, bauxite). There has been increased activities in the oil sector recently and some mining activities, particularly of precious minerals, such as gold and diamonds, but also others like nickel. Real GDP expanded 6.8% & 6.9% in 2018 & 2019 resp having recorded 8.1% compounded annual GDP growth in the past 5 years. Ivory Coast growth prospects remain positive. In 2019, Ivory Coast and Ghana (62% of world cocoa production) signed an agreement to increase the cocoa bean price. Ivory Coast currency is CFA franc pegged to Euro. Main export includes coffee, cocoa, cotton, palm oil, timber, petroleum, banana, pineapples etc. Major imports include fuel, foodstuffs, and capital equipment.
Investment Opportunities: Ivory Coast remains a preferred destination for foreign investors in the West Africa region. It’s currently in the last year of its National Plan of Development (PND 2016-2020) which aims to make private investment a driver of the country’s economic growth. The plan focuses on diversifying output, improving the processing of raw materials and developing value chains in the primary sector. There is also focus on infrastructure improvement with initiatives such as Abidjan urban transport project and infrastructure related to the organisation of 2023 Africa Cup of Nations expected to present opportunity for private investment. Ivory Coast suffered post-election violence in 2010-2011 but its political climate has since normalised. However, the political context ahead of the 2020 presidential elections may heighten investment climate uncertainty. Investment opportunities are available in the following sector of the economy real estate, the financial services, energy infrastructure, transport infrastructure, telecoms, agribusiness, textiles, consumer goods etc.
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