Ivory Coast flag Ivory Coast: Economic and Political Overview

The economic context of the Ivory Coast

Economic Indicators

Côte d'Ivoire’s  economy proved resilient to the Covid-19 pandemic, and is amongst the fastest growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. After reaching 6.7% in 2022, GDP growth stood at an estimated 6.2% in 2023, primarily driven by private consumption, the surge aligns with efforts to bolster purchasing power, expand industrial development initiatives, and enhance agricultural output, notably cocoa, with an increased government-guaranteed price set for the 2022-2023 season. In 2024, economic activity is expected to sustain its robust momentum, largely driven by the surge in industrial activities and supported by moderating inflation and increased global demand. Public investment, notably in infrastructure and public facilities, will remain elevated, in line with the objectives outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP, 2021-2025). The IMF forecasts growth at 6.6% this year and 6.4% in 2025.

Despite the gradual narrowing of the public deficit, it is projected to persist above the West African Economic and Monetary Union's (WAEMU) recommended target of 3% of GDP in both 2023 and 2024. To alleviate the effects of increasing prices on household purchasing power, social spending remained substantial in 2023. However, it is anticipated to decrease in 2024 due to easing inflationary pressures and the government's aim to substitute subsidies (primarily on food and fuel) with targeted financial aid for the most economically vulnerable households. Nonetheless, the multitude of public investment initiatives will sustain expenditure levels. Fitch Ratings estimated the budget deficit to have narrowed to 5.3% of GDP in 2023 from 6.8% in 2022, with a further reduction expected this year (4.4%) and in 2025 (3.5%). Public debt remained stable in 2023 (56.8%), still well above its pre-pandemic level of 38%, but should decrease over the medium term amid budget consolidation and strong GDP growth. Inflationary pressure are expected to ease in 2024 to 2.3%, down from 4.3% in 2023, returning below the regional target of 3% set by the BCEAO.

Despite good economic performance, the poverty rate grew sharply compared to its level three decades ago. More than 40% of the population lives under the poverty threshold, and around a quarter of the working population remains unemployed. Unemployment rate was estimated by the World Bank at 2.5% in 2022; however, around 40% of theworkforce is employed in the informal sector.

 
Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 72.0579.9886.9193.89101.69
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 6.96.26.56.46.3
GDP per Capita (USD) 2,3832,5722,7172,8543,005
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 55.357.157.756.956.2
Inflation Rate (%) 5.24.43.83.02.2
Current Account (billions USD) -5.52-4.83-3.32-2.40-2.25
Current Account (in % of GDP) -7.7-6.0-3.8-2.6-2.2

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, October 2021

Main Sectors of Industry

Côte d'Ivoire is the world’s largest producer and exporter of cocoa (30% of the world production), one of the three bigger producer and exporter of cashew, and a major exporter of palm oil, coffee and oil. The country’s economy is mainly based on agriculture: the primary sector contributes to 16.7% of the GDP and employs 46% of the country's active population (World Bank). The government is trying to maximise agricultural output by developing raw material processing units. In recent years, rubber output has increased substantially. The oil sector has also been gaining weight, leveraging a steady growth rate and major investments. Moreover, the country has some mining activities, particularly of precious minerals, such as gold and diamonds, but also others like nickel.

The industrial sector contributes to 22% of the GDP and employs only 10% of active population (World Bank). Key sectors include agro-processing, petroleum refining, and manufacturing. Agro-processing is a cornerstone of the Ivorian industrial landscape, with cocoa processing being particularly significant due to Cote d'Ivoire's status as the world's largest producer of cocoa beans. Additionally, the country's oil refining industry benefits from its status as a regional hub for petroleum products. Manufacturing, including textiles, chemicals, and food processing, is also an important sector, driven by government efforts to diversify the economy and promote industrialization.

The services sector contributes to 53.7% of the GDP and employs 44% of the workforce (World Bank). Like in many other African countries, the tertiary sector has grown at relatively rapid rate in the last several years. The telecommunications sector is booming and is one of the key drivers of services. Côte d’Ivoire has the most developed banking sector in the WAMU area. The banking sector comprises 28 banks and four financial establishments (data Central Bank of West African States).

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 45.0 10.8 44.2
Value Added (in % of GDP) 16.7 22.0 53.7
Value Added (Annual % Change) 5.1 8.1 6.8

Source: World Bank, Latest Available Data. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 

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Indicator of Economic Freedom

Definition:

The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.}}

Score:
61,7/100
World Rank:
91
Regional Rank:
7

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation

 
 

Country Risk

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Sources of General Economic Information

Ministries
Ministry of Economy and Finance (in French)
Statistical Office
Côte d'Ivoire National Institute of Statistics
Central Bank
Central Bank of West African States
Stock Exchange
BRVM
Economic Portals
Ivory Cost Economic Portal
 

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Latest Update: April 2024

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