Ivory Coast flag Ivory Coast: Economic and Political Overview

The economic context of the Ivory Coast

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Ivory Coast’s economy proved resilient to the Covid-19 pandemic, and is amongst the fastest growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. After reaching 7% in 2021, GDP growth slowed down to 5.5% in 2022, due to subdued global demand, worsened terms of trade and increased uncertainty (IMF). However, economic growth is expected to accelerate to 6.5% in 2023 and 6.6% in 2024 (IMF). Investments, industrial activity, reforms and consumption should support growth.

After a strong recovery from the pandemic in 2021, Ivory Coast’s economy remained solid in 2022, but was impacted by the consequences of the war in Ukraine. The Ivorian authorities took several temporary measures to tackle this external shock, such as introducing price ceilings on several food items (IMF). Fiscal deficit increased to -5.3% GDP in 2022 from 5% GDP in 2021, but it is expected to decrease to 4% in 2023 through fiscal consolidation efforts (IMF). The return to the 3% WAEMU norm is planned for 2024. Public debt increased from 52.1% GDP in 2021 to 56.0% GDP in 2022, and it is expected to slightly decrease to 55.1% GDP in 2023 and 53.7% GDP in 2024 (IMF). Despite the moderate risk of debt distress, the space to absorb future shocks is very limited, highlighting the need to accelerate efforts to mobilize domestic revenue (IMF). Inflation increased to 5.5% in 2022, from 4.2% in 2020, and is expected to remain high in 2023 (4%) before declining to 1.8% in 2024 (IMF). The authorities are committed to pursue fiscal consolidation, and adopt tighter monetary policy. The new National Development Plan 2021-2025 focuses on governance and modernization of the State, economic diversification, human capital, social inclusion and infrastructure. According to the IMF, over the medium term the main challenges include addressing pressing development needs, limiting debt vulnerabilities and increasing domestic revenue mobilization. Coface identifies the low share of investment, the high share allocated to the wage bill, the gradual rollout of universal health coverage and improvements to the quality of education and health as the main challenges.

Despite good economic performance, the poverty rate grew sharply compared to its level three decades ago. More than 45% 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 3.5% in 2021. According to UNDP, during the COVID-19 pandemic, 27.5% of households were technically unemployed and 44.4% of households were forced to work part-time.

 
Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 70.1879.4386.8994.47102.31
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 6.76.26.66.46.3
GDP per Capita (USD) 2,4732,7282,9093,0823,253
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 56.856.857.056.155.3
Inflation Rate (%) n/a4.32.32.01.9
Current Account (billions USD) -4.57-3.73-3.33-3.34-3.01
Current Account (in % of GDP) -6.5-4.7-3.8-3.5-2.9

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 19.9% of the GDP and employs 40% of the country's active population (World Bank). The government is trying to maximise agricultural output by developing raw material processing units. It launched a 5-year (2018-2023) plan funded by the World Bank, valued at XOF 107 billion and aiming at making the cashew sector more profitable. In recent years, rubber output has increased substantially. The oil sector has been gaining weight over the past few years, leveraging a steady growth rate and major investments. 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 21.4% of the GDP and employs 13% of active population (World Bank). The country's main industrial sectors include food processing, textiles, construction materials, fertilizers, tuna canning and motorbikes, vehicles and bicycles assembling.

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, together with other sectors, are key drivers of services. The services sector contributes to 52.2% of the GDP and employs 47% of the workforce (World Bank).

 
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

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.
 

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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: December 2023

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