2013 Quarter 1
Inflation - After accelerating in 2011, consumer price inflation returned to a more familiar low level in 2012. Inflation is expected to remain low
and stable over the medium-term. Apart from its membership in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), this will be
underpinned by government policies to support agricultural production, as well as efforts to repair roads servicing agricultural regions in order to
ensure a more stable supply of food.
Growth - Following more than a decade of economic stagnation, Ivory Coast recorded real GDP growth of approximately 9.8% in 2012,
significantly faster than expected. A robust recovery in public and private investment was the main reason for the strong growth figure last year.
In fact, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that real investment increased by 63.2% in 2012.
National development plan - The National Development Plan (2012-15) aims to reduce poverty significantly and to transform Ivory Coast into
an emerging economy by 2020. Through this plan, the government is targeting growth of 9%, 10% and 10.1% in 2013-15, respectively, with the
help of both private and public investments. The government plans to increase public investment from 3% of GDP in recent years to 9.7% of
GDP by 2015.
Agricultural sector has significant growth prospects, particularly the
cocoa & palm oil industries.
Membership in WAEMU protects the country from certain external
shocks and provides monetary stability; the CFA franc is fully
convertible with the euro.
Rubber production is showing strong growth.
Relatively low and stable consumer price inflation.
The government is trying to attract oil companies to invest in upstream Ivory Coast’s port infrastructure is amongst the best in Africa, making it
activities by improving the business environment and transparency.
a leader in the West African region.
The government, with the help of multilateral organisations, will support
the electricity sector by increasing thermal and hydroelectric production Relatively high stock of foreign exchange reserves.
WHAT IS BEING DONE?
Public enterprises are inefficient.
Out of 185 countries globally, Ivory Coast has the ninth most
challenging business environment, according to the World Bank's
Doing Business in 2013 index.
Electricity prices are much too low relative to the cost of generating it,
which weighs on the fiscal budget.
Access to financing: the cost of financial services is high and the
availability of financial intermediation is lacking.
The government aims to restructure public enterprises, thereby
reducing the government's portfolio by 25% via privatisations, mergers,
and/or the transfer of responsibilities.
There have been various reforms over the past few years, particularly
with regard to starting a business and paying taxes. A new investment
code has been adopted and there is a one-stop shop for investment.
Working with the IMF and World Bank, the government aims to address
the pricing structure, and to implement technical and institutional
reforms to reduce the electricity sector's burden on the budget.
The government aims to restructure inefficient public banks (via
mergers, liquidation, or privatisation) to minimise its role in the sector.
This should improve efficiency in the medium- to long-term.
22,400,835 (July 2013 est.); Age 15-64: 57.9%
Population growth rate (%)
2.044% (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 57.25 years; male: 56.21 years; female: 58.33 years (2012 est.)
Adult prevalence rate: 3.0%; People living with HIV/AIDS: 360,000 (2011 est.)
Adult literacy rate (age 15 and over can
56.2% (2010 est.)
read and write)
Urban population: 51% of total population (2010); rate of urbanisation: 3.7% (2010-15 est.)
Population below poverty line
42% (2006 est.)
15.7% (2008 est.)
Employment (% of total)
Labour participation rate (% of total
population ages 15+)
French, 60 Native Dialects of which Dioula is the most widely spoken
Telephone & Internet users
Main lines in use: 268,200; Mobile cellular: 17.344 million; Internet users: 967,300 (2010)
Sources: CIA World Factbook, World Bank
Corruption Perception Index 2012 (1 least, 176 most corrupt)
World Competitiveness 2012-13 (1 most, 144 least competitive)
Economic Freedom 2013 (1 most, 177 least free)
HDI Ranking 2012 (1 most, 187 least developed)
Source: NKC Research
Doing Business 2013 (1 best, 185 worst)
Risk environment / Risk outlook
Sovereign Risk Ratings
Ivory Coast is not currently rated by any of the three major rating agencies.
(AAA= least risky, D= most risky)
of Economic GDP Growth
Exchange - BRVM
37, of which 31 are
Sonatel accounts for
37% of total market
7 days to 10 years
At the start of the previous decade, Ivory Coast was among the richest and most developed economies in Africa. However, political turmoil
hampered economic development throughout the 2000s and in particular in 2011, when the economy contracted by 4.7%. Apart from slow
economic growth, the country's external debt also rose to unsustainable levels. In 2011, external debt was equivalent to 73.5% of GDP, of which
the equivalent of 2.3% of GDP was in arrears. In June 2012, the IMF and World Bank approved $3.1bn worth of debt relief for the Ivory Coast
under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) as well as a further $1.3bn of debt relief under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative
(MDRI). The Paris Club group of bilateral creditors approved a further $3.3bn worth of debt relief. As a result, debt servicing costs will put
significantly less strain on Ivory Coast's public finances over the next few years. The IMF was pleased with budget execution in 2012. Ivory
Coast achieved the full regularisation of its external debt for the first time in around 30 years, following the attainment of the HIPC Initiative
Completion Point and agreements with its commercial creditors. All of the performance criteria, and four out of five indicative targets, for endDecember 2012 under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement were met by the West African sovereign.
Economic Structure as % of GDP
Source: NKC Research
Ivory Coast has an agricultural-based economy, with roughly two-thirds of the population dependent on this sector for employment. According to
the Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture, civil unrest in recent years resulted in a shortage of labour due to
population displacements, a lack of agricultural support services in certain parts of the country, and the fragmentation of markets. Agriculture
accounts for about 29% of GDP in the West African country. Ivory Coast is the world's top cocoa producer and is also Africa's leading grower of
natural rubber. In addition to agriculture, the Ivory Coast government is planning significant expansion in the energy and mining sectors.
Australia's Perseus Mining expects to start building the $160m Sissingue gold mine in Ivory Coast in the middle of this year despite the recent
slide in gold prices to a two-year low.
Real GDP Growth & Net FDI/GDP
Source: NKC Research
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012E 2013F 2014F
GDP Growth (y-o-y, %) (lhs)
Net FDI/GDP (rhs)
Foreign interest in Ivory Coast has recovered since the stabilisation of the political environment, albeit that political risk remains relatively high.
An improvement in economic policy and in the political environment, greater macroeconomic stability, and an increase in public investments
(especially those aimed at improving infrastructure) will encourage private sector investment over the medium-term. The outlook for economic
growth is favourable, led in particular by a sharp increase in investment in the economy. In 2012 the economy expanded faster than expected
with GDP growth coming in at 9.8%. This year we expect the economy to grow at a slightly lower rate of 8%. There were concerns that Ivorian
cocoa production in the 2012/13 season, which stretches from October to September, would fall sharply due to dry weather conditions early in
the season. The decline in output has so far not materialised. In fact, early indications are that the 2012/13 season may be a bumper harvest.
The median forecast for the West African cocoa producer's April-September 2013 mid-crop is 400,000 tonnes, above the average production
over the past five years, but below 2010/11's record output of 472,000 tonnes. However, the 2010/11 record came amidst civil unrest which
disrupted the cocoa industry and stalled exports, making comparison difficult. According to local traders, the quality of cocoa beans has
improved in Ivory Coast in recent years, which has supported export prices.
Main Imports: % share of total
Imports ($ bn)
Exports ($ bn)
Main Exports: % share of total
Ivory Coast’s exports consist primarily of agricultural products and petroleum. Earnings from the country's two main exports – cocoa and oil –
decreased significantly in 2012. Cocoa export earnings mainly declined because of a drop in international prices, while oil exports declined due
to a fall in domestic output levels. There was a substantial increase in the volume (and value) of imports in 2012 as economic activity and
domestic demand recovered after the political turmoil of the previous year. Investment-related imports also increased notably in 2012. These
developments led to the current account balance reverting from a surplus to a deficit in 2012. The current account deficit is set to widen slightly