Close ties to France following independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment all made Cote d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the West African states but did not protect it from political turmoil. In December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Cote d'Ivoire's history - overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert GUEI blatantly rigged elections held in late 2000 and declared himself the winner. Popular protest forced him to step aside and an election brought Laurent GBAGBO into power. Ivoirian dissidents and disaffected members of the military launched a failed coup attempt in September 2002 that developed into a rebellion and then a civil war. In 2003, a cease-fire resulted in the country being divided with the rebels holding the north, the government the south, and peacekeeping forces a buffer zone between the two. In March 2007, President GBAGBO and former New Forces rebel leader Guillaume SORO signed an agreement in which SORO joined GBAGBO's government as prime minister and the two agreed to reunite the country by dismantling the buffer zone, integrating rebel forces into the national armed forces, and holding elections. Difficulties in preparing electoral registers delayed balloting until 2010. In November 2010, Alassane Dramane OUATTARA won the presidential election over GBAGBO, but GBAGBO refused to hand over power, resulting in a five-month resumption of violent conflict. In April 2011, after widespread fighting, GBAGBO was formally forced from office by armed OUATTARA supporters with the help of UN and French forces. The UN peacekeeping mission is drawing down and is scheduled to depart in June 2017. OUATTARA is focused on rebuilding the country's economy and infrastructure while rebuilding the security forces. GBAGBO is in The Hague on trial for crimes against humanity.
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia
petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, hydropower
Population - distribution
the population is primarily located in the forested south, with the highest concentration of people residing in and around the cities on the Atlantic coast; most of the northern savanna remains sparsely populated with higher concentrations located along transportation corridors
French (official), 60 native dialects of which Dioula is the most widely spoken
YAMOUSSOUKRO (capital) 259,000 (2014); ABIDJAN (seat of government) 4.86 million; Bouake 762,000 (2015)
- Conventional long form
- Republic of Cote d'Ivoire
- Conventional short form
- Cote d'Ivoire
- Local long form
- Republique de Cote d'Ivoire
- Local short form
- Cote d'Ivoire
- Geographic coordinates
- 6 49 N, 5 16 W
- Time difference
- UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Cote d'Ivoire is heavily dependent on agriculture and related activities, which engage roughly two-thirds of the population. Cote d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans and a significant producer and exporter of coffee and palm oil. Consequently, the economy is highly sensitive to fluctuations in international prices for these products and to climatic conditions. Cocoa, oil, and coffee are the country's top export revenue earners, but the country has targeted agricultural processing of cocoa, cashews, mangoes, and other commodities as a high priority. Mining gold and exporting electricity are growing industries outside agriculture.
- External debt stocks
- US$ 10,028,149,000
- Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
- Real Interest Rate
- Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
- Current Account Balance
- US$ -632,724,104
- Labor Force, Total
- Employment in Agriculture
- Employment in Industry
- Employment in Services
- Unemployment Rate
- Imports of goods and services
- US$ 10,694,772,532
- Exports of goods and services
- US$ 11,780,941,590
- Total Merchandise Trade
- FDI, net inflows
- US$ 430,157,849
- Commercial Service Exports
- US$ 789,634,924
coffee, cocoa beans, bananas, palm kernels, corn, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), sweet potatoes, sugar, cotton, rubber; timber
foodstuffs, beverages; wood products, oil refining, gold mining, truck and bus assembly, textiles, fertilizer, building materials, electricity
- cocoa, coffee, timber, petroleum, cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, fish
- US 8.6%, Netherlands 6.2%, France 5.7%, Germany 5.6%, Nigeria 5.6%, Burkina Faso 5.5%, Belgium 5.3%, India 4.7%, Ghana 4.4%, Switzerland 4.1% (2015)
- fuel, capital equipment, foodstuffs
- Nigeria 21.8%, China 14.3%, France 11.3%, Bahamas, The 5% (2015)
- Country Risk Rating
- Political and economic uncertainties and an occasionally difficult business environment can affect corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is appreciable.
- Business Climate Rating
- The business environment is difficult. Corporate financial information is often unavailable and when available often unreliable. Debt collection is unpredictable. The institutional framework has many troublesome weaknesses. Intercompany transactions run major risks in the difficult environments rated C.
- Diversification: hydrocarbons, ores, and agricultural wealth (world's leading cocoa producer)
- Port, road, and energy infrastructure undergoing modernization
- Significant improvement in business climate and governance
- Normalization of the political situation
- Economy dependent on climatic conditions and movements in the prices of cocoa, the country’s main export product
- Gaps to be filled in the management of public finances, infrastructure and governance, despite progress recorded in recent years
- Slow progress on national reconciliation
Growth remained healthy in 2016 buoyed by ongoing major public works to repair infrastructure under the 2nd National Development Plan (2016-2020), the improved business climate and enhanced political stability. These factors, underpinning investment, broadly counterbalanced the negative impact on tourism of the Grand-Bassam beach resort attack in March 2016. Furthermore, guaranteed prices for farmers, the introduction of universal health cover and wage rises continued to drive private consumption in an environment of contained inflation. Activity is expected to remain vigorous in 2017, sustained by continued efforts brought to infrastructure developments, greater investment in agriculture and housing alongside still robust private consumption. As to the country's flagship product, cocoa, the harvest begun in October 2016 looks promising, after a poor mid-crop in the spring, due to the impact of El Niňo. However, cocoa prices have plummeted since summer 2016, due to the stagnation in world demand and ample inventories. In this context, the Coffee and Cocoa Council of Ivory Coast is seeking to boost prices by suspending forward sales ahead of the 2017-2018 crop. Meanwhile, although steadily declining, hydrocarbon production could recover in the years to come thanks to the discovery of new fields and planned investments.
Growth remains exposed to commodity price fluctuations and is still constrained by outdated infrastructure. However, the economic recovery since the end of the post-electoral crisis has helped raise the population's living standards and stimulate internal consumption. To maintain strong growth, it looks as if it will be necessary to develop the manufacturing export sector (by increasing investment in human capital and reducing the obstacles to cross-border trade), to reduce income inequalities and avoid implementing a pro-cyclical budget policy.
The current account deficit is tending to widen reflecting strong imports associated with investments. Cocoa exports have dipped slightly since reaching a peak in 2015, while oil exports have for several years been on an uninterrupted downward trend. Both products still account for half of the sales abroad. Unlike the trade balance, the invisible balance is in deficit. Foreign direct investments and external borrowing help to finance most of the current account deficit.
The fiscal deficit deepened in 2016, because of increased spending including expenditure on security, health, and education. In order to maintain the sustainability of the public debt, attained since the debt relief granted to the country in 2012 under the HIPC/MDR initiatives, the authorities and the IMF have agreed that the public deficit should converge towards the WAEMU norm of 3% of GDP by 2019. This will require enhanced revenue collection and containment of current spending. Steps to address budget risks from struggling public-sector companies are planned. In addition, an agreement has been reached on the stages for accelerating the restructuring of banks and state-owned enterprises.
The October 2015 presidential election led smoothly to the re-election of the outgoing President Alassane Ouattara for a five-year term, which allowed the country to finally turn the page on the violence which had bloodied the country after the 2010 presidential election. Nevertheless, some of the opposition called for a boycott, citing loyalty to former President Gbagbo (currently being tried by the International Criminal Court). The Head of State secured the adoption of a new constitution by referendum at the end of October 2016, which provides for the creation of a post of Vice-president and of a Senate and eliminates the concept of Ivorian nationality by clarifying the conditions for eligibility for the office of president.
Nevertheless, the reconciliation between the Ivorians has not been achieved yet. The 2016 referendum was boycotted by the opposition and the voter turnout was low. Moreover, young people and the poor strata of the urban population are gaining little benefit from economic growth. The lack of jobs, the inadequate quality of public services and perceived corruption could still fuel social tensions.
However, the bipartite coalition in power won a landslide victory in the December 2016 general elections.