Recent Developments & Prospects
Economic Cooperation, Regional Integration & Trade
Economic & Political Governance
Public Sector Management, Institutions & Reform
Natural Resource Management & Environment
Thematic analysis: Structural transformation and natural resources
Authors: Pascal Yembiline, Bakary Traoré, Célestin Tsassa
- The economic recovery that began in 2012 was confirmed in 2014 by an estimated 8.3% growth rate and growth is expected to remain robust in 2015 and 2016.
- One of the biggest challenges to making this growth inclusive is to strengthen the role of local authorities in launching projects that have a structuring impact and speed up public access to modern services that will enable more productivity and efficiency.
- Better mobilisation of internal and external funding of development and social and political stability is needed for Côte d’Ivoire to achieve its goal of becoming an emerging nation by 2020.
The economy continued its robust two-year growth in 2014 at an estimated 8.3%, with similar expansion expected in 2015 and 2016, driven by internal and external demand. Public and private infrastructure investment and household consumption accounted for most internal demand, while external demand boosted commodity exports thanks to higher world prices. Growth was also due to efforts under the national development plan (Plan national de développement) to improve the business climate and speed up structural reform. The country thus became more attractive, especially for foreign direct investment.
As part of a programme conducted with the International Monetary Fund, the budgetary situation became much healthier in 2014 thanks to better tax collection and control of spending, which was lower than expected. The combined effect of these two improvements lowered the budget deficit (including grants) slightly to 2.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.3% in 2013. The significant efforts made towards greater transparency and honesty in public finance management need to be sustained.
The much better political situation is still held back by insufficient dialogue amongst the political forces. After some hesitation, the opposition parties finally joined the independent electoral commission (Commission électorale indépendante – CEI). The government took other steps to calm the political climate: releasing pro-Gbagbo prisoners, allowing the return of high-level political refugees and unfreezing their bank accounts. The justice system, whether national or international, is still seen as biased by part of the population.
The challenge of spatial inclusion will be to sustain growth in the long run and increase its impact in rural areas and city suburbs. More jobs are being created but still not enough for the large number of jobless young people. Women, long the main victims of conflict, have enormous needs for reviving their activities. This involves strengthening local government and their managerial ability to launch projects that have a structuring impact and to speed up local access to good public services. The country’s regions have many obvious advantages, including a denser road network than in most African countries and several kinds of farmland and climate that enable the development of a range of agro-industrial and food products in big demand worldwide.
Table 1: Macroeconomic indicators
|Real GDP growth||8.7||8.3||7.9||8.5|
|Real GDP per capita growth||6.3||6.5||5.6||6.2|
|Budget balance % GDP||-2.3||-2.2||-3.4||-3.9|
|Current account balance % GDP||-1.6||-3.1||-1.9||-2.5|
Source: Data from domestic authorities; estimates (e) and projections (p) based on authors’ calculations.