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 remained amongst the few Sub-Saharan African economies that maintained growth in 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and in 2021 GDP growth accelerated to an estimated 6% (IMF). This strong rebound was driven by a recovery in exports and investment and robust domestic consumption (IMF). Assuming global conditions continue to normalize, GDP growth is projected to reach 6.5% in 2022 and 6.4% in 2023 (IMF). In addition to the continuation of the ongoing reform agenda, exploration of recently discovered oil and gas deposits will boost activity (Focus Economics).

Ivory Coast demonstrated strong resilience to the pandemic due to solid pre-crisis fundamentals, relative economic diversification and timely relaxing of the fiscal stance (IMF). The government put in place an emergency spending plan to tackle the health crisis and limit the growth deceleration. In 2021, the economy recovered strongly, but public accounts consolidation was postponed due to increased security expenditures. Fiscal deficit was maintained at 5.6% GDP in 2021, and authorities target a 4.6% GDP deficit for 2022. The 2022 budget is 15% higher than the previous one, and the largest among WAEMU countries. The return to the 3% WAEMU norm is planned for 2024. Public debt increased from 47.7% GDP in 2020 to 50.2% GDP in 2021, and is expected to reach 51.1% GDP in 2022 and 51.2% GDP in 2023. Supply chain and energy shortages issues fuelled inflation, which increased from 0.8% in 2019 to an estimated 3% in 2021 according to the IMF. In December 2021, inflation reached 4.2% according to the national statistics office (INS). The IMF expects inflation to decrease to 2.5% in 2022 and 2.2% in 2023. 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 2020. According to UNDP, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 27.5% of households are technically unemployed and 44.4% of households were forced to work part-time.

 
Main Indicators 201920202021 (e)2022 (e)2023 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 58.5461.23e68.8575.0882.12
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 6.22.0e6.06.56.4
GDP per Capita (USD) 2,228e2,271e2,4892,6462,820
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 38.847.7e50.251.151.2
Inflation Rate (%) 0.82.44.25.52.3
Current Account (billions USD) -1.35e-2.12-2.64-2.52-2.85
Current Account (in % of GDP) -2.3-3.5e-3.8-3.4-3.5

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, October 2021

Note: (e) Estimated Data

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 21.4% 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 20.9% 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 42.1% of the GDP and employs 47% of the workforce (World Bank).
 
The COVID-19 pandemic particularly affected the service sector, including telecommunications, transport, tourism, retail trade and construction (Coface). The agriculture sector also suffered from a decline in exports, especially of cocoa.

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 40.2 12.9 47.0
Value Added (in % of GDP) 20.7 21.2 43.1
Value Added (Annual % Change) 3.6 10.4 6.2

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: July 2022