Viewpoint: Solange Amichia

Côte d’Ivoire made significant strides towards improving the business climate between 2011 and 2020. These efforts have contributed to economic development, resulted in the mobilisation of CFA5trn ($8.6bn) in private investment and created 58,000 jobs over that timeframe.

Considering the global economic context and the disruptions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, Côte d’Ivoire has introduced a new strategy to reinforce its position as a centre for investment in the ECOWAS region. This framework includes digitalising administrative services, improving infrastructure, optimising logistics and facilitating access to finance. Taken together, these steps will strengthen its status in an increasingly competitive investment ecosystem.

Of the CFA59trn ($101.4bn) investment that will be realised from the National Development Plan (Plan National de Développement, PND) 2021-25, 75% will be allocated to the private sector and 25% to the public sector. CEPICI will mobilise 15% of the CFA43.6trn ($75bn) i.e. nearly CFA6.5trn ($11.2bn) between 2022 and 2026. PND 2021-25 also aims to accelerate the structural transformation of the economy through industrialisation, local development and enhanced inter-regional cooperation.

CEPICI is focusing on the development of inclusive and sustainable value chains within francophone Africa. The current disruptions in global supply chains have prompted us to further encourage trade and joint ventures within the region, while leveraging the competitive advantages of each country. This type of cooperation is a way to promote the local products of each country for the benefit of the regional market. It is possible to produce locally, process goods in another francophone country and have these manufactured products consumed within the francophone network.

Considering challenges related to climate change and their impact on our region in particular, our organisation is committed to supporting companies with sustainable projects to help develop a green economy – especially in terms of sustainable innovations for soil protection and land rehabilitation. Côte d’Ivoire can mobilise more green investment by demonstrating to investors and green funds that there is a regulatory and legislative framework in place at the national level defining the conditions, obligations and rights of citizens. It will also be important to showcase the framework in place for corporate environmental and social responsibility.

CEPICI adapted to these changes and introduced incentives for investment in infrastructure related to sustainable and socially responsible development. We established a service to connect investors and founders of eco-friendly projects in order to facilitate fundraising, support and training for those carrying out these initiatives. Additionally, we have a team dedicated to problem solving day-to-day issues and obstacles that arise when international companies establish operations in the country.

The government’s aim to build a green economy can be realised by strengthening our fight against deforestation, desertification, land deterioration and the effects of drought. This will require increased support from the private sector, particularly through the mobilisation of green fund financing.

While the EU remains our primary foreign partner, we aim to diversify the sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) by attracting investors from Asia and the Americas. Côte d’Ivoire accounted for 28% of the total FDI in UEMOA in 2020, making it the largest recipient of capital in the zone. Despite these successes, Côte d’Ivoire will need to implement further reforms. CEPICI is committed to partnering with international investors who seek to benefit from the opportunities offered by Côte d’Ivoire. This will help us attract investment to finance and fuel the economy, while also encouraging entrepreneurship.