Since achieving independence in 1960, Côte d’Ivoire has managed to maintain broadly friendly relations with its neighbours, its French former colonial ruler, and within a continental and multilateral context. Côte d’Ivoire has long been a player in ECOWAS, which ties the country to 14 other nations in the region. Eight countries also share membership of the West African CFA franc zone, the central bank of which is headquartered in Abidjan. Recently, after a decade-long political crisis ended in 2011, Côte d’Ivoire’s economy bounced back to become one of the fastest-growing in Africa. Between 2012 and 2016 the country’s GDP grew by an annual average of 9%, with the IMF forecasting annual GDP expansion of at least 6.5% through to 2023. This recovery was supported by rising international commodity prices, as well as substantial public sector funding to rebuild and upgrade infrastructure that had suffered from years of underinvestment. At the same time, the country has sought to diversify its agriculture-focused economy by developing the mining and oil and gas sectors.