Côte d’Ivoire is one of Africa’s most rapidly expanding economies, with significant oil, gas and mineral reserves; a major agriculture sector; and a growing, youthful population driving the country forward. Spread across a wide range of ecosystems, from tropical rainforests to dry savannah, the former French colony is a mosaic of ethnicities, languages and religions.
To address the economic challenges that emerged after political upheaval from 2000 to 2011, the country has implemented major reforms. Significant public investment, combined with strong prices for many agricultural cash crops in the global markets, has helped the country achieve average annual GDP growth of 8.5% between 2012 and 2018, and preliminary growth figures stood at 7.5% in 2019. Moves to diversify the economy away from a reliance on raw exports are already paying dividends, and there has been a renewed focus on developing the business environment to further encourage growth led by the private sector. Meanwhile, economic inclusion continues to be a priority.
The presidential elections in October 2020 will be a key test of how far this diverse country has come towards peace and reconciliation since the period of tumult. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic the country’s growth trajectory was expected to continue, but due to the fallout from the lockdowns and other social-distancing measures this figure is expected to slow significantly.