Interview : Adama Koné
How is economic growth being supported?
ADAMA KONÉ: Our economic performance over the last six years has been remarkable, with an average annual growth rate of around 9%. The implementation of the National Development Plan (Plan National de Dé veloppement, PND) 2012-15 and structural reforms have helped drive economic activity and placed the country on a path of strong, sustainable and inclusive growth.
This performance and the continuous improvement of the business climate should contribute to making Côte d’Ivoire an attractive investment centre. The “Doing Business 2018” report ranks Côte d’Ivoire first and third among members of the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa and ECOWAS, respectively. This performance results from reforms to strengthen governance, promote the private sector and attract more inward investment.
To maintain its prospects, the government intends to strengthen economic governance and take measures to ensure inclusive growth. With regard to governance, the efforts undertaken by the government since 2012 have enabled Côte d’Ivoire to move from 136th in 2013 to 103rd in 2017 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. To make growth more inclusive, the government intends to strengthen the social aspect of its strategy by implementing a social development programme for the period 2018-20.
In the framework of its economic and financial commitments, the government will continue budgetary consolidation by improving revenue collection, rationalising expenses – even while increasing social expenses – and more efficiently managing budgetary risks related to public enterprises and public-private partnerships.
The government will continue its ongoing efforts to modernise public financial management by implementing organic laws in strict compliance with UEMOA’s harmonisation framework.
In addition, the government will place special emphasis on consolidating the financial balance of the energy sector. The government will also ensure the implementation of the measures contained in the financial sector development plan in order to strengthen the soundness of the banking sector and promote financial inclusion.
Improving the business climate will remain the focus of attention, particularly with regards to the dematerialisation and cost reduction of administrative acts, the modernisation of the judiciary and tax reforms.
With a view to growing the contribution of Côte d’Ivoire’s regions to the country’s development, the government will strive to foster competitive economic clusters. These clusters will help to correct regional disparities, structure the production system, and diversify and increase our output. These ambitions require greater productive investment in development clusters by attracting and educating potential investors.
What are the implications of industrial transformation and increased local production?
KONÉ: The PND 2016-20 aims to achieve the structural transformation of the economy, which must be based on the acceleration of industrialisation in a sound and sustainable macroeconomic framework. The growth of agriculture and agri-business will be essential to reducing dependence on a small number of products and vulnerability to exogenous shocks. In particular, the development of higher-value-added manufacturing industries and coherent spatial planning will trigger structural transformation and lead to greater development, competitiveness and innovation.
This strategy, based on industrialisation and including the processing of cash crops like cocoa and cashew nuts, should foster job creation. The government, in collaboration with development partners, will focus on “Agropolis” projects aimed at developing an agro-industrial network, and promoting the employment of women and youth. In addition, the promotion of local content should facilitate market access for small and medium-sized enterprises and promote entrepreneurship.
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