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Chapter | Industry & Retail from The Report: Cote d'Ivoire 2020

Government initiatives to strengthen Côte d’Ivoire’s industrial base have continued to yield results. However, despite public investment and government policies that have attracted private participation to the industrial sector, 2020 is likely to be a challenging year, with firms waiting to invest due to supply chain disruptions and the negative demand-side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, current policies and investments already under way leave the country’s industrial sector well positioned for continued growth over the medium and long term. Moreover, the rising number of internet users, which reached 12m in 2018, has fuelled opportunities in e-commerce. While Côte d’Ivoire, like the rest of the world, is experiencing a decline in non-essential retail sales as a result of the global spread of Covid-19, the foundation for long-term growth in the sector is strong. This chapter contains an interview with Souleymane Diarrassouba, Minister of Commerce and Industry; and Abdelmajid Touzani, Regional Director for West Africa, Bühler.

Chapter | Agriculture from The Report: Cote d'Ivoire 2020

Côte d’Ivoire’s agriculture sector is both a key driver of the economy and a primary player in global markets for goods such as cocoa and rubber. Indeed, owing to its fertile land, the West African country has established itself as a major exporter of a wide range of raw agricultural products. At the same time, the government aims to secure the sector’s economic and environmental sustainability through measures such as expanding local processing to capture greater value added and combatting deforestation. Moreover, financing for these initiatives is likely to grow in the medium to long term, building on the sector’s economic potential. These efforts will create opportunities for investors to leverage higher output levels and will help boost the contribution of agriculture to the economy. This chapter contains an interview Françoise Mariame Koné Bédié, CEO, Professional Group of Exporters of Coffee and Cocoa.

Chapter | Energy & Mining from The Report: Cote d'Ivoire 2020

Côte d’Ivoire has traditionally based its energy supply on a combination of gas-fired generation and hydropower, being the first in sub-Saharan Africa to leverage the use of independent power producers for energy generation. However, the need to fulfil rising demand and make up for years of underinvestment in the early 2000s is driving diversification of the energy mix, with a focus on biomass and solar to add to the country’s 2200 MW of installed capacity. Although there is strong potential for renewable energy investment, improving and simplifying the tender process could help attract greater interest. In terms of hydrocarbons, Côte d’Ivoire has a significant amount of unexplored territory in its waters, and adequate investment incentives will play a significant role in precipitating any future discoveries. The country is also working to develop the mining industry and exploit known pockets of key mineral resources, such as gold, bauxite, diamonds and nickel. This chapter contains an interview with Eric Amoussouga, CEO for Francophone Africa, General Electric; and Christine Logbo-Kossi, Executive Director, Chamber of Mines of Côte d’Ivoire.

Chapter | Insurance from The Report: Cote d'Ivoire 2020

Premium has risen steadily over recent years, although the level of insurance penetration remains relatively low, at roughly 2% of GDP in 2018, leaving ample room for expansion. Côte d’Ivoire has the largest market share of all 14 members of the Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets, making the economic capital Abidjan an attractive jumping-off point for businesses looking to expand in the region. Yet, the industry is not without its challenges. New arrivals have contributed to oversupply, resulting in lower-than-average tariffs for insurance products such as auto coverage. This has led to a system whereby some insurers lower their prices to compete and then are unable to fulfil their commitments to customers. Such moves have resulted in a weak financial position for several industry companies and, in some cases, has negatively affected the perception of insurance at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has weakened global financial markets.

Chapter | Capital Markets from The Report: Cote d'Ivoire 2020

West Africa’s stock exchange, the Bourse Régionale de Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM) has come a long way since its launch two decades ago. Nonetheless, as West African markets continue to undergo rapid economic development, much of the exchange’s full potential has yet to be realised. Côte d’Ivoire – given its strong presence on the exchange – will continue to play a pivotal role. In the short term, the BRVM will need to grapple with a number of events, such as the presidential elections scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020, as well as global recessionary pressures that will likely affect investment flows as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This chapter contains interviews with Félix Edoh Kossi Aménounvé, CEO, Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières; Niamkey Isidore Tanoé, CEO, Atlantique Finance; Laureen Kouassi-Olsson, Regional Head for West and Central Africa, Amethis.

Chapter | Banking from The Report: Cote d'Ivoire 2020

The banking sector has been central to the country’s ongoing economic recovery, providing a strong growth platform for lenders operating in Côte d’Ivoire. As liquidity demands become stricter, new opportunities for mergers and acquisitions may arise – especially as some smaller competitors face difficulties raising new capital and expanding their customer base. Challenges for the sector’s growth in the short term notably include the 2020 presidential election, which may lead investors to adopt a wait-and-see approach. On a global level, it remains to be seen how far – and for how long – banking operations and economic activity more broadly will be disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the meantime, the ongoing integration of more stringent liquidity and lending ratios is helping to solidify the Ivorian banking sector. This chapter contains interviews with Tiémoko Meyliet Koné, Governor, Central Bank of West African States; and Jean-Luc Konan, Managing Director, Groupe COFINA.

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