The National Development Plan (Plan National de Développement, PND) 2012-15, the first of three in recent history, was successful in stabilising and reviving the economy in an environment of restored peace. Both in planning and implementation, the PND 2012-15 constituted the backbone of the recovery and growth of the economy, supported by the country’s development partners. This helped Côte d’Ivoire achieve a robust average growth rate of 9% over this period and the creation of 2m jobs in four years, making it one of the fastest-growing countries in the world. The country’s economic performance resulted in the improvement of living conditions for millions of citizens and major declines in income inequality in rural and urban areas, as well as the rehabilitation of the country’s infrastructure.
Following the successful implementation of the PND 2012-15, Côte d’ Ivoire adopted its second plan, covering the 2016-20 period. Under the PND 2016-20, the government aimed to accelerate the structural transformation of the economy through industrialisation and inclusive growth, particularly in favour of the most vulnerable population groups. The strategic focus of the PND 2016-20 was improving the agricultural commodity processing rate and diversifying the industrial production base by promoting the manufacturing industry. “Côte d’Ivoire registered a very positive growth trajectory over the past five years within key sectors, driven by a strong dynamic of public Investment and digital transformation mechanisms,” Mamadou Sanon, general director of Coris Bank, told OBG, noting the positive impact of the second PND.
Additionally, internet penetration increased from 21% in 2015 to 73% in 2020, while electricity generation capacity rose from 1975 MW to 2229 MW. Through structural transformation of the economy, Côte d’Ivoire reaffirmed its aspiration of achieving emerging market status with low levels of poverty.
Supported by pro-market reforms, the government and the PND Advisory Committee sought to secure external financing for the plan through stronger links with both traditional and non-traditional actors. These included the country’s development partners, bilateral and multilateral donors, other high-growth emerging markets, and sovereign wealth funds, as well as private and institutional investors for specific project financing. The overall investment to be made over five years as part of the PND 2016-20 was set at CFA30trn ($52bn), CFA11.2trn ($19.3bn) of which was public and CFA18.7trn ($32.1bn) private investment. The actual amount raised and invested was estimated at CFA33trn ($56.7bn).
Funding the Future
The PND 2021-25, which was adopted on September 22, 2021, capitalises on the lessons learned from previous plans and aims to remove the remaining barriers to economic and social transformation. The government is projecting an average annual growth rate of 7.7% for 2021-25, up from the 5.9% average annual growth rate achieved from 2016-20. To achieve this goal, Côte d’Ivoire plans to increase the investment-toGDP ratio gradually from 23.1% in 2021 to 27.1% in 2025. The PND 2021-25 covers a total investment of CFA59trn ($105bn), almost double the size of the financial package for the previous development plan. The private sector is expected to drive the majority of the investment – a projected 74%, or CFA43.6trn ($74.9bn) – mobilising around CFA9trn ($15.5bn) a year. The remaining 26%, or CFA15.3trn ($26.3bn), will be covered by public investment, for which the government is looking to increase the tax-to-GDP ratio, in addition to external financing.
The PND 2021-25 was developed with the participation and consultation of national and regional administrative bodies, decentralised communities, the private sector, technical and financial partners, and academia. Through this participatory approach, the plan was built on the principles of results-based management, respect for human rights, gender equality, risk management and environmental sustainability, as well as integration of cross-sector policies and local development plans. The plan was designed in alignment with the government’s 10-year Côte d’Ivoire 2030 and 2040 strategies, as well as regional and international development priorities such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
The economic and social transformation objectives of the PND 2021-25 are based on six pillars: accelerating the structural transformation of the economy through industrialisation and the evolution of business clusters; development of human capital and job creation; private sector expansion and investment; strengthening of inclusion, national solidarity and social policies; regional development, environmental protection and climate change; and strengthening governance, modernisation of the state and cultural transformation.
The PND 2021-25 further aims to promote peace, security and justice as central values, building on the momentum of social and political stability observed since the 2020 elections and characterised by the national reconciliation process and improved political dialogue. Additionally, the government is expected to continue expanding its security expenditure to tackle insurgencies along the country’s northern border with Burkina Faso and Mali.
The following focus areas have been identified to ensure effective implementation of the plan at the national level: agriculture, industrialisation, health, education and training, road infrastructure, employment and job creation, environmental protection, access to safe drinking water, energy and access to electricity, sanitation, security, tourism, enhanced governance, institutional capacity and digitalisation, improved housing, and peace and social cohesion.
The plan’s success will largely depend on the transformation of the country’s key economic sectors. In this regard, 11% of the planned investment will target industry, while mining and hydrocarbons each will receive a 10% share, and agriculture a 4% share, accounting for 35% of the total investment. Key industries to be promoted within the industrial and manufacturing sector include agro-processing, plastics and chemicals, construction materials, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, textiles, packaging and vehicle assembly. The plan also includes the establishment and construction of six new industrial development zones and nine regional trade ports. Overall, the PND 2021-25 aims to increase the GDP contribution of the industrial sector to 28% by 2025, up from 21.2% in 2019 (see Industry & Retail chapter).
In addition, a CFA1trn ($17.2bn) Industrial Investment and Development Fund will be established to support public-private cooperation. Regarding the role of the private sector in such cooperation, Jean-Marie Ackah, president of the General Confederation of Businesses of Côte d’Ivoire, confirmed “the readiness of the private sector to fully play its part in the achievement of its ambitions in terms of development and progress”, stating to the media that “it is essential to assign a strategic dimension to public-private partnerships as the driving force behind the much-hoped-for structural and cultural transformations” planned for the country.
The government is aiming to increase agricultural production by an average of 7.5% per year while achieving an improvement in productivity of 100% by 2025. Increasing the agriculture sector’s competitiveness and sustainability are key objectives of the PND 2021-25, as doing so will ensure food security while enabling better integration into regional and global distribution channels. As part of this goal, the plan highlights the need to establish a diversified local agro-processing industry that generates added value cocoa, coffee, cashew nuts, cotton, horticultural products, rubber and palm oil. Another objective is achieving 95% rice self-sufficiency by 2025.
As an overarching goal, the plan aims to reduce the level of informal employment and increase opportunities for youth. Under its second pillar, the number of apprenticeships per 100,000 inhabitants is expected to reach 828 by 2025, up from 415 in 2019.
The PND 2021-25 makes note of several key infrastructure projects intended to fuel economic transformation. By boosting investment in energy and renewables, the government aims to increase electricity generation capacity to 4015 MW by 2025, up from 2229 MW in 2019, and achieve 100% electricity coverage among localities with more than 500 inhabitants. To improve transport networks, the total length of paved roads is projected to reach 9500 km by 2025, up from 7500 km in 2020, accounting for 61% of the primary road network. Other key upcoming infrastructure projects include Line 1 of Abidjan Metro, the San-Pédro-Man railway and the construction of two bus rapid transit lines in Abidjan.