World’s largest cocoa producer Ivory Coast will see production of the crop for the season to Sept. 30 drop to around 1.7 million metric tons; about 100,000 tons less than the record crop last year. The country has also faced security concerns following an al-Qaeda attack on a popular beach in which 19 people were killed in March. Regardless of these shocks, the West African country has been resilient in growth, maintaining its economic growth forecast of 9 percent for 2016.
Although the budget deficit will rise to 3.8 percent of GDP this year from 3 percent in 2015 because of higher spending on security, infrastructure and education, it has not changed Ivory Coast’s position as an important investment destination in Africa.
The Corporate Council on Africa, the leading U.S. business association focused solely on connecting business interests in Africa, highlighted five reasons to do business in Ivory Coast as it prepares for its trade mission to the West African country and another country in the sub-region; Senegal.
Ivory Coast is one of the fastest growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa with an average GDP growth rate of 8.5 percent since 2012. The country has a B+ sovereign rating with a stable outlook.
The Ivorian government has developed an ambitious diversification strategy based on the 2016-2020 National Development Plan which seeks to invest over $50 billion in the economy to promote industrialization. In partnership with the private sector, the government will invest specifically in the sectors of power production, mining, hydrocarbons, infrastructure (roads, ports and airports), the agro-food industry, construction and tourism.
Ivory Coast has recovered its strategic economic and political position in West Africa and his home to the African Development Bank. With its dynamic economy, and relative ease of doing business, Ivory Coast is an entry point to a growing number of African and international companies seeking to enter West Africa in general and the francophone market in particular.
Investment in Energy and Power
With a national electrification rate of 26 percent, Ivory Coast currently has approximately 1,777MW in installed generation capacity. The Country seeks to increase its installed generation capacity, expand the grid network and develop mini-grids through independent gas-fuelled power plants and renewable generation. By 2020, Ivory Coast is planning to double its oil and gas output to reach 200,000 barrel of oil equivalent.
Investment in Infrastructure
The Ivorian government will invest around $20 billion to establish competitive economic zones throughout the country. Around $2 billion will specifically be invested to expand infrastructure and transports, power production, water supplies and the rehabilitation of the environment.