major macro economic indicators
|2020||2021||2022 (e)||2023 (f)|
|GDP growth (%)||2.0||7.0||6.5||6.0|
|Inflation (yearly average, %)||2.4||4.2||5.2||4.0|
|Budget balance (% GDP)||-5.6||-5.0||-6.0||-5.0|
|Current account balance (% GDP)||-3.2||-3.8||-5.0||-5.0|
|Public debt (% GDP)||47.6||52.1||57.0||60.0|
(e): estimation (f): forecast
- Multiple resources: cocoa (world's largest producer), rubber, cashew nuts, bananas, gold, manganese, nickel, hydroelectricity and oil
- Membership of the WAEMU and regional currency
- Growing middle class, but poverty still affects 30% of the population and child labour has not been eradicated
- Reconciliation between political heavyweights is a guarantee of stability as it heals the wounds incurred in the years between 2002 and 2011
- Vulnerability to climate and the price of cocoa, its main export
- Gaps in public management, infrastructure, access to credit and vocational training
- Low government revenues (about 15% of GDP)
- Massive informality: 90% of jobs and 70% of value added; illegal cocoa production affects prices
- Wealth gap between Abidjan and the rest of the country
Comfortable economic growth
Côte d’Ivoire is set to achieve comfortable economic growth in 2023 after the country’s solid recovery from the pandemic and resilience to the effects of the war in Ukraine. Growth will be driven by domestic consumption, public and private investment, and foreign trade. Consumption will be supported by easing inflation and persistent measures to support household purchasing power, which will continue to benefit from the price ceiling on basic foodstuffs, in particular. It will also benefit from the solidification of the population's income which is highly dependent on agricultural performances (supporting 70% of the active population and contributing 22% to GDP), which are expected to be fairly good. Cocoa cultivation is the main source of income for around 20% of households, and the price of cocoa beans, set by the government, was increased by 9.1% for the 2022-2023 season (which began in October) compared with the year before, to ensure better sharing of added value in favour of producers and to protect them from food price volatility amid an uncertain international context. Public investment will remain high, particularly in infrastructure and public facilities, pushing ahead with the National Development Plan (2021-2025) involving the extension of the port of Abidjan, development of the Yamoussoukro-Bouské motorway, which will open in December 2022, in addition to other projects, as well as in the hydrocarbons sector. These National Development Plan projects and reforms under the PEPITE programme aimed at improving the business environment and developing value chains in about fifteen sectors, e.g., simplifying the corporate tax system, financing for SMEs, training, etc., will also support private investment despite tougher financing conditions caused by restrictive monetary policies. In addition, the hosting of the African Cup of Nations football tournament in five cities across the country will generate infrastructure needs to support the construction sector. Although external demand has been weakened by the global economic environment, foreign trade will benefit from increased oil and gas production. The discovery in 2021 of the Baleine field, which has since been exploited by the Italian company Eni, should result in a production start in 2023, reducing imports accordingly. Finally, a drop in the price of imported oil and cereals would counterbalance sluggish cocoa, rubber and gold prices. This, together with the fluidity of global value chains and the expected appreciation of the CFAF in the second half of the year, will soften inflation.
Twin deficits still large
The current account will still show a large deficit. Although the trade balance is strengthened by the increase in exports and the fall in the cost of imports, its surplus is still expected to be exceeded by the services deficit, linked to purchases of services related to construction and hydrocarbons, despite the recovery in tourism. Moreover, repatriation of foreign investors’ income, as well as transfers from foreign workers (who represent more than 50% of the active population) will weigh on the income account. The current account deficit will be mainly financed by external debt.
The budget deficit will still exceed the 3% of GDP recommended by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Expenditure to mitigate the impact of rising prices - although they are falling - will remain high. The implementation of the National Development Plan will continue to generate high expenditure. The budget balance will also suffer from high debt servicing amid monetary tightening. Finally, at 15%, the mobilisation of tax resources will remain below the rate of 20% of GDP recommended by the WAEMU, despite the implementation of measures aimed at broadening the tax base (reduction of situations of exemption from payment of VAT, etc.). The deficit will be financed by external or domestic and regional borrowing. The moderate weight of public debt (of which the external share represents 60%, with 63% denominated in euros) should not vary.
Improved socio-political climate, but security threat in the North
Alassane Ouattara, who has been President since 2011, won the turbulent October 2020 presidential election with 94% of the vote after the other candidates boycotted his bid for a third term. The March 2021 legislative elections signaled an easing of tensions and took place amid calmer circumstances, with participation by the opposition. The presidential party, theRassemblement des houphouëtistes pour la démocratie et la paix, won the majority of seats in the National Assembly (137 out of 255). In addition, after several years in exile, former president Laurent Gbagbo (2000-2011) returned to Côte d'Ivoire in June 2021 after the International Criminal Court confirmed his acquittal for alleged crimes against humanity during the 2010-2011 post-election violence. 2022 saw the opening of dialogue between Ouattara and his former rivals Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bédié (ruler between 1993 and 1999), who met in July. While both men expressed their intention to still be active in politics at the time of the next presidential election in 2025, the government is implementing reforms agreed with the opposition in 2020 aimed at limiting the risk of tensions and violence during the forthcoming the regional and municipal elections in 2023.
While socio-political tensions have eased, a durably significant threat of jihadist terrorism subsists along the northern borders with Burkina Faso and Mali despite the introduction by the government of a terrorist risk prevention programme.
Last updated: April 2023