The economic activity after the post-election crisis was more vigorous than expected. The return of confidence among economic actors in the aftermath of the normalisation of the security situation and increased peace efforts was accordingly confirmed. After a fall of 4.7% in 2011 real gross domestic product (GDP) registered growth estimated at 8.6% in 2012, driven by public investment and the pick-up in final consumption. In the medium term the implementation of the National Development Plan (PND) 2012-15 should put the country back on the trajectory of inclusive and sustainable growth. GDP is forecast to grow in 2013 and 2014 at 8.9% and 9.8% respectively, sustained by the recovery of oil and gas production and by a rise in investment prompted by a better business climate and a strengthening of public-private partnerships.
As a result of efforts to revive the economy the overall budget deficit deepened in 2012. For the first time in five years the external current account recorded a deficit. Nevertheless the satisfactory execution of the 2011-14 economic and financial programme, backed by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), enabled the country to reach the completion point of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative in June 2012 and to benefit from a substantial cut in its external debt. Inflation also returned to below the 3% level set at community level. On the political front the country saw notable progress in institutional, social and political, security and human rights normalisation.
To fortify the recovery and ensure sustainable growth, Côte d’Ivoire needs to continue its efforts in terms of structural transformation by taking full advantage of its considerable natural resources. In this respect, several obstacles hampering the sustainable management of natural resources need to be overcome. These are the weakness of the links between the companies exploiting the resources and the other sectors of the economy, and inadequate transparency in natural resources management and contracts relating to the sharing of production between the government and the oil companies.
The country also enjoys a strong agricultural potential as the world’s biggest producer of cocoa. An increase in the rate of processing of agricultural production, which varies between 2% and 27%, should be a priority objective for the authorities in the years ahead.
( Courtesy Govenment of Ivory Coast & Africa Economic Outlook……Source……Our Freelance Economic Contributor in Lagos & New Africa Business News )