ABOUT CÔTE D'IVOIRE

Location and geography

Côte d'Ivoire is a flagship country in West Africa, located in the northern hemisphere between Ecuador and the Tropic of Cancer, bordered to the north by Mali (532 km) and Burkina Faso (584 km), to the west by Guinea Conakry (610 km) and Liberia (716 km), to the east by Ghana (668 km). The country has a 550 km coastline that forms its southern border with the Atlantic Ocean. It covers an area of 322,462 km2.

The country acquired its independence on 7 August 1960. Its population is estimated at 24 million inhabitants with a population density of 76 inhabitants per km2.

The official language is French. The political and administrative capital is Yamoussoukro in the centre of the country. The economic capital is Abidjan, located in the South. In addition to Abidjan and Yamoussoukro, the main cities in Côte d'Ivoire are Bouaké (Centre), San Pedro (South-West), Daloa (Centre-West), Korhogo (North), Man (West), Abengourou (East).

The motto of Côte d'Ivoire is Union - Discipline - Work, its Flag has three equal vertical stripes of Orange - White - Green colours. The National Anthem is the Abidjanese.

Relief

The relief of Côte d'Ivoire is generally monotonous and flat. It consists of plains in the south, along the Gulf of Guinea. The coast is made up of cliffs, sand strips and lagoons. In the Centre and North of the country, the relief is made up of plateaus.
To the west and northwest, the country includes mountain ranges, the highest point of which is Mount Nimba (1752 m). The monotonous and flat relief makes the country favourable to economic activities, including agriculture and livestock.

Climate

Côte d'Ivoire is the transition zone between the humid equatorial climate and the dry tropical climate. In general, temperatures are high (around 30°C).
In the South, the climate is equatorial, therefore very humid. The temperature is relatively constant, between 29 and 32°C. Rainfall ranges from 1400 to 2400 mm. There are four main seasons:

  • Two rainy seasons, the main one being from June to July and the minor one from October to November;
  • Two dry seasons covering the months of August to September (for the short season) and December to March (for the long season). The latter is marked by the harmattan from the North.
At the Centre, the climate also includes 4 seasons. Two maximum precipitations from March to June and September to October with rainfall ranging from 1100 to 1600 mm. The two dry seasons cover the shortest dry season, the months of July to August and November to February for the longest.
The West is marked by two seasons. Rainfall is heavy in the period from March to October with a rainfall level of up to 2300 mm. The dry season covers the period from November to February.
In the northern part, the climate is tropical and drier, the seasons are less marked. The temperature generally varies between 28°C and 37°C. The climate is marked by two main seasons: the main rainy season from June to September with a rainfall between 1200 and 1700 mm and the main dry season covering the period from October to May. The region is covered by dry continental air.

Vegetation

The vegetation in Côte d'Ivoire is generally favourable to the development of agriculture. It consists of two large vegetation zones.
The southern part of the country is covered by a lush forest. The forest cover is estimated at about 2 million hectares of forests with various species and mangroves near watercourses. The Société de Développement des Forêts is in charge of safeguarding forest areas. The area from the South to the Centre is also marked by large coffee, cocoa, rubber, palm oil and other plantations.
From the Centre to the North, the country is marked by wooded savannah and grassy savannah, characterized by large areas of grassland and sparse trees.

Hydrography

Côte d'Ivoire is well watered by a vast network of rivers, lagoons, streams and lakes with many tributaries. The country has 4 main rivers that flow from north to south and flow into the Gulf of Guinea. It is about:

  • The Cavally, 700 km long, which originates on the northern slope of Mount Nimba in Guinea and serves as the natural border between Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia;
  • The Sassandra, 600 km long, which originates in Guinea;
  • The Bandama, 1050 km long, which is the only river that originates in Côte d'Ivoire (in Boundiali in the north of the country);
  • The Comoé, the longest river in Côte d'Ivoire, 1160 km long, which originates in Banfora, Burkina Faso.
The country has about ten coastal rivers (small basins) such as the Tano, Bia, Mé, Boubo, Agnéby, Niouniourou, San Pedro, Néro, Méné, Tabou, etc.
The lagoon network is also well established. The main ones are: the Aby lagoon, the Ebrié lagoon (which crosses the economic capital), the Grand Lahou lagoon, the Fresco lagoon etc.
The country also has 6 lakes whose reputation is linked to electricity production. Indeed, these lakes were created to ensure hydroelectric production and meet national electricity supply needs. These are the lakes of Kossou (created in 1971), Buyo (created in 1981), Taabo (created in 1978), Ayamé 1, Ayamé 2 and the lake of Fayé.

Political context

Côte d'Ivoire has returned to political stability, marked by the holding of the 2015 presidential election, having reappointed the President of the Republic for a second five-year term. This presidential election was followed in October 2016 by a referendum that allowed the country to adopt the constitution of the 3rd Republic in a peaceful manner.
In December 2016, the country renewed its parliament through equally peaceful parliamentary elections. The country finally held regional and municipal elections on 13 October 2018 in a generally peaceful atmosphere.

Economy

Côte d'Ivoire is the most dynamic economy in the West African sub-region, with an annual gross domestic product growth rate of about 8%. The economy is driven by the production and marketing of cash crops, including cocoa, and by the development of the mining and hydrocarbon sector. Inflation is under control and stands at 1.51% according to the AfDB.
The economic outlook remains good with a growth forecast of around 8% in 2019 and 2020. The country is committed to maintaining prudent fiscal and monetary policy, improving the business climate and strengthening public-private dialogue.

  • Monnaie

    Côte d'Ivoire shares with the member countries of the West African Monetary Union (WAMU)1, the Franc of the African Financial Community (FCFA), the international code XOF, in fixed parity with the Euro (1 Euro = 655.957 FCFA) of which the BCEAO (Central Bank of West African States) is the Mint's issuing institution.
    The WAMU forms with the member countries of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC)2, of which the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) is the currency issuing institution (XAF-BEAC), the countries of the franc zone.

  • Agriculture

    Ivorian agriculture is supported by export industrial crops, which are the driving force behind the country's economic development. Côte d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer of cocoa, with an annual production of between 1.5 and 1.7 million tonnes, about a third of which is processed locally. The regulation of cocoa production and marketing is carried out by the Coffee-Cocoa Council.
    The country is also the largest producer of cashew nuts or cashew nuts, with an annual production of about 725,000 tons in 2016. The country is Africa's 5th largest coffee producer and also produces oil palm, rubber, cotton, etc. The country also produces and exports several fruits including pineapple, banana, mango etc.
    Food production is mainly oriented towards local consumption. It is varied and corresponds to the culinary habits of the country. It includes tubers (yams, bananas, manioc etc.), cereals (millet sorghum, fonio etc.), vegetables etc.


    1 WAMU Member Countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo 2 CEMAC member countries: Cameroon, Congo, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Gabon.

  • Mining and hydrocarbons

    The mining sector is booming in Côte d'Ivoire. At the end of 2016, the number of valid research permits was 159, including 18 issued in 2016. About 80% of these permits are related to gold exploration.
    Indeed, gold is the most abundant ore in Côte d'Ivoire with 4 major mines: the Tongon mine (in the north of the country) in production since 2010, by far the largest gold mine in the country, the Bonikro mine operated northwest 250 km from Abidjan, the Ity mine located 480 km northwest of Abidjan, in production since 1991 and the Agbaou mine about 200 km north of Abidjan.
    In addition to gold, several other minerals are mined in Côte d'Ivoire, including manganese mined in certain localities such as Bondoukou, Kaniasso and Lauzoua. Manganese production in 2017 increased by 146% (about 510,000 tonnes). The country also has other minerals such as diamond, nickel, cobalt, bauxite, copper, coltan, iron etc.
    The Ivorian sedimentary basin, covering an area of about 87,000 km2, currently has 61 oil blocks, including 7 onshore and 54 offshore. 30 blocks are free. According to statistics from the Ministry of Oil and Energy, crude oil production (oil and condensate) in 2016 amounted to 15,425,895 barrels, or an average daily production of 42,147 barrels/day. Natural gas production is 78.811 billion cubic feet, or a daily average of 215.331 million cubic feet/day.

  • Electricity

    According to the 2016 Report of the National Authority for the Regulation of the Electricity Sector (ANARE-Cl), electricity production in Côte d'Ivoire is estimated at 10,080 GWH, 85% of which is produced from thermal sources and 15% from hydraulic sources. The main thermal power plants in the country are those of Azito, CIPREL, AGGREKO and VRIDI 1, while the hydroelectric dams that supply electricity from hydraulic sources are Kossou, Buyo, Taabo, Ayamé 1, Ayamé 2 and Fayé.
    84% of electricity production is consumed locally, or 8425 GWh, and exported to Mali, Ghana, Liberia, Togo, Burkina Faso and Benin (1655 GWh).
    The supply of electricity is relatively continuous. The average frequency of power outages per customer served per year is 19, while the average duration of outages per customer served per year is 15 hours.

  • Industry

    Ivorian industry remains dynamic and is driven by the extractive industry (mining and hydrocarbons). Indeed, according to the 2017 Economic and Financial Report of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, at the end of 2016, the Harmonised Index of Industrial Production (HICP) increased by 10.2%, mainly attributable to the "mining industries" (+75.3%), "wood and furniture industries" (+10.2%) and "electricity, gas and water" (+12.2%) branches.
    Despite a decade of crisis, the country continues to maintain its comparative advantages, including its central position in West Africa, its modern infrastructure park, its hydroelectric potential, the availability of arable and fertile land and the existence of agricultural research agencies, etc.
    Manufacturing industry remains the most diversified in the West African region. The country ranks 10th in Africa in the 2018 ranking of the UNIDO Industrial Competitiveness Performance Index (CPI 2018).

  • Banking and Finance

    The banking sector has experienced sustained growth in recent years as a result of the rise of subsidiaries of African-owned banks. It is the largest in the UEMOA region and has 28 banks and financial institutions and 50 entities under the Decentralized Financial Systems in 2018. The BCEAO is the Central Bank. Its monetary policy ensures economic price stability.
    The country is also home to the headquarters of the Stock Exchange (BRVM). Analysis of the sector indices shows that stock market activity has been strong in the utilities, financials, distribution, transportation and other sectors. The composite market capitalization continues to increase due to the intensity of trading in the equity and bond markets. In 2016, it amounted to 9,408.0 billion, up 10.7% compared to the same period in 2015. The equity market grew by 11.3% to 7,645.0 billion. Source: 2017 Economic and Financial Report of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

  • Digital Economy

    Côte d'Ivoire has 32 million subscriptions to mobile telecommunications services, 13 million mobile Internet subscriptions and 10 million. The country ranks 23rd in SubSaharan Africa in the GSMA 2018 Mobile Economy Report.
    The country is committed to promoting dematerialised public acts and services to economic operators and citizens. In the Council of Ministers of 23 July 2015, the Government adopted a charter for the business environment, which forms the basis of the vision of dematerialisation of public acts and services, aimed at significantly improving the speed with which economic operators' requests are processed and increasing the responsiveness and transparency of public services.
    The State has initiated several projects aimed at the further development of electronic governance through greater availability of online services in all fields (Education, Health, Civil Status, Agriculture, Justice, Finance, etc.).