Speaking before the national assembly in Abidjan in January 2013, IMF managing director Christine Laggard congratulated the country’s new administration for the result Cote d’Ivoire achieved in less than two years.
She even mentioned the prospect of a “second Ivorian miracle” if the reforms under way are carried out to a successful conclusion. In 2012, real GDP growth outdid the most optimistic forecasts, reaching 9.8%, a figure the IMF confirmed in late March 2013. A similar rate - between 9% and 10%, if not more - is expected for 2013 and 2014.
The normalization of the security situation, resumption of international cooperation and incentives for productive sectors account for these outstanding results. The outlook is bright. Cote d’Ivoire has regularized its foreign debt for the first time in 30 years.
The public investment rate will rise above 7% in 2013 for the first time, while inflation, limited to 1.3% in 2012, is forecast to remain below 3% in 2013.
If the political and security situations continue to evolve favorably, President Ouattara’s strategic goal “to make Cote d’Ivoire an emerging country by 2020”, will be more credible.
CONSTRUCTION AND MANUFACTURING LEAD THE WAY
GDP growth in 2012 more than made up for the 4.7% decline in 2011, the year of the post-electoral crisis.
The primary sector expanded only slightly (2.3%), but the secondary (19.2%) and tertiary (13.5%) sectors have boosted the economy. Construction and manufacturing are remarkably buoyant, fuelled in particular by an 83.3% rise in investment, both public (infrastructure) and private (renewal of production tools). Construction has benefited from the launch of major infrastructure projects, rural road maintenance, the rehabilitation of public buildings, and the construction of classrooms and health centres: revenues rose by 30% in 2012 after shrinking by 12% the previous year. Cote d’Ivoire boasts the ECOWAS zone’s leading manufacturing sector, which accounts for 18% of its GDP.
A BOOMING SERVICE SECTOR
The tertiary sector turned out to be the main engine of growth in 2012, accounting for nearly half in 2012, accounting for nearly half of GDP. Steps to improve the security situation, enhance maritime transport and launch the new airline, Air Cote d’Ivoire, in October 2012, spurred transport and logistic activities, which bounded ahead by 23%. Trade, which fell by 7% in 2011, rose by 11% in 2012 thanks to the return of confidence, restoration of the government’s authority throughout the country, re-establishment of freedom of movement and increase in farmer’s incomes after the reform of the coffee-cocoa sector. The recovery has benefited all services. The banking, insurance, tourism and hotel industries grew by 17% each. In 2012, GDP stood at 1.26 trillion FCFA ($25 billion).
A PLAN FOR EMERGENCE
The government’s three-year (2012-2015) national Development Plan (PND), based on the assumption of brisk growth fuelled by a sharp rise in public and private investment, has become the only document of reference for the country’s economic policy. Real GDP growth forecasts are reasonable: 8.6% in 2012 (the goal was actually surpassed), 9% in 2013 and 10% in 2014 and 2015. Investments are expected to rise from 12.5% of GDP in 2012 (of which 5.4% is public) to 23.5% in 2015 (9% public). Some goals are quantified, such as the desire to cut the poverty rate in half (from 50% to 25%) and to improve the Human Development Index (HDI), in which Cote d’Ivoire ranks 168th out of 184 countries. Others are strategic, for example, creating.
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