Ivory Coast Economy


Industrial crops, mainly cocoa, were the key to the Ivorian miracle and continue to be the country’s main resource. The primary sector contributes 25.4% to the formation of GDP (2008) and employs 49% of the workforce. On the other hand, the sector is suffering from the significant fluctuations in demand on the international market and the government programs aimed at exponentially increasing the cultivated areas have meant that vast portions of forest were destroyed and a worrying process of desertification developed in the northern areas. The main export product is cocoa which represents 80% of exports, followed by rubber (whose production increased significantly during the war years and the consequent cocoa crisis) and coffee, of which it is the third African producer (2007). The agricultural landscape also includes banana trees, pineapples, cotton, oil palms, sugar cane etc. The main agricultural products destined for local consumption are the manioc and some cereals, grown with decidedly backward methods both in the central-northern regions, such as millet, sorghum and corn, and in the southern belt, such as rice. § The other great resource of the Ivory Coast is the forest heritage, which is already subject to excessive exploitation which has reduced its economic importance. A lack of reforestation policy has seen forest areas decline over a period of twenty years which, in 2008, comprised 32.7% of the country’s surface. Forests produce very valuable timber, especially mahogany; also in this sector the Ivory Coast is one of the major African producers, which partly feeds various local sawmills, but which is essentially exported to European and North American markets. § Livestock farming, on the other hand, is much less developed. In the central-northern savannah areas there are sheep and goats, as well as cattle, while barnyard animals are raised almost everywhere; however, it is necessary to resort to imports to satisfy internal needs. § Relevant is fishing: Abidjan is the largest tuna fishing center in Africa.


The secondary sector employs only 14% of the workforce, but produces nearly 28% of GDP (2008). According to allcountrylist, the industry has developed, as mentioned, thanks to the earnings from agriculture and since the first years after independence has seen the birth of food manufacturers and industries for the processing of wood and cotton. Among other plants are some cement factories some sugar factories. A large oil refinery and metallurgical and mechanical factories are located in Vridi (suburb of Abidjan). Abidjan and the surrounding area represent the area of ​​greatest industrial concentration in the state; this growth, which took place without preparing organic regulatory plans, caused a very strong rural exodus towards the former capital city and therefore a strong territorial imbalance, so much so that the government’s efforts to bring about a more homogeneous development of the country through the decentralization of new industrial activities have increased. § The Ivory Coast has modest mineral resources: some diamond deposits, small reserves of iron, bauxite, gold and natural gas. In 1995 the oil fields went into production off shore whose production is constantly growing. The production of electricity is mainly of water origin: several hydroelectric plants are in operation on the Bia, Bandama, Comoè and Cavalla rivers.


The trade balance remained active (a global decrease was noted and, following the difficulties of the country’s economy, a substantial foreign debt remains (13,938 mln US $ in 2007), thanks to the considerable weight of exports; agricultural and forestry products (coffee, cocoa, timber, bananas, cotton, fresh fruit, etc.), although some industrial and mineral products are beginning to play a moderate role. Nigeria and Germany. § Very developed, if compared to the other countries of the continent, are the communication routes. The Ivory Coast has a railway line that from Abidjan crosses the whole country from S to N, continuing on to Burkina Faso; but it is on the road network, which in 2004 extended for 80,000 km of which approx. 6,500 paved, one of the best in West Africa, where most of the traffic takes place. On the other hand, the inland waterways are of little importance; the lower stretches of rivers and coastal lagoons are however used for local transport. Finally, the country can count on the very active port of Abidjan, San Pedro and Tabou, on the border with Liberia, in support of the increasingly lively exchanges with foreign countries. There are about fifteen airports: the international one is located in the capital. § Since the 1970s, tourism has been greatly promoted, also creating a special ministry, so much so that in the years preceding the civil war there were up to 300,000 entries per year.

Ivory Coast Economy


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