Economic and Political Overview

flag Ivory Coast Ivory Coast: Economic and Political Overview

In this page: Economic Indicators | Foreign Trade in Figures | Sources of General Economic Information | Political Outline | COVID-19 Country Response


Economic Indicators

Côte d'Ivoire’s  economy proved resilient to the Covid-19 pandemic, and is amongst the fastest growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. After reaching 6.7% in 2022, GDP growth stood at an estimated 6.2% in 2023, primarily driven by private consumption, the surge aligns with efforts to bolster purchasing power, expand industrial development initiatives, and enhance agricultural output, notably cocoa, with an increased government-guaranteed price set for the 2022-2023 season. In 2024, economic activity is expected to sustain its robust momentum, largely driven by the surge in industrial activities and supported by moderating inflation and increased global demand. Public investment, notably in infrastructure and public facilities, will remain elevated, in line with the objectives outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP, 2021-2025). The IMF forecasts growth at 6.6% this year and 6.4% in 2025.

Despite the gradual narrowing of the public deficit, it is projected to persist above the West African Economic and Monetary Union's (WAEMU) recommended target of 3% of GDP in both 2023 and 2024. To alleviate the effects of increasing prices on household purchasing power, social spending remained substantial in 2023. However, it is anticipated to decrease in 2024 due to easing inflationary pressures and the government's aim to substitute subsidies (primarily on food and fuel) with targeted financial aid for the most economically vulnerable households. Nonetheless, the multitude of public investment initiatives will sustain expenditure levels. Fitch Ratings estimated the budget deficit to have narrowed to 5.3% of GDP in 2023 from 6.8% in 2022, with a further reduction expected this year (4.4%) and in 2025 (3.5%). Public debt remained stable in 2023 (56.8%), still well above its pre-pandemic level of 38%, but should decrease over the medium term amid budget consolidation and strong GDP growth. Inflationary pressure are expected to ease in 2024 to 2.3%, down from 4.3% in 2023, returning below the regional target of 3% set by the BCEAO.

Despite good economic performance, the poverty rate grew sharply compared to its level three decades ago. More than 40% of the population lives under the poverty threshold, and around a quarter of the working population remains unemployed. Unemployment rate was estimated by the World Bank at 2.5% in 2022; however, around 40% of theworkforce is employed in the informal sector.

Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 72.0579.9886.9193.89101.69
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 2,3832,5722,7172,8543,005
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 55.357.157.756.956.2
Inflation Rate (%)
Current Account (billions USD) -5.52-4.83-3.32-2.40-2.25
Current Account (in % of GDP) -7.7-6.0-3.8-2.6-2.2

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database , Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Main Sectors of Industry

Côte d'Ivoire is the world’s largest producer and exporter of cocoa (30% of the world production), one of the three bigger producer and exporter of cashew, and a major exporter of palm oil, coffee and oil. The country’s economy is mainly based on agriculture: the primary sector contributes to 16.7% of the GDP and employs 46% of the country's active population (World Bank). The government is trying to maximise agricultural output by developing raw material processing units. In recent years, rubber output has increased substantially. The oil sector has also been gaining weight, leveraging a steady growth rate and major investments. Moreover, the country has some mining activities, particularly of precious minerals, such as gold and diamonds, but also others like nickel.

The industrial sector contributes to 22% of the GDP and employs only 10% of active population (World Bank). Key sectors include agro-processing, petroleum refining, and manufacturing. Agro-processing is a cornerstone of the Ivorian industrial landscape, with cocoa processing being particularly significant due to Cote d'Ivoire's status as the world's largest producer of cocoa beans. Additionally, the country's oil refining industry benefits from its status as a regional hub for petroleum products. Manufacturing, including textiles, chemicals, and food processing, is also an important sector, driven by government efforts to diversify the economy and promote industrialization.

The services sector contributes to 53.7% of the GDP and employs 44% of the workforce (World Bank). Like in many other African countries, the tertiary sector has grown at relatively rapid rate in the last several years. The telecommunications sector is booming and is one of the key drivers of services. Côte d’Ivoire has the most developed banking sector in the WAMU area. The banking sector comprises 28 banks and four financial establishments (data Central Bank of West African States).

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 45.0 10.8 44.2
Value Added (in % of GDP) 16.7 22.0 53.7
Value Added (Annual % Change) 5.1 8.1 6.8

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


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Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
CFA Franc BCEAO (XOF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 MUR 16.6816.8816.3816.5014.63

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


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Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

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Foreign Trade in Figures

The Ivory Coast is the hub of commercial activities in West Africa. The share of foreign trade in the country's GDP is 52% (World Bank, latest available data). Exports are primarily composed of industrial agriculture and exports (40.1%), mining products (17.8%), manufactured products (20%), and first-stage processed products (18.3%). In detail, exports are dominated by cocoa (processed and unprocessed, accounting for 30.2% of total sales), gold (11.9%), petroleum products and crude oil (18.5%), natural rubber (11.4%), and cashew nuts (6%). The main imported products are petroleum products (including crude oil), accounting for 26.8% of imports. Following that are imports of mechanical machinery (6.93%), and iron, steel, and related metal products (5.75%). Among food products, rice (4.65%) and fresh fish (4.23%) are the two main items (data French Ministry of Economy for 2022).

The Ivory Coast is a member of the UEMOA (West African Economic and Monetary Union), which enforces a Common External Tariff (CET). It also belongs to the Free Trade Zone. In 2008, the Ivory Coast signed a stepping stone economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU). This agreement entered into provisional application on 3 September 2016 and essentially aims at maintaining the preferential trade system that exists between the EU and the Ivory Coast (Nigeria is the only country in the region that has is yet to sign the EPA, which is why the agreement is not yet applied). It will be replaced by the regional EU-West Africa EPA. Ivory Coast is also a signatory to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.  According to Comtrade, the country's main export partners in 2022 were Mali (8.9%), the Netherlands (8.7%), Switzerland (8.1%), the United States (5.3%), Burkina Faso (5.2%), and France (4.5%); whereas imports came chiefly from China (14.4%), Nigeria (12.1%), France (6.7%), India (5.2%), and the United States (4.7%).

The Ivory Coast has a structurally positive trade balance; however, the country’s recorded a deficit in 2022, when it exported USD 16.4 billion worth of goods while it imported for USD 17.9 billion (+7.2% and +28.1% y-o-y, respectively). The raise in imports was influenced by rising energy prices. Concerning services, exports stood at USD 958 million while imports totalled USD 9.8 billion. The World Bank estimated the trade deficit at 2.6% of GDP (from a surplus of 0.1% one year earlier). According to preliminary figures from the Ivorian Customs, exports saw a rapid growth, reaching XOF 12,301 billion in 2023, marking a clear rise compared to the XOF 9,204 billion of the previous year. Similarly, imports also rose, increasing from XOF 10,070 billion to XOF 11,451 billion during the same period. The primary drivers of export growth in 2023 were cocoa beans and their derivatives, petroleum products, crude gold, and natural rubber, collectively representing 70.1% of total exports.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 10,48310,52713,96617,88918,887
Exports of Goods (million USD) 12,71812,45415,33416,42920,263
Imports of Services (million USD) 3,4033,1423,9243,858n/a
Exports of Services (million USD) 1,162732910958n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 9.010.710.610.2n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 21.520.122.527.5n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)
Trade Balance (million USD) 3,1512,9823,053n/an/a
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 91057240n/an/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 44.541.145.152.3n/a

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank , Latest Available Data


Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
Mali 8.9%
Netherlands 8.7%
Switzerland 8.1%
United States 5.3%
Burkina Faso 5.2%
See More Countries 63.8%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
China 14.4%
Nigeria 12.1%
France 6.7%
India 5.2%
United States 4.7%
See More Countries 56.9%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data


Main Products

16.4 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Cocoa beans, whole or broken, raw or roastedCocoa beans, whole or broken, raw or roasted 19.5%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 12.4%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 11.7%
Natural rubber, balata, gutta-percha, guayule,...Natural rubber, balata, gutta-percha, guayule, chicle and similar natural gums, in primary forms or in plates, sheets or strip 11.4%
Coconuts, brazil nuts and cashew nuts, fresh or...Coconuts, brazil nuts and cashew nuts, fresh or dried, whether or not shelled or peeled 6.1%
See More Products 39.0%
17.9 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 13.4%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 10.7%
RiceRice 4.5%
Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish...Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 4.1%
Light-vessels, fire-floats, dredgers, floating...Light-vessels, fire-floats, dredgers, floating cranes, and other vessels the navigability of which is subsidiary to their main function; floating docks, floating or submersible drilling or production platforms (excl. fishing vessels and warships) 3.6%
See More Products 63.7%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data


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Sources of General Economic Information

Ministry of Economy and Finance (in French)
Statistical Office
Côte d'Ivoire National Institute of Statistics
Central Bank
Central Bank of West African States
Stock Exchange
Search Engines
Economic Portals
Ivory Cost Economic Portal

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Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Alassane Ouattara (since 4 December 2010)
Prime Minister: Robert Beugré Mambé (since 16 October 2023)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: October 2025
Senate: September 2028
National Assembly: March 2026
Main Political Parties
There are many legal political parties in the Ivory Coast, but very few have secured national support. The Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) currently holds more than half of parliamentary seats. The main political parties are:

- Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP): party to the ruling coalition
- Democratic Party of Ivory Coast-African Democratic Rally (PDCI-RDA): centre-right, the oldest political party, advocates democratic values. It is the main opposition party
- African Peoples' Party - Ivory Coast (PPA-CI): left-wing

Other parties include:

- Ivorian Popular Front (FPI)
- Liberty and Democracy for the Republic (LIDER)
Movement of Forces of the Future (MFA)
- Pan-African Congress for People's Justice and Equality (COJEP)
- Rally of the Republicans (RDR)
- Together for Democracy and Sovereignty (EDS)
- Together to Build (UDPCI, FPI, and allies)
- Union for Cote d'Ivoire (UPCI)
- Union for Democracy and Peace in Côte d'Ivoire (UDPCI).
Type of State
Republic based on parliamentary democracy.
Executive Power
The President, elected for five years by universal suffrage, enjoys most of the executive powers which include implementation of the law in the country and running the day-to-day affairs. The Prime Minister is the Head of Government and is appointed by the President to serve a term of five years. The Prime Minister works under the President. The Council of Ministers (cabinet) is also appointed by the President.

The new Constitution of 2016 provides for the creation of a new vice-presidential position.

Legislative Power
Until the end of 2016 and the approval of a new Constitution, the legislative power in Côte d'Ivoire was unicameral. The parliament, called the National Assembly, consisted of 255 seats. Its members were elected in single or multi-member district elections by direct universal suffrage for five years. Since April 2018, the legislature has been bicameral with the creation of a Senate, whose 99 members are elected for five years. They are two-thirds elected by direct universal suffrage, while the president appoints the remaining third "among the former presidents of institutions, former prime ministers and national personalities and skills". The conditions for revision of the Constitution will be facilitated while the House of Kings and Traditional Chiefs will be constitutionalized.
Ivorian citizens enjoy very limited political rights. The president can dissolve parliament or veto its provisions.

Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Partly Free
Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


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COVID-19 Country Response

Travel restrictions
Regularly updated travel information for all countries with regards to Covid-19 related entry regulations, flight bans, test and vaccines requirements is available on TravelDoc Infopage.
To find information about the current travel regulations, including health requirements, it is also advised to consult Travel Regulations Map provided and updated on a daily basis by IATA.
Import & export restrictions
A general overview of trade restrictions which were adopted by different countries during the COVID-19 pandemic is available on the International Trade Centre's COVID-19 Temporary Trade Measures webpage.
Economic recovery plan
For the general overview of the key economic policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic (fiscal, monetary and macroeconomic) undertaken by the government of Côte d'Ivoire, please consult the country's dedicated section in the IMF’s Policy Tracker platform.
Support plan for businesses
For an evaluation of impact of the Covid pandemic on SMEs and an inventory of country responses to foster SME resilience, refer to the OECD's SME Covid-19 Policy Responses document.
You can also consult the World Bank's Map of SME-Support Measures in Response to COVID-19.


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Latest Update: April 2024