|Republic of Cote d’Ivoire|
|Population||22,671,00 (2014 Official Census)|
|Languages||French (official), Dioula|
|Form of government||Republic|
|GDP (2014)||$33.96.billion; per capita (2014): $3.100|
Cote d’Ivoire, a West African country bordered by Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Ghana, gained its independence from France in 1960. Political turmoil and violence plagued the country from 1999 to 2007, when a peace agreement ended civil conflict. Civil war again broke out from 2010 to 2011 after two competing presidential candidates both claimed victory.
Alassane Outtara was the internationally recognized winner of the 2010 presidential elections, but then-current President Lauren Gbagbo refused to cede power. A four-month standoff between forces loyal to each candidate caused the death of 3,000 people; the conflict ended in 2011 after French and Ivorian troops overtook the south of the country and arrested President Gbagbo
Since 2013, political dialogue between the leading political party and the opposition party has improved dramatically, and conditions have stabilized. Cote d’Ivoire is the second largest economy in West Africa, and its stability in recent years has led to strong economic growth.
|President||H.E. Alassane Dramane OUATTARA|
|Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance||H.E. Mr. Daniel Kablan DUNCAN|
|Minister delegated to the PM in charge of Economy and Finance||H.E. Ms. Nialé KABA|
|g7+ Focal Point||Mr. Tohougbe Yéhouan ANATOLE|
New Deal Implementation
The chief of state is the president, who is elected for a five-year term (with no term limits). The head of government is the prime minister, who, along with the Council of Ministers, is appointed by the president. The last presidential elections were held in 2010; the next elections are scheduled for October 2015.
The unicameral parliament is the National Assembly, which has 225 members. Members are directly elected to serve five-year terms. The last parliamentary elections took place in 2011, and the next elections are scheduled for 2016. The current governing party holds about half of the seats in parliament, and the main opposition party holds about one-third of the seats. Remaining seats are held by other opposition and independent parties. Municipal councils are directly elected for five-year terms, and local officials are indirectly appointed.
Cote d’Ivoire’s recent conflicts have prevented significant progress in socioeconomic development. Employment is low and income inequality and poverty rates are high, but improving following the conclusion of the 2011 crisis. Food and housing shortages are common in both urban and rural areas. Delivery of social services, strengthened land tenure policies, and security and judicial sector reform are priorities of both government and development partners.
Cote d’Ivoire’s National Development Plan 2012-2015 focuses on developing national unity and social cohesion through improved distribution of wealth, job creation, and access to social services. The plan is anchored around five strategic objectives: (i) people living in harmony in a secure society in which good governance is ensured; (ii) the creation of national wealth is increased, sustained and its fruits are shared in an equitable manner; (iii) the population, in particular women, children and other vulnerable groups have fair access to quality social services; (iv) people live in a healthy and adequate living environment; and (v) Côte d’Ivoire’s stature on the regional and international scene is enhanced.
Cote d’Ivoire is the second largest economy in the West African region. Its economy has grown rapidly in recent years due to infrastructure development and regulatory reforms. In 2014 and 2015, it was ranked among the 10 best reformers in the annual World Bank Doing Business Report. Agricultural goods are its primary exports, including cocoa, cashew nuts, rubber, and palm oil. Other growing sectors of foreign investment are oil and gas, housing construction, and mining. Constraints to private sector growth include weak land tenure laws, customs delays, and occasional outbreaks of crime and violence, though the frequency of such outbreaks is declining.
The government has invested significant resources in developing infrastructure to facilitate private investment. In the following decade, expansions are planned for power generation facilities, electricity transmission and distribution, and transportation infrastructure. The environment for small business development is supportive; Cote d’Ivoire’s investment promotion center has been lauded by international partners for its success in creating a “one-stop shop” for firms seeking to invest in the country. It is a signatory to the Kimberley Process and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).