Cote'd Ivoire As An Investment Destination

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Before we delve into the main discussion, let’s highlight some important details about investing in Cote’d Ivoire. Among the country’s main strengths are the following:

The possibility of creating a business in 24 hours, The existence of one-stop-shops for business formalities, foreign trade, and obtaining building permits, and an efficient commercial court delivering decisions in less than sixty days. A number of sectoral measures have also been put in place: investment, mining, electricity, and telecommunications codes in particular. They guarantee international investors a high degree of legal security and offer significant tax advantages.

Investment Opportunities

  • Real estate
  • financial services
  • energy infrastructure
  • transport infrastructure
  • telecoms
  • agribusiness
  • textiles
  • consumer goods

Ivory Coast remains a preferred destination for foreign investors in the West Africa region. It’s currently in the last year of its National Plan of Development which aims to make private investment a driver of the country’s economic growth. The plan focuses on diversifying output, improving the processing of raw materials, and developing value chains in the primary sector. There is also focus on infrastructure improvement with initiatives such as the Abidjan urban transport project and infrastructure related to the organization of 2023 Africa Cup of Nations expected to present an opportunity for private investment. Ivory Coast suffered post election violence in 2010 to 2011 but its political climate has since normalized. However, the political context ahead of the 2020 presidential elections may heighten investment climate uncertainty. Investment opportunities are available in the following sector of the economy real estate, financial services, energy infrastructure, transport infrastructure, telecoms, agribusiness, textiles, consumer goods, etc.

5 Good Reasons to Invest in Côte d’Ivoire

Renowned for the quality of its hospitality towards both people and companies, Côte d’Ivoire offers several reasons to invest there. We will only mention five of them.

A Regional Economic Power: Côte d’Ivoire has solid economic assets. It is a sub-regional power. It contributes more than a third of WAEMU’s GDP and accounts for 60 percent of its agricultural exports. It possesses infrastructures inherited from the two decades of the famous Ivorian miracle between 1960 to 1980, rehabilitated and consolidated by massive investments over the last nine years: the second largest port in Sub Saharan Africa, an important road network, and a recently expanded international airport that is due to undergo a significant transformation in the coming years. In the agricultural sector, the country is the world’s leading producer of cocoa, with more than 40 percent or 2,000,000 tonnes in 2019. It is among Africa’s leading producers of several other agricultural exports such as rubber, cashew nuts, cotton, coffee, oil palm, bananas, pineapples, and cola. The secondary sector is dominated by crude oil refining, construction, and food processing. The tertiary sector which accounts for 55 percent of the country’s GDP is strongly dominated by transport both port & air, banking, distribution, and ICT, including mobile telephony which has three operators. The country ensures its energy self-sufficiency thanks to the exploitation of gas and oil deposits over the past few years; they enable it, despite the significant development of its internal needs with the ever-increasing number of industrial establishments, to export electricity to the sub-region.

Inflation remains very low. Displaying a rate of 0.8 percent in 2019, inflation is projected at 1.2 percent in 2020.

With the growth of 8.6 percent per year on average since 2012, Côte d’Ivoire aims to become an emerging economy in the decade 2020 to 2030. The National Development Programme for the period of 2016 to 2020 has put in place major structural reforms aimed at stimulating sustained growth, driven by the private sector, and at structurally transforming the economy.

Although the country has not been spared from the health crisis, the prospects for a rapid rebound are real, notably, thanks to four economic support funds set up for 2020 to 2021. The 2020 growth rate is projected at 2.7 percent with prospects of 8.7 percent from 2021 according to the IMF.

Numerous Investment Opportunities: Investment opportunities are numerous in almost all sectors:

The mining potential is very little exploited: only gold and manganese are exploited industrially. The country is notably richly endowed with nickel, bauxite, iron, and diamonds. A geological map currently being drawn up will be made available by the government to potential investors.

The oil sector, essentially offshore, is very promising despite the relative weakness of current production. Côte d’Ivoire shares the same sedimentary basin as a number of neighboring countries that are already benefiting from important discoveries. The potential is therefore undeniable.


The country intends to position itself as an energy hub for the sub-region in terms of electricity production thanks to an ambitious investment program in thermal power stations, dams, and transmission lines that have been underway since 2012.


The processing potential in the agricultural sector is very significant only 20 percent in cocoa and 8 percent in coffee at present. Other agricultural products such as cashew nuts, of which Côte d’Ivoire, the world leader, accounts for 20 percent of production, as well as rubber, remain unexploited deposits.

Food needs in fish and poultry products are struggling to be covered, thus offering real investment potential that is very promising.

The telecommunications sector is in constant expansion, particularly for all services linked to mobile banking, which compensates for the low rate of household banking.

Côte d’Ivoire has the largest network of supermarkets or specialized distribution in the region with a significant potential for the development of franchises.

The communication and printing sectors are also very active, with more than 60 newspapers appearing daily.

Housing needs of all kinds including social, economic, and luxury make the construction sector a very promising sector.

As far as tourism is concerned, the country aims to reach 5 million tourists per year by 2025 and is already the third destination on the continent for business tourism.


Healthcare is a particularly interesting sector because it is huge under capacity. The vast majority of medical supplies in the region are imported, so we see a lot of opportunities for import substitution.

Investment in Pharmivoire Nouvelle, which manufactures soft packaged intravenous solutions across the West African region, 90 percent of IV fluids are imported, so there is a massive market beyond just Côte d’Ivoire.
Another area we like is medical clinics and diagnostic centers. As the population expands and demand for healthcare increases, there is a crucial role for the private sector to play in expanding healthcare capacity. Local diagnostics centers and clinics are still scarce, with the most affluent traveling abroad for treatment; there is a real need for quick, effective diagnosis in the local market.

In this sector, businesses with a clear differentiation angle have the potential to become leaders in a particular niche. We recently saw an investment in Procréa, a reproductive health clinic in Abidjan that specializes in techniques to help couples with infertility issues achieve parenthood. As with many clinics in Abidjan, it started operations in a residential building but the business has grown very quickly and no longer has space to properly welcome the patients. Procréa is currently investing in the design and construction of a new purpose-built facility, which hopes to consolidate its position as the leading fertility and mother-child health center in Côte d’Ivoire.

Education is another area with a shortfall in capacity and growing demand. Though there is an increasingly young population; many of them leave the educational circuit early and with few qualifications. From an employer’s view, there is still a huge gap between traditional theoretical training and the needs of businesses.

Investments in the education space should be geared towards businesses that focus their training on a clear market need. There is a huge potential for Investing in technology-enabled solutions that can address this need on a large scale which is also conscious that for a lot of vocational training, there is still a need for in-person learning. Investment in a number of businesses with a physical presence, such as Institut de Management, de Gestion et d’Hôtellerie and the Centre des Métiers Michèle Yakice, which specialize in hospitality and tailoring training respectively has proved to be a big deal.

Ivory Coast also known as Côte d’Ivoire is located in West Africa bordering the North Atlantic Ocean. It shares borders with Ghana to the east, Liberia and Guinea to the west, and Mali, and Burkina Faso to the north. It gained its independence from France on 7 August 1960. Its legislative capital is Yamoussoukro while Abidjan is the administrative capital with 12 Administrative districts. It is a multiparty Presidential Republic with the President sitting as the Head of State and the Prime Minister as the head of government. It runs a bicameral national assembly consisting of the Senate and National assembly, and its official language is French. It has a balanced mix of both Moslem and Christian and it practices a civil law legal system based on the French civil code. It has an area size of 322,463 million square kilometers. Ivory Coast plays a key role in transit trade for neighboring landlocked countries and its economy has grown faster than most other African countries since independence. The country’s role as a hub to the regional market is underlined through the presence of several regional headquarters of foreign affiliates and institutions.

Ivory Coast has an estimated population of 27.48 million comprising mostly of the younger population which are less than 25 years which makes up about 58.7 percent of the population, those in the age bracket of 25 to 64 years make up about 38.4 percent of the population, and above 65 years age group makes up of about 2.9 percent of the population. The average population density is estimated at 83 inhabitants per kilometer square. In terms of human development indicators, it has a life expectancy of 63.6 years for Women and 59.2 years for Men. It achieved universal primary education with a 100.32 percent Primary enrolment rate in 2019 and an overall literacy level of 47.2 percent as of 2018.

Ivory Coast economy is mainly dependent on agriculture. It is the world’s largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans and a significant producer and exporter of coffee and palm oil. It is also one of the three bigger producers and exporters of cashew. Agriculture is estimated to contribute about 20 percent of GDP and employs about 48 percent of the country’s workforce. Ivory Coast is also rich in mineral resources with an abundant deposit of hydrocarbons and ore such as gold, copper, iron, manganese, and bauxite. There have been increased activities in the oil sector recently and some mining activities, particularly of precious minerals, such as gold and diamonds, but also others like nickel. Real GDP expanded 6.8 percent and 6.9 percent in 2018 and 2019 respectively having recorded 8.1 percent compounded annual GDP growth in the past 5 years. Ivory Coast’s growth prospects remain positive. In 2019, the Ivory Coast and Ghana which are responsible for 62 percent of world cocoa production signed an agreement to increase the cocoa bean price. Ivory Coast currency is the CFA franc pegged to Euro. Main export includes coffee, cocoa, cotton, palm oil, timber, petroleum, banana, pineapples, etc. Major imports include fuel, foodstuffs, and capital equipment.

Côte d’Ivoire is part of the West African CFA franc zone, which benefits from free convertibility and a fixed parity with the euro as well as great flexibility in terms of exchange regulations. The right for foreign investors to repatriate without any particular restriction, the net profit realized after payment of the taxes due has applied without any hindrance since 1960. This is a tradition.

The country boasts of a very favorable business climate recognized on the continent and constantly improving. Côte d’Ivoire has embarked on a continuous process of improving the business climate, which is regularly praised by the World Bank’s Doing Business study: in 2020, the country ranks second among French-speaking Sub-Saharan African countries in this respect.





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Ivory Coast remains a preferred destination for foreign investors in the West Africa region. Investment opportunities are available in the following sectors of the economy. Côte d’Ivoire contributes more than a third of WAEMU’s GDP and accounts for 60 percent of its agricultural exports.



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