Côte d’Ivoire looks to PPPs for development

Public-private partnerships are a pillar of the West African country’s resurgence, says President Alassane Ouattara.

Marrakesh, 14 October 2014 (ECA) -  Côte d’Ivoire has set itself a target of becoming an emerging market in 2020, according to its president, Alassane Outtara, who wants to drive private sector investment in the country, which is recovering from decades of political turmoil.

“This goal is within reach,” he says on the sidelines of the African Development Forum in Marrakech. “Since 2012, we have a strong growth rate of around 10 per cent.”

Improvements to the business climate, achieved by streamlining the country’s investment code and pushing through structural and sectoral reforms, led to the country being ranked by the World Bank among the top-10 global reformers in the 2014 Doing Business report.

“We have invested heavily in infrastructure, agriculture, health, energy, information technology and communication,” Ouattara says. “Our countries must encourage the financing of major projects, job providers, public-private partnerships.”

Around 60 per cent of planned investments in Côte d’Ivoire are public-private partnerships, Outtara says, making them a key element of the country’s reconstruction and its future growth. The country’s investment- to-GDP ratio should rise from 9 per cent in 2012 to16 per cent in 2015, he says, while incomes for farmers have risen more than 20 per cent.

Côte d’Ivoire defaulted on more than $2 billion of bonds shortly after the 2010 elections, which descended into violence after the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to yield power to Ouattara, who had been declared the winner. However, this year the international capital markets showed that they have new confidence in the West African country—the world’s largest cocoa exporter. In July, the country sold $750 million worth of eurobonds in an auction that was several times oversubscribed.


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