CÔTE D’IVOIRE AT A GLANCE:
Population: 21.1 million (2011)
GDP per capita: $1,093 (2011)
Côte d’Ivoire, a major exporter of cocoa and cashew nuts, is a dominant economy in West Africa, but has suffered through a decade of intermittent conflict that has prevented it from realizing its full potential.
The country has welcomed back investors and international organizations following contested presidential elections and political turmoil in 2010-2011, and is now seeking to strengthen its economy and create jobs for its growing population.
IFC’s CASA program is focusing its efforts in Côte d’Ivoire on supporting growth in the agriculture sector – the main driver of the country’s economy – and in SME development. IFC is also helping Côte d’Ivoire improve its business environment to spur and attract investment.
Supporting Smaller Businesses
IFC launched its Business Edge management training program in Côte d’Ivoire in September, 2011 as part of its efforts to help entrepreneurs gain the skills they need to launch and grow successful businesses.
Business Edge offers practical solutions in marketing, finance, productivity and other areas, and is delivered by local trainers. It will soon benefit hundreds of smaller businesses in the country.
Another way IFC is supporting small business growth in Côte d’Ivoire is through a leasing program, which is supporting efforts to create leasing legislation in the country.
IFC is working with the Government to raise awareness about leasing and will train hundreds of SMEs (many in the important agriculture sector) on the benefits of leasing equipment, vehicles or other large items so they can rapidly grow their operations.
Improving the Business Environment
IFC, CASA, and the World Bank are building on progress made by IFC’s Doing Business Advisory Service intervention that has been active in Côte d’Ivoire since 2009.
Following the country’s return to political stability, IFC is working with the Government to improve tax, licensing and inspection regulations that often slow the pace of business.
IFC is also helping Côte d’Ivoire implement OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) regulations that are helping foster economic development and cooperation in 16 countries across West and Central Africa.