Country FilesWestCountry Profile 2014: CÔTE D'IVOIRE

Sat,18Nov2017

Posted on Saturday, 08 February 2014 20:45

Country Profile 2014: CÔTE D'IVOIRE

Rebuilding programme gains speed

Security and economic activity have largely improved in Côte d’Ivoire more than two years after the end of the post-election crisis, but Ivorians are still waiting to see improvements to their livelihoods. While the government is proceeding with massive public investments, funding from the private sector remains too low to stimulate a real boom.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

TOP IVORIAN COMPANIES

TOP IVORIAN BANKS

 

ar-infographie-cote-d-ivoire-2014Rebuilding programme gains speed

The government has launched a vast spending programme on infrastructure

Reconciliation talks and reintegrating former combatants have been delayed

Security and economic activity have largely improved in Côte d’Ivoire more than two years after the end of the post-election crisis, but Ivorians are still waiting to see improvements to their livelihoods. While the government is proceeding with massive public investments, funding from the private sector remains too low to stimulate a real boom.

As a sign of the country’s turnaround, the African Development Bank is planning its return to Abidjan after relocating to Tunis due to political instability. In Abidjan, the country’s economic capital and most populated city, bulldozers and excavators come and go day and night along the lagoon to build the long a waited third bridge that will link up the neighbourhoods of Cocody and Marcory. The €227m ($306m) project is due to be completed at the end of 2014. The government is also negotiating terms for the development of an urban rail network for the city.

LOCAL AND FOREIGN MONEY

The Ivorian government is investing in infrastructure and power generation to rebuild a country affected by more than a decade of crisis. Contractors have built or rehabilitated many roads in Abidjan and throughout the country. About one-third of the country’s 2013 budget, equalling 1.1trn CFA francs ($2.3bn), was allocated to public investment, up from 620bn CFA francs in 2012. In 2012, foreign donors pledged $8.6bn to fund the $19bn Plan National de Développement 2012-2015.

China,which has longhad only a limited presence in Côte d’ Ivoire, is also boosting its investment. The Chinese government will lend as much as $10bn in the next six years at concessional rates, according to planning minister Albert Mabri Toikeusse. Chinese funding is financing the construction of a high way between Abidjan and the coastal town of Grand-Bassam, where work began in 2012. Sinohydro started work on the 275MW hydroelectric power plant in the western town of Soubré in January 2013. Chinese state-owned banks will also fund a $2.5bn expansion of the port of Abidjan, while the government will use another $2bn to build a 500km rail line in the west of the country to transport nickel and iron ore to the port of San Pedro.

Agriculture in the world’s largest cocoa producer is also boosting growth. The 2013-2014 cocoa season started in October, and the government set a farm-gate price of 750 CFA francs per kilogram, up from 725 last season. The government predicts that production will be steady at 1.4m tn. In 2011, the government began to introduce changes to the cocoa industry, including the establishment of a guaranteed price and a forward sales system.

RUBBER ON THE RISE

Similar reforms are underway in the cotton and cashew sectors, two crops grown in the north of the country. The government will impose a minimum price for the crops of at least 60% of the international price. The government targets production of 350,000tn of cotton this year, 600,000tn by 2016. The goal in the cashew industry is ambitious: to double production from 450,000tn to 900,000tn. Rubber production continues to grow. Many farmers are giving up cocoa or staple crops for rubber because the sector is well organised and the crop more profitable. Production of rubber was 256,000tn in 2012, and the industry targets output of 600,000tn in 2020.

Crude oil production continues to fall, according to statistics from the finance ministry. Output dropped 12.5% to 4.9m barrels in the first six months of 2013. Production of natural gas rose 30% in the same period to 38.8bn ft³ due to investments in blocks CI-26 and CI-27. Gold production rose 3.5% to 6.3tn due to output rises at the Tongon and Bonikro mines. The government has set a goal for annual production to reach 15tn by 2015 and is working on development plans for nickel, iron ore and bauxite mines.

High rates of economic growth have not improved the everyday lives of most of Ivorians. They continue to struggle with high unemployment rates and rising prices. The government says it takes time to see the fruits of the work being done.

Analysts say the government needs to step up its focus on job creation by adapting the education system to the needs of the market and retraining the ‘lost generation’ that was not properly educated during the political crisis from 2002 to 2011. President Alassane Ouattara’s government has spent more than 100bn CFA francs to rehabilitate and build universities, but many tiertiary education reforms remain incomplete.

Private-sector investment rose to 452bn CFA francs in the year through September2013 from 224bn in the same period in 2012, but the government is still the largest source of investment. Commerce minister Jean-Louis Billon says that high taxes and the poor state of infrastructure are the reasons for the lack of investor enthusiasm. Investors and observers are troubled by corruption and bad governance at every level of the administration. In the first three months of 2013, 57% of government contracts were awarded without open and competitive bidding.

ar-infographie-cote-d-ivoire-2014-2INSTABILITY CONCERNS

Despite new commercial courts and a competition commission, observers point out the difficulties President Ouattara, a former deputy head of the International Monetary Fund, is having to improve the business environment. In June, a group including CMACGM, a Marseille-based shipping line, appealed a bid won by French company Bolloré to build and run a second container terminal at the port of Abidjan, saying the government violated anti-trust laws. The Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest-Africaine’s competition department is investigating the bid. Despite clear improvements, the country’s stability remains a concern. The government had only demobilised and reintegrated 11,000 of 65,000 former fighters by October 2013. A series of attacks launched from Liberia and Ghana in 2012 led to a government crackdown on insecurity. In Abidjan, the military presence is now smaller and roadblocks have almost disappeared. More widely, security has improved,but some pockets of conflict remain, especially in the west, where an attack in March killed a dozen people. If violence has gone down, land conflicts are on the rise as refugees slowly return home to see their farms occupied. As many as 60,000 people –many of them supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo - are still in Liberia.

Political dialogue between the ruling Rassemblement des Houphouétistes pour la Démocratie et la Paix coalition and the Front Populaire Ivoirien (FPI), the party of former President Gbagbo, has not progressed. However, the release in August of 14 pro-Gbagbo officials, including his son Michel and Pascal Affi N’Guessan, the FPI president, has calmed tensions.

The government nonetheless continues to send contradictory signs. The Commission Dialogue, Vérité et Réconciliation, which completed its mandate in September 2013, failed to reconcile Ivorians or even initiate are conciliation process. Despite Ouattara’s promises of fair and impartial justice, prosecutors have not charged any of his supporters for their crimes during the conflict. In this context, the Côte d’ Ivoire government’s refusal to transfer Simone Gbagbo, the wife of the former president, to the International Criminal Court has raised many questions. The government says the local justice system is now capable of judging her. Gbagbo supporters say that this move is away for Ouattara to prevent his own supporters from being sent to The Hague one day. The next ICC decision that the government has to make relates to the court’s issuing of an arrest warrant for Gbagbo supporter Charles Blé Goudé in October 2013.

THE PDCI AND THE CULT OF SENIORITY

THE LONG-DELAYED CONGRESS of the Parti Démocratique de Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI), which took place in October, brought the re-election of former President Henri Konan Bédié. While the theme was “renewal, rejuvenation and renaissance”, the leaders of the PDCI - which led the country to independence in 1960 - again chose Bédié, now aged 79. The members of the congress had deleted statutes limiting the PDCI president’s maximum age to 75, which created turmoil within the party’s ranks. Bédié’s re-election was not surprising. He has maintained a steady hand over the party since the death of President Felix Houphouët-Boigny in 1993, and the PDCI cultivates a cult of seniority. But with 93% of the vote, the congress became a demonstration of strength, and made it clear that he is not ready to step down.

Without a doubt, his two main rivals – PDCI secretary general Alphonse Djédjé Mady and Kouadio Konan Bertin, the 43-year-old outspoken leader of the PDCI youth wing – received the message. Some at the congress called for the PDCI to present its own candidate in the 2015 presidential elections, but Bédié wants his coalition with President Alassane Ouattara’s Rassemblement des Républicains – the Rassemblement des Houphouétistes pour la Démocratie et la Paix to support Ouattara’s bid.

TOP IVORIAN COMPANIES

Rank 2012Rank 2011CompanySectorCountryTurnover (Thds $)Turnover changeNet profits
8173SOCIT IVOIRIENNE DE RAFFINAGEREFININGCTE D IVOIRE1,819,328-6.63%-30,048
145183SIFCAAGRIBUSINESSCTE D IVOIRE997,13535.00%194,930
215198CARGILL WEST AFRICAAGRIBUSINESSCTE D IVOIRE629,701NA2,328
271236COMPAGNIE IVOIRIENNE DLECTRICITELECTRICITYCTE D IVOIRE490,592-10.58%12,267
300265SOC. NAT. DOPRATIONS PTROLIRESPETROLEUMCTE D IVOIRE427,828-11.12%67,007
302270ORANGE CTE DIVOIRETELECOMSCTE D IVOIRE425,270-8.55%15,627
303321SANIA CIEAGRIBUSINESSCTE D IVOIRE424,99915.77%-5,593
315279MTN CTE DIVOIRETELECOMSCTE D IVOIRE395,420NA58,919
327397SOC. AFRICAINE DE PLANTATIONS DHVASAGRIBUSINESSCTE D IVOIRE376,58935.62%88,323
382456OUTSPAN IVOIREAGRIBUSINESSCTE D IVOIRE307,47932.04%405
385-PALMCIAGRIBUSINESSCTE D IVOIRE302,773102.89%56,805
393418GROUPE EUROFIND AFRIQUEDIVERSIFIEDCTE D IVOIRE296,54514.01%0
402383TOTAL CTE DIVOIREPETROL. SERVICESCTE D IVOIRE289,097-1.69%5,856
405373CTE DIVOIRE TLCOMTELECOMSCTE D IVOIRE281,617-7.80%26,992
413-NSIA PARTICIPATIONS S.ADIVERSIFIEDCTE D IVOIRE272,47936.05%15,724
446349SOCIT MULTINATIONALE DE BITUMESREFININGCTE D IVOIRE243,981-25.20%6,330
450-ATLANTIQUE TLCOM CTE DIVOIRETELECOMSCTE D IVOIRE242,262NA47,909
454467PROSUMARETAILCTE D IVOIRE236,1874.64%1,167
457478IND. PROMOTION SERVICES WEST AFRICADIVERSIFIEDCTE D IVOIRE233,1306.65%0
461458SOC. DE LIMONADERIES ET BRASS. DAFRIQUEBEVERAGESCTE D IVOIRE231,7660.35%36,288
475453COMP. DE DISTRIBUTION DE CTE DIVOIRERETAILCTE D IVOIRE220,748-5.50%-392
499-SOCIT AFRICAINE DE CACAO (SACO)AGRIBUSINESSCTE D IVOIRE206,879NA1,544
 

 

TOP IVORIAN BANKS

Rank 2012Rank 2011Bank nameCountryTotal assetsNet interest incomeLoansDeposits
98109ATLANTIC FINANCIAL GROUP*CTE DIVOIRE1,760,305119,691921,6231,308,006
111105SOC. GN. DE BANQUES EN CTE DIVOIRECTE DIVOIRE1,506,394103,417873,2191,262,261
148151BIAO CTE DIVOIRECTE DIVOIRE885,87051,91700
152144ECOBANK CTE DIVOIRE*CTE DIVOIRE832,96964,717550,578610,993
157145BANQUE ATLANTIQUE - CTE DIVOIRECTE DIVOIRE775,70034,404218,982728,919
158173BANQUE NATIONALE DINVESTISSEMENTCTE DIVOIRE766,24936,466274,206645,740
162152BICICICTE DIVOIRE739,38149,101409,770596,768
167166SOCIT IVOIRIENNE DE BANQUECTE DIVOIRE673,29648,976403,864553,209
 


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