Cote d’Ivoire in 2016 is expected to grow by 8.5%. Investors welcomed the many reforms undertaken by countries in Francophone Africa redisplay the best performance.
According to the latest semi-annual report “Global Economic Prospects” of the World Bank, Côte d’Ivoire is expected to this year’s growth of 8.5%, following an annual growth of 9.3% over the period 2012-2015. This would be the strongest growth, ahead of that provided for Tanzania (7.2%), which ranks second. The year 2016 would be the fifth consecutive year of strong growth. On this five-year period, she établerait to 9.2% on average and would be the highest in the continent, slightly ahead of that of Ethiopia (9.1%) which is expected to slow to 7.1% this year.
However, the performance achieved by the Ivory Coast is of greater magnitude, given its level of development already well above that of Ethiopia (GDP per capita was $ 1,400 end of 2015, against 620 dollars) . Incidentally, remember that Cote d’Ivoire is a country of 24 million people, slightly larger than Italy and a third larger than the UK. And, contrary to what the majority of maps, based on the Mercator projection which represents as two to three times smaller.
A reformer and attractive country
By the end of the political crisis of the 2000s, Côte d’Ivoire is engaged in deep economic reforms aimed at establishing a favorable investment environment. With the goal of becoming an emerging country by 2020, many measures have been taken to facilitate, secure and better manage investments, whether foreign or not: implementation of a new investment code in 2012, of a one-stop business creation, an exchange platform for centralizing the support of development partners of the business environment … the whole, taking care to maintain a low tax burden of around 16.7% of GDP in 2016 (slightly less than the minimum 17% foreseen for the countries of the UEMOA).
Between its editions in 2012 and 2016, Ivory Coast has jumped 25 places in the ranking of Doing Business World Bank, from the 167th to the 142nd spot. At first glance, it may still appear insufficient, but there should be clear that countries like Nigeria (first African economy) and Angola (5th economy, and Portuguese) are ranked at the 169th and 181st spot. Moreover, Côte d’Ivoire has been designated the most attractive sub-Saharan economy for investment, the 2015 report from Nielsen Africa Prospects Indicators (API). She is ahead of Kenya and Nigeria, which goes from the first to the fourth.
The reforms undertaken by the country, its diversified economy, concerns about a number of countries heavily dependent on natural resources, or its particularly stable currency (unlike many African countries) explain this apparent renewed appeal . Finally, the country does not forget to invest heavily in education and training, which will weigh this year to nearly 22% of the national budget (18% yoy).
Francophone Africa reaffirms its leadership
According to the same report, five of the ten best continental performance for the year 2016 should be carried out by French-speaking countries (5 of 10 in 2015, and 6 of 10 in 2014). With a forecast of 6.6%, Senegal would rank 5th, tailgating Rwanda, English (6.8%), and ahead of three other French-speaking countries: Djibouti (6.5%), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC 6.3%) and Cameroon (6.0%).
Like the Ivory Coast, the performance achieved by Cameroon (1250 dollars / hab.) Or by Senegal (910 dollars) deserve more attention because of their higher level of development than the majority of sub-Saharan countries, including Rwanda ($ 700 / hab.) and Tanzania (860 dollars). Finally, five other French-speaking countries should know more than 5% growth, as Mali (5.3%, after 5.5% in 2015) and Benin (5.5%, after 5.2% last year ).
More generally, the Francophone sub-Saharan Africa should again reach the top of Africa’s growth for the third consecutive year and fourth time in five years. This set had achieved an overall annual growth of 5.1% on average over the period 2012-2015 (and even 5.6% excluding very particular case of Equatorial Guinea). The average was 3.7% for sub-Saharan Anglophone Africa (Rwanda and Ethiopia included).
With various ongoing diversification programs ( “Strategic Plan Emerging Gabon”, “Cameroon emergence in 2035” …), the majority of French oil producers and ores countries should continue to better withstand the collapse of Contents first. After a 4% growth in 2015 to Gabon, 6.2% for Cameroon and 7.7% for the DRC, these countries are expected to reach 3.9% rates, respectively, 6.0% and 6 3%.
For its part, the Congo is expected to show 3.8%. This also applies to Algeria, further north (3.4%). Elsewhere on the continent, growth is projected at 0.8% for Nigeria (2.7% in 2015), 0.9% for Angola (2.8% in 2015) and 3.4% Zambia (3.6% in 2015). South Africa, still quite dependent on its mining, is expected to post 0.6% (1.3% in 2015).
France has a sufficiently
With this growing Francophone Africa, spanning 14 million km2 (3.1 times the European Union) and comprising 370 million inhabitants, France has made only 3.7% of its foreign trade 2014, and only 1.1% with its Saharan part. For the latter, which does not stop at the CFA zone, China is now the largest supplier, ahead of France ( market share of 13.6% against 9.7%).
Our country also shines by its absence in the now largest francophone countries in the world, the DRC (74 million, 3% market share) and has been overtaken by Morocco as the first foreign investor in Ivory coast in 2015 …
Ilyes Zouari is deputy secretary of the journal “Population & Avenir”
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