The agriculture sector accounts for 25% of Ivory Coast’s GDP and employs two-thirds of the population. The country is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of cocoa beans and cashews1 and is also a significant producer of cash crops including rubber, palm oil, bananas, cotton and coffee.
Agricultural land has increased by more than 16% since 1991, which has given the country a strong position in the national, regional and international markets. The launch of the National Agricultural Investment Programme (PNIA), which covered the 2012 – 2016 period, saw approximately US$3.2 billion allocated to boost investments and increase agricultural production. Cash crops have grown from 4.9 billion tonnes in 2012 to more than 5.9 billion tonnes in 2015.
The government has announced the second phase of PNIA – which will be based on the establishment of agro-industrial zones or agropoles. Two pillars have been identified:
Ivory Coast is also one of the first agricultural countries that have started to implement an e-agriculture strategy. It was planned to implement a harmonised e-platform that gives access to information, services and training for the sector especially in rural areas.
2 Oxford Business Group
Reforms in property registration, governmental development programmes and efforts to improve the business environment are creating opportunities for housing finance and housing development sectors. Although the government’s effort in improving the business environment and sourcing foreign direct investment (FDI) to develop urban infrastructure and housing is paying off, there is still a need to innovate housing finance to bridge the gap between demand and supply of adequate and affordable houses.
Providing decent, affordable housing has become a key legislative component of Ivory Coast’s government, especially the need to strengthen the financing options for home buyers and real estate developers. The government has prioritised housing development through supporting real estate projects, and providing insurance for mortgage loans issued by banks. The country has the lowest mortgage interest rate (5.5%) in the region – as compared to other countries in West Africa that can go up to four times more.
Two-thirds of national electricity is produced by thermal power stations and 25% is generated by hydropower plants. Ivory Coast is a net exporter of electricity to neighbouring countries in the West African Power Pool (WAPP). The country has an extensive electricity network, moderate electricity prices and a reliable service. It was one of the first countries in SSA to privatise its electricity sector and to introduce independent power producers (IPPs), already in the 1980s.
Today, IPPs play a leading role in electricity generation based on a regulatory framework that defines how Ivory Coast regulates its independent producers. The cascading structure positions IPPs as first in line in payment orders. As part of National Development Plan 2016-20, Ivory Coast has set a goal of making the country an energy hub in Sub-Saharan Africa, providing quality, cheap and abundant energy to national and sub-regional populations.
In response to high economic growth, the country needs an average of 150MW of additional production capacity per year in the system in order to meet the increasing demand. Ivory Coast plans to invest US$20 billion over the next 15 years, and expects to increase its current capacity of 1,800MW to 4,000MW in 2020 by using gas and hydroelectric power. With the government still counting on private partners to increase national capacity, Singapore companies in related industries can find abundant opportunities in this sector.