September 2011

IZA Policy Paper No. 30: Surviving the Turbulence Is Not Enough: Can Côte d'Ivoire Flourish Again?

Amelie F. Constant, Bienvenue N. Tien

Côte d'Ivoire is the world’s largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans, it accounts for 40% of the WAEMU's output, and 11% of its population are immigrant workers. Any political instability in the country will not only affect the domestic economy, but it will also affect the international trading markets. In addition, it will affect the West Africa region through trading of goods, through migration and the financial and banking sectors. With the new President sworn in on May 21, 2011, the political crisis is officially over. Real national reconciliation, however, will take much longer to happen. Serious economic issues need to be addressed, the country has high public debt, and its small and medium enterprises – the backbone of the economy – are severely hit. Côte d'Ivoire lags behind other developing countries in its preparedness and economic performance towards the Knowledge Economy, its educational sector is underperforming and powerless in producing a competitive labor force. Can the new President heal wounds and make the country flourish again?