STATE OF THE ECONOMY OF COTE D’IVOIRE AT THE BEGINNING OF 2012
The political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire in the aftermath of the second round of the presidential elections of 28 November 2010 led to an armed conflict between the defense and security forces under the orders of outgoing President Gbagbo and the forces Republicans of Côte d’Ivoire loyal to Mr. Ouattara, president-elect and recognized by the international community.
The escalation of violence and the use of heavy weapons has left the civilian population with more than 900 deaths, according to the United Nations, thousands injured and an impressive number of Ivorian refugees in Liberia and In neighboring Ghana.
The post-electoral crisis and the sanctions of the international community have weighed heavily on the national economy. The country therefore found itself in a liquidity situation, as almost all financial institutions as well as private companies were forced to stop their activities due to insecurity and the suspension of the banking clearing system. The Central Bank of the States of West Africa (BCEAO).
A gradual recovery in the economy, as highlighted in the table below, was expected in 2012 (5.9%) under the assumption that the security situation would return to normal in the second half of 2011, With the lifting of sanctions and the resumption of international cooperation. Côte d’Ivoire’s economic and social prospects in the medium term depend largely on the pacification of the country and on the proper implementation of emergency reconstruction programs.
Table 1: Macroeconomic indicators
The second part of 2011 saw the implementation of the emergency measures necessary to normalize the security situation, thus enabling the development partners to support the Ivorian authorities in their efforts to reconcile and reconstruct Enabling a climate of confidence conducive to the development of the private sector.
Thus, Côte d’Ivoire and the French Development Agency (AFD) formally signed a loan agreement of 350 million euros. France and its companies are actively involved in reviving the Ivorian economy.
French firms are ready to accompany the revival of the Ivorian economy and are beginning to restart their activities, despite the large losses incurred by some of them, such as ORANGE, which saw 60% of its technical infrastructure affected by Events in 2011. The suspension of the sending of SMS by the Gbagbo camp also resulted in a daily shortfall of 200 million CFA francs for three months for telecom operators.
In the energy sector, the hydrocarbons sub-sector, announces losses of the order of 200 billion Francs CfA, and the Cie-Sodeci Group (water and electricity) estimates its losses at more than 10 billion CFA francs.
The Banks suffered direct losses of 10 billion, to which must be added nearly 500 billion of compromised debts.
Alongside emergency measures taken by the Government of Mr. Ouattara, management, presented a series of proposals to boost the economy of the country, with priority:
more transparency in business management,
the end of the legal uncertainty that hampered the smooth running of the private sector,
road rehabilitation and extension of the network.
Indeed, the crisis that Côte d’Ivoire has experienced since September 2002 has contributed to the disorganization of the road maintenance sector. The suspension of financial support from the World Bank and other bilateral donors, in particular the AFD, has led to the slowing down or even halting of all road maintenance programs in progress before the outbreak of the crisis. This situation makes it virtually impracticable for the road network in land, which is the preferred means of displacement of people and the flow of agricultural production. The other disadvantage is the coastal road (road Abidjan-San Pedro) which is currently in a deplorable state.
Among the initiatives announced by Ouattara’s government were the revival of public investments, the financing of major infrastructure projects, the reduction of corporate tax burdens, the development of the secondary and tertiary sectors, the renegotiation of oil contracts deemed too favorable To foreign operators and the return to a single management body of the coffee-cocoa sector, which is partly liberalized. The Head of State undertook to clean up the “coffee-cocoa” sector, reinstate a guaranteed minimum purchase price for farmers and limit all State taxes to 25% of the price international. It is also planned to introduce a shared levy to finance the modernization of production tools and rural infrastructure.
Since May 2011, the teams have multiplied meetings with donors, another source of funding for its governance program, which it has calculated at 10 000 billion CFA francs (15 billion euros) for the five years Of its mandate.
The entire Energy sector has redesigned energy policy in the framework of the seminar held on 9 and 10 June 2011 in Yamoussoukro, one of the objectives of which is to increase production from 50,000 to 300,000 barrels a day in the medium term.
Abidjan’s ambition is to become a petroleum transshipment port and to host a large platform specializing in refining and related products.
In order to promote job creation, Alassane Ouattara also gave instructions to quickly resume the major works, notably the renovation of the Hôtel Ivoire, entrusted to the Pierre Fakhoury Operator (PFO), and the construction of a Third bridge, attributed to the French Bouygues.
What do we see, currently when we go to Cote d’Ivoire?
On arrival, Houphouët Boigny Airport normally operates, the city seems to have resumed its appearance of modern African capital, if one moves safely during the day, it is nevertheless necessary to avoid some neighborhood at night.
During the day, the circulation of vehicles is penalized by the numerous works in progress for the rehabilitation of priority infrastructures, such as roads, water, electricity and telecommunications networks.
The city does not seem to have to deal with untimely water and electricity cuts.
The large hotels work well and no shortage is felt for guests.
When leaving Abidjan by road in the direction of the Yamoussoukro capital, the Abidjan-Ndouci highway existing since the 1980s, remains in relatively good conditions, the operations of clearing of the verges recently carried out made it possible to find the double rising tracks and downward, as shown a picture taken January 24, 2012.
the construction of the motorway section between N’douci and Yamoussoukro, arrested several times during the crisis have resumed and is proceeding now at a normal pace.
By continuing in the direction of Bouafle and Daloa, the teams of the AGEROUTE (Agency in charge of road maintenance) continue the filling of the potholes, and this axis becomes gradually practicable, without yet presenting safety conditions Sufficient.
After Daloa, in the direction of Séguéla and Boundiali towards Mali, the paved road, which is not yet affected by the campaign to fill the potholes, imposes a circulation slowed down by the frequency and the extent of the degradations.
The town of Séguéla has obviously suffered from the conflict, the roads are no longer protected by asphalt, and the infrastructures are generally in poor condition, only one building has been rehabilitated. This is the old SIETO hotel, taken over by The Hotel President’s Chain of Yamoussoukro, which currently offers quality accommodation, with swimming pool, bar restaurant and night club.
When leaving Séguéla, to reach Bouake, via Mankono, the unpaved track is very badly degraded, which makes traffic very difficult. This rural road the subject of a rehabilitation program, a European financing, told a Spanish company and an Ivorian company should achieve 330 km of rehabilitation by July 2013.
On the security front the west central region , Is still pacifying, it is strongly advised not to travel on the roads of the region, since nightfall, because road cutters are regularly reported, by looting of vehicles and some killings of Drivers and passengers have been recently reported.
However, and in conclusion, the green light for the recovery is given.
Daniel GRANDE (SOFIOM)