Ivory Coast Economy Facts

Economical overview

Agriculture is the most important industry in the Ivory Coast, which is the world’s largest exporter of cocoa. During the 2000s, the country has also become a significant oil and gas producer. Gold and diamonds are also mined. Despite the good conditions, the war and the political conflicts from the turn of the millennium caused economic development to stop. From 2012, growth has accelerated again.

There are major regional differences in economic development. With the port city of Abidjan as the financial center, the southern Ivory Coast has a relatively strong economy, while the northern parts of the country are relatively undeveloped. Throughout the country, the so-called informal sector of the economy is extensive. This includes, for example, smuggling and trade that is not registered with the authorities.

  • Countryaah.com: Major imports by Ivory Coast, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.

In addition to cocoa, much coffee is grown, although coffee exports have decreased in importance in recent years. The dependence on a few export crops has made the economy sensitive to rapid changes in world market prices and weather. The Ivorian governments have therefore widened the economic base with, for example, oil and gas extraction.

During the troubled years between 1999 and 2003, an economic downturn occurred, especially in the north where almost all trade had to take the road via Mali and Burkina Faso. From 2007, when the peace agreement was signed, the economy began to grow so slowly, partly because the government succeeded in reducing government spending. At the same time, inflation was driven by high world market prices for oil and food, both major imports for the Ivory Coast.

  • Abbreviationfinder.org: Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including IC which represents the country of Ivory Coast. Check findjobdescriptions to learn more about Ivory Coast.

The situation deteriorated again during the unrest after the elections in 2010. The economy shrank by more than 4 percent the following year, while the outside world imposed financial sanctions on the country (for example, ban on exports of cocoa and coffee). Budget deficits rose and loan repayments were canceled. For a period, the government was unable to pay salaries to civil servants.

Following President Ouattara’s resignation the same year, the economy gradually began to recover as the political situation stabilized. The outside world claimed sanctions on the country and international investment increased. Between 2012 and 2014, annual growth averaged close to 10 percent, while inflation was moderate.

Foreign debt is large and burdens the economy, despite the fact that the country has received a number of significant debt write-offs. During the Civil War, the IMF and the World Bank suspended their support for the Ivory Coast. In 2009, new loans were granted on condition that they were used to combat poverty and increase transparency in central government finances. In 2011, France and the EU again provided financial support, while the IMF granted a crisis loan over a three-year period. The United States also increased its assistance to the Ivory Coast. In an assessment in 2015, the country received praise from the IMF for the economic policy conducted in recent years.

Ivory Coast is dependent on its foreign trade, which in time of peace has produced a large surplus. However, the country’s position as a regional trading center has been damaged and the state is also losing important income due to smuggling of cocoa, among other things, to neighboring countries.


GDP per person

US $ 1 716 (2018)

Total GDP

US $ 43,007 million (2018)

GDP growth

7.4 percent (2018)

Agriculture’s share of GDP

19.8 percent (2018)

Manufacturing industry’s share of GDP

12.8 percent (2018)

The service sector’s share of GDP

32.6 percent (2018)

External debt

US $ 13,433 million (2017)


West African Franc

Merchandise exports

US $ 11,853 million (2017)


US $ 8 487 million (2017)

Current account

– US $ 1,047 million (2017)

Commodity trade’s share of GDP

52 percent (2018)

Main export goods

cocoa, timber, coffee, canned fish, cotton

Largest trading partner




Lime barons are being dropped for corruption

15 formerly called “cocoa barons” are sentenced to 20 years in prison and fines for misappropriating money from the coffee and cocoa industry. 13 people were acquitted at the same time. All had been arrested in 2008 under Gbagbo’s rule.


Militia leaders and former ministers are prosecuted

The ICC publishes its indictment against Charles Blé Goudé for war crimes (including murder and rape). He is identified as an important person in the circle around Laurent Gbagbo.


Simone Gbagbo is to be prosecuted in his home country

The government says that one should bring Simone Gbagbo, Laurent Gbagbo’s wife, to justice in the home country and that it is therefore not intended to extradite her to the International Criminal Court (ICC).


Gbagbo trailer is released

As a reconciliation gesture, President Ouattara releases 14 prisoners linked to Gbagbo, including his son Michel Gbagbo, FPI leader Pascal Affi N’Guessan and the former head of the West African Central Bank.


The UN force is losing weight

The UN Security Council extends the UN force’s mandate but at the same time decides that the force should be lost from a maximum number of 10 400 men to just over 7 100 men. By 2015, the force will be reduced further, and will cover more than 5,400 soldiers.


Ouattara trailers are seized

Miles leader Amade Oueremi, whose group is suspected of a massacre in March 2011, is arrested. The militia supported Ouattara during the unrest. However, it is not known if any prosecution has been brought.


Minor unrest about local elections

Local and regional elections will be held on April 21. FPI chooses to boycott the election, which is quiet in most places. However, unrest erupts in Yamoussoukro (and to a lesser extent in Abidjan) the day after the election, when supporters of losing candidates protest the result.


Gbagbominists are handed over

The former youth minister of Gbagbo’s government, Charles Blé Goudé, is being extradited to the Ivory Coast from Ghana. In his home country he is charged with war crimes.

Ivory Coast Economy Facts

You may also like...