Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) is regarded as one of Africa’s star performers with strong economic growth of 8.5 percent GDP annually and subdued inflation, producing 40 percent of the world’s cocoa beans.
Although the IMF forecasts GDP growth to slow a little to 7.5 percent in the period to 2020, it remains comfortably above its regional peers.
Ivory Coast produced 2.4million m3 of logs in 2014 (ITTO), of which 86 percent was destined for the domestic market. Only logs from plantation are permitted to be exported, with China, India, Italy and Senegal taking delivery of nearly half of exports. In addition to plantation logs, the main exports are flooring, mouldings, sawn wood, veneer and plywood.
The Ivory Coast government is working closely to form a Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the EU and to implement policies that will ensure adherence with EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). According to FLEGT, forests cover 22 percent of Ivory Coast, while 2 percent of this is primary forest, and the government is engaging in reforestation to increase the presence of Teak, Black Afara and Gmelina.
Having emerged from two civil wars, the first of which began in 2002 and the last ended in 2011, international corporations are again turning their attention to the country, where the economic boom is driven by infrastructure investment primarily focused on the commercial capital Abidjan.
US-educated President Alassane Ouattara has ruled the country of 22.67 million inhabitants since the elections in 2010 and has presided over a period of economic strength and has promised to halve the proportion of the population that is poor (46.3 percent in 2015) by 2020 when he is due to step down.
If Ivory Coast sees a peaceful succession at the elections in 2020 “it could regain the status it had in the 1970s as an economic powerhouse.” (The Economist)