Cote d’Ivoire

COTE D'IVOIRE (IVORY COAST)

RISK RATING
Moderate
Default High Risk Score 3.80
Normal Average 3.39
Weighted Average 3.37
RISK RATING HISTORY
RISK RATING SCALE

Risk Rating Scale

Severe: 8.0 to 10
High: 6.0 to 7.9
Elevated: 4.0 to 5.9
Moderate: 2.0 to 3.9
Low: 0.0 to 1.9
EXCHANGE RATE
Country Outlook

President Alassane Ouattara was re-elected to a controversial third term in late 2020 after the main opposition parties boycotted the vote. The political polarisation of the country has raised fears of renewed violence in coming years. Regardless, Côte d’Ivoire’s economy is set to recover in 2021 from a pandemic and elections induced slowdown in 2020. During his two terms in office, Ouattara has overseen remarkable economic growth, although much of the newly created wealth is found only in Abidjan, leaving vast parts of the country economically marginalised. Ouattara will be cautious to protect his legacy, including his recent drive to transition West Africa’s CFA currency to the ECO. Ouattara played an instrumental role in persuading France to give up its influence in the Union économique et monétaire ouest africaine (UEMOA).

  • A controversial third term for President Ouattara is the most favourable outcome for the immediate term commercial risk outlook as contracts signed over the past decade will be protected from reviews and corruption probes. Ouattara’s government will continue its massive infrastructure development in Abidjan, which is now also being extended to northern impoverished regions. However, the 2020 elections process was criticised by key partners such as France, the EU, and US. Several opposition leaders have been side-lined, while others boycotted the vote. An aging political elite remains in power, which is at odds with the country’s young and often agitated population. The risk of political violence will extend well into 2021 and beyond.
  • Security sector reform is needed to improve counterterrorism capability but could trigger military unrest. The government is increasingly concerned about the threat of Islamist militancy after a rise in attacks and arrests near its border with southern Mali by a combination of ethnic Fulani groups and elements of the Harakat Ansar al-Din militant group, which is allied to AQIM. Security forces are deploying in northern regions to set up a buffer zone against Sahel-based Islamist insurgents. It is likely that militant groups will seek to recruit disaffected Fulani in CĂ´te d’Ivoire, focusing on elements from the former rebel Forces Nouvelles. On the other hand, implementing necessary security reforms would increase the risk of further mutinies and military unrest.
  • Economic growth in CĂ´te d’Ivoire is projected to reach 1.8 percent in 2020, which is well above the African regional average rate, despite the country’s vulnerability to external shocks. The short- and medium-term outlook nonetheless remains highly unstable as global demand for Ivorian exports such as cocoa, metals, and oil drops. The country’s economy has been one of the world’s fastest growing since peace returned after civil wars in 2002 and 2010-2011. In March 2020, a rebasing of the country’s GDP boosted the country’s reported 2015 GDP by nearly 40 percent to more than USD 47 billion. CĂ´te d’Ivoire has tapped international bond markets several times in the past few years and may continue to do so as it seeks new revenue flows.
CUMULATIVE AND DAILY COVID-19 INFECTIONS AND DEATH RATE
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND | DATAMAPPER
Risk Perils
Political Instability
3.5
Expropriation, Nationalisation, Confiscation & Deprivation
3.0
Contract Frustration & Breach
3.5
Taxation
3.0
Bribery & Corruption
3.0
Regulatory Burden
3.5
Strikes, Riots & Civil Commotion
3.8
Security
3.8
Sovereign Default
3.0
Economic Volatiliy
3.8

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