Challenges in the Extractive Industry of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Côte d’Ivoire in its history was considered as the most political stable and economically successful of West African states. In this regards the 1970s were declared ‘’the Ivoirian miracle’’ because of the prosperity and the economic boom triggered by the agriculture revenues. The country is one of the largest producers and exporters of cocoa and coffee and palm oil. The two thirds of the population work in the agricultural sector. Unfortunately the reputation of the country for its political stability has been severely tarnished by the deadly violent conflict of September 2002. That politician turmoil undermined the economic growth with 0.2% from 2000 to 2007.

During this last decade we observed that the Ivoirian economy shift from agricultural based economy to extractive one. Indeed, crude oil and the refined products have overtaken cocoa and coffee as the main sources of exportation receipts the united nation trade and development conference data shows that that 36.9% of wood of exportations in 2006 were extractive products while cocoa represented 25%, rubber 4 % and wood 3.% . By contrast, in 2002 cocoa counted for 45.1 % of exportations. Today oil output has become the main source of foreign exchange earnings. After some years of stagnation (2001-2003), the Ivoirian economy grew slightly, 1.5% per annum between 2004 and 2007 thanks to oil and natural gas. The Ministry of mine and energy forcasts the crude oil growth from 46.000 barrels per day in 2008 to 57,000 barrels per day in 2009. As far as natural gas is concerned there will be a shift from 140 million to 170 millions in the 2009. In 2008 new old mines have been discovered during I Yaouré (Yamoussoukro, (political capital)), Bonikro (Hiré) and the most important one, the gold mine of Tongo discovered by the South African company Randgold resources. That gold mine will produce between 90 and 120 tons by 2010.

In front of this extractive industry boom the Ivoirian government decided to endorse the EITI extractive industry initiative transparency principles in February, 2008. H.E Laurent Gbagbo signed the decree setting up and anti-corruption committee. That committee has the mandate to work for transparency in extractive industry field.

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