Ivory Coast Industry

Ivory Coast has a relatively well-developed industrial sector. The manufacturing industry is primarily focused on the processing of agricultural products, especially cocoa, but also coffee, sugar, cotton, palm oil, fruit and fish (especially tuna preserved). The country also has a large oil refinery. Most of the industries are in the Abidjan area.

Ivory Coast

A devaluation in 1994 made Ivorian industrial goods more competitive and provided a boost for the industrial sector. Privatization also led to increased foreign investment and the industry began to modernize. The coup in 1999 and the political turmoil of the following years slowed this development. Many factories had to turn again, others went on a low flame. Since cotton is grown mainly in the north, the textile industry in the south has had difficulty obtaining raw materials during wartime, while significant quantities of cotton have been sold across the northern borders to Burkina Faso and Mali.

The industry recovered after the civil war, in order to suffer a new downturn in connection with the 2010/2011 unrest. Subsequently, the situation has improved again. Almost all new investments have gone to the oil industry. In May 2015, however, the country’s first major chocolate factory in Abidjan was opened by the French company Cémoi.

Foreign trade

Ivory Coast is dependent on its foreign trade, which in time of peace has produced a large surplus. The devaluation of the currency, CFA franc, in 1994 accelerated exports, which were then dominated by cocoa. In the 00s, imports have risen faster than exports, but the trade balance has nevertheless been very positive as a result of increased oil exports. The state is losing important income due to extensive smuggling of cocoa to neighboring countries, among others.

For a long time, cocoa accounted for about 40 percent of exports, but since 2005, oil export revenues have been greater (in 2008, crude oil accounted for 15 percent of total exports, while refined oil products accounted for just over 21 percent). Other important export goods are rubber, sawn timber, fruit, coffee, cotton, canned fish and palm oil. The country mainly imports crude oil, rice and wheat, raw materials for industry, machinery, vehicles and fish.

A large part of the Ivory Coast trade with the EU. France does not have the same dominant role as trading partners as before. The United States, Nigeria, the Netherlands and Germany were among the country’s largest export markets in 2010, while imports came mainly from Nigeria, followed by France, China and Thailand.

Ivory Coast’s position as a regional trading center was damaged by the civil war and the 2010/2011 conflict. From time to time the borders were kept closed and the rebels’ control of the main road from north to south made transportation difficult. The country’s revenue from transit traffic decreased. In the northern rebel-controlled part of the country, almost all trade has at times been with Burkina Faso and Mali.


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



Ivory Coast has beautiful beaches and tropical rainforest that should be able to attract foreign visitors, but the political turmoil has hit the tourism industry hard. Most hotels and tourist facilities are located in Abidjan and the nearby seaside resort of Grand-Bassam. At most, 300,000 foreign visitors came in 1998, when charter companies began to organize trips to the country.

After the 2010/2011 conflict, the government is trying to gain momentum in the tourism industry and in the long term hope to attract over two million visitors. There are plans to develop so-called ecotourism in what remains of the rainforest.


Number of foreign visitors per year

1,583,000 (2016)

tourist revenue

US $ 214,000,000 (2015)

The share of tourist income from exports

1.7 percent (2015)



Dispute as to where Simone Gbagbo should be brought to trial

Judges at the ICC ruled that Simone Gbagbo (see October 2014) must be extradited to The Hague to stand trial there. If the Ivory Coast does not comply with the ICC’s decision, the country risks sanctions. At the end of the month, however, the trial of Simone Gbagbo in Abidjan begins.



Prosecution is brought against Gbagbo supporters

A lawsuit against Simone Gbagbo, wife of Laurent Gbagbo, their son Michel Gbagbo, FPI politician Pascal Affi N’Guessan and over 80 others will start on October 22. The charges relate to financial crimes. Simone Gbagbo is wanted by the ICC , but the government has decided that her case should be tried in the country. She has been in house arrest since 2011. However, the trial against Simone Gbagbo is postponed before it can begin with reference to logistical problems.


Opposition party jumps off the Election Commission

Gbagbo’s party FPI decides to leave the country’s election commission. This occurs after the party has long decided to participate in the work of the Commission. something that gave hope that the FPI, which boycotted the 2011 elections, would take part in the 2015 presidential election. The FPI believes that the Ouattara camp has too many seats on the commission. However, the party claims to be prepared for new talks about its participation.


Gbagbo is prosecuted in The Hague

The ICC announces that the court has now collected sufficient evidence against Laurent Gbagbo so that the trial against him can start. The prosecution concerns crimes against humanity , including murder and sexual violence.


The militia is handed over to The Hague

The government decides that Charles Blé Goudé should be extradited to the ICC (see October 2013). He arrives in The Hague on March 22. According to ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, the court continues to investigate several other persons. Among them, President of the National Assembly, Soro is believed to be like many others who fought on President Ouattara’s side. There are also signs that Ouattara is trying to limit the influence of the military, but many of the military commanders who joined Abidjan in April 2011 have high positions today.

Political dispute over new census

In mid-March, a new census will be launched in the country. The opposition party FPI accuses President Ouattara of exploiting it to be re-elected and claims that the 30,000 who will carry out the work have been recruited along ethnic lines and that the government’s plan is that even newly arrived immigrants should be allowed to vote in the 2015 presidential election. some connection between census and voting lengths.


Reconciliation work is criticized

President Ouattara extends the mandate of the National Reconciliation Commission. At the same time, it receives criticism from human rights organizations for its work resulting in so few concrete results.

Ivory Coast Industry

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