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Economy – Ivory Coast News Today
GDP per capita development
Ivory Coast has, for the region, a relatively high income per capita (US$1,662 in 2017) and plays a key role in transit trade for neighbouring landlocked countries. The country is the largest economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, constituting 40% of the monetary union’s total GDP. Ivory Coast is the fourth-largest exporter of general goods in sub-Saharan Africa (following South Africa, Nigeria, and Angola).
The country is the world’s largest exporter of cocoa beans. In 2009, cocoa-bean farmers earned $2.53 billion for cocoa exports and were projected to produce 630,000 metric tons in 2013. Ivory Coast also has 100,000 rubber farmers who earned a total of $105 million in 2012.
Close ties to France since independence in 1960, diversification of agricultural exports, and encouragement of foreign investment have been factors in economic growth. In recent years, Ivory Coast has been subject to greater competition and falling prices in the global marketplace for its primary crops of coffee and cocoa. That, compounded with high internal corruption, makes life difficult for the grower, those exporting into foreign markets, and the labour force; instances of indentured labour have been reported in the country’s cocoa and coffee production in every edition of the U.S. Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor since 2009.
Ivory Coast’s economy has grown faster than that of most other African countries since independence. One possible reason for this might be taxes on exported agriculture. Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Kenya were exceptions as their rulers were themselves large cash-crop producers, and the newly independent countries desisted from imposing penal rates of taxation on exported agriculture. As such, their economies did well.
Around 7.5 million people made up the workforce in 2009. The workforce took a hit, especially in the private sector, during the early 2000s with numerous economic crises since 1999. Furthermore, these crises caused companies to close and move locations, especially in the tourism industry, and transit and banking companies. Decreasing job markets posed a huge issue as unemployment rates grew. Unemployment rates raised to 9.4% in 2012. Solutions proposed to decrease unemployment included diversifying jobs in small trade. This division of work encouraged farmers and the agricultural sector. Self-employment policy, established by the Ivorian government, allowed for very strong growth in the field with an increase of 142% in seven years from 1995.