The Power of Collaboration- 5 steps for closing the “expectation gap” around Africa’s resources

The Elephant of Africa – Côte d’Ivoire is open for business

19 March 2014 – South African is not the only country in Africa with a tangible National Development Plan. Côte d’Ivoire, ranked 167th by the World Bank, articulated its economic strategy in 2012.  The country aims to become a significant player in the emerging markets by 2020. To this end, it has developed a strong-minded foreign policy, which has helped its position as a leading economic power in West Africa region.

With a population of nearly 22 million inhabitants, a gross national income of over 1,700 USD per person, and an increasingly diversified economy, Côte d’Ivoire is the number one economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, representing 40% of the region’s collective Gross Domestic Product. According to the Economic Ministry, Côte d’Ivoire is also the second economic power of the Economic Community of West African States and is the gateway to a growing market of 300 million people.

Economic growth, which is estimated to reach 9.8% in 2014, will be driven by opportunities in natural resources. The Francophone country seeks to create a conducive business environment for investors and has established strong institutions in both public and private sectors to attract investment.

Cote d’Ivoire is a country with potential, and outlined below are projects that investors may look at:

Côte d’Ivoire Infrastructure:

Infrastructure remains a key avenue for future growth, as the government in Côte d’Ivoire has aligned structures and plans to encourage investment in the country for the years leading to 2015. Furthermore, in 20134, the government identified 38 projects to reform business climate and are aligned to the criteria that the World Bank focuses on, whereby in 2014, 34 reform projects have been identified and approved for funding and implementation by the World Bank.

Mining and Oil:

The country has an incredible mining potential, which can be attributed to the abundance of natural resources. There is investment potential in the oil sector with the government improving the business environment and transparency. Supplementary to that, the port infrastructure is the best in Africa, making the country a leader in the West African region.


This sector has significant development prospects, home to fertile land and pleasant climate. This country enjoys strong agriculture potential as the world’s biggest producer of cocoa and third largest coffee producer. Côte d’Ivoire is strategically situated for an agricultural revolution, where more than 70% of the country’s land is arable and is consecrated with 6 months of rainfall recorded annually. Additionally the African development Bank and International Office of Cocoa and Coffee are planning to locate their quarters in the Abidjan province, indicating a restored confidence in the country.

Education, employment and health:

These categories are important for any country’s sustainability and development to improve the standard of living for the people. Côte d’Ivoire is open for investment opportunities in these sectors where at the moment few investors are looking at this avenue. However there is a need for potential investors to look at construction of schools, hospitals, libraries and equipment for the operation of the nuclear medicine centre.

The relationship between South Africa and Côte d’Ivoire will enable South African investors – and even foreign investors with operations in South Africa – to become more aware of the immeasurable opportunities in the country.

This was reaffirmed at the KPMG Africa Exchange and in association with the SA-Zambia Chamber of Commerce and the Côte d’Ivoire Economic & Trade Office of Southern Africa country focus seminar which highlighted that Côte d’Ivoire is open for business.

For more information about Africa Exchange and upcoming country focused seminars, please visit

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Country Focus Seminars

The KPMG Global Africa Practice (GAP) co-host and sponsor monthly Country Focus Seminars, in conjunction with Africa Exchange (a company that facilitates trade and investment within 15 African countries) and the Zambian Chamber of Commerce. These events provide a unique platform to share highly relevant information in respect of Africa’s most exciting investment destinations, as well as for networking with the key decision makers of companies from all sectors of industry who are interested in investment or expansion into the rest of Africa.


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Thierry Colatrella, KPMG Head of Advisory, Francophone Africa.



David Okwara

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