Abidjan, September 1, 2016
- IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Philippe Le Houérou, meeting with Ivorian officials and businesses during a three-day visit this week, discussed opportunities to increase IFC’s engagement in the country and visited an IFC-sponsored investment, the Azito thermal power plant.
Despite global headwinds, Côte d’Ivoire is one of the fastest growing Sub Saharan African economies in 2016. In the last four years, the country has also improved its ranking in Doing Business, jumping 35 ranks to 142, as well as being listed among the top 10 global reformers two years in a row.
Over the past four years, IFC has invested $1 billion in Côte d’Ivoire, half of which came from its own account. IFC and its partners notably invested in the Azito III and CIPREL IV power plants. These projects increased grid capacity by a total of 370 Megawatts. Today IFC and its partners finance now almost 50 percent of the energy produced in Côte d’Ivoire.
In staple and cash crops and agribusiness, IFC plans to support capacity building in local processing and attract new investors into the sector. IFC will also support financial inclusion as well as the development of capital markets and SMEs. In addition, the World Bank Group will continue to support business environment reforms, notably to facilitate the establishment of Special Economic Zones.
During his visit, M. Le Houérou signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the second phase of the Côte d’Ivoire Investment Climate Program. The first phase of the program supported nine reforms, the enactment of 26 laws and the streamlining or suppression of 31 procedures. Thanks to these reforms, propriety transfers were multiplied by seven, business registrations by two, and issuance of construction permits by six. This generated $12 million in cost saving for private sector. The second phase of the program will focus on inspections, licensing, as well as investment promotion and access to credit.
H.E. Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, said “With 40 percent of the West African Economic and Monetary Union’s GDP, Côte d’Ivoire is the region’s locomotive. Our country is implementing deep structural and sectoral reforms to strengthen its economy, notably by empowering private sector to be the engine of its growth. Côte d’Ivoire is determined to accelerate regional integration through reforms with a community focus”.
“Côte d’Ivoire is a priority in our engagement in Sub Saharan Africa,” Le Houérou said. “Our partnership with the country and its government is strong and growing. IFC intends to deepen its financial and advisory services in Côte d’Ivoire, bringing a range of financial and policy solutions to address the challenges of infrastructure, urbanization, access to information technology, and climate change.”
During the Côte d’Ivoire Consultative Group held in May 2016 in Paris, the World Bank Group pledged $5 billion for the National Development 2016-2020 of which IFC’s contribution was $1.7 billion.
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