Opening ripe cocoa fruits at the PRO-PLANTEURS cooperative, an initiative for sustainable cocoa production in Adzopé, Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d’Ivoire Reform partner in West Africa

Côte d'Ivoire (often still referred to as "Ivory Coast") is one of West Africa's economic powerhouses. It is the world's biggest cocoa producer and one of Africa's major exporters of coffee, cashew nuts, palm oil and rubber. By regional standards, its services sector is rather strong.

Straight to
Young Ivorians in the ASEC Mimosas football club in Abidjan

The last 25 years were marked by political crises, a five-year-long civil war, a political crisis following the 2010 presidential elections, and ethnic tensions, all of which disrupted the country's development and put it decades behind. The after-effects can still be felt to this day. Côte d'Ivoire now faces the task of achieving greater political stability, building a peaceful society and ensuring that all segments of the population, especially the poor and socially disadvantaged, benefit from the continuing high rate of economic growth.

On the current United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), Côte d'Ivoire is ranked 162nd out of the 189 countries assessed.


German development cooperation with Côte d’Ivoire

Between 2002 and 2011, because of the political instability that the West African country was experiencing, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) temporarily restricted bilateral cooperation activities. Since then these activities have gradually been resumed.

In 2017, Germany and Côte d'Ivoire concluded a Reform Partnership within the framework of the G20 Compact with Africa initiative, with a view to providing a more attractive investment environment and fostering the provision of training for urgently needed skilled labour.

Initially, the Partnership focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency, but it has now been expanded and also includes efforts to foster good governance for more investment and employment.

At the government negotiations in June 2021, the BMZ committed 72.91 million euros in new funding for Côte d'Ivoire and announced that it would make further commitments in the future.

In future, bilateral cooperation will focus on the following core areas:

  • Responsibility for our planet – climate and energy | Area of intervention: renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Training and sustainable growth for decent jobs | Areas of intervention: still to be determined; probably technical and vocational education and training and private sector and financial sector development
  • Protecting life on Earth – the environment and natural resources | Areas of intervention: biodiversity and forests

In addition, Germany supports projects in the areas of governance, population development and family planning. In the latter field, activities are geared towards reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, ensuring antenatal care and attended births, and improving maternal and child health.

Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme

In order to help the Ivorian government to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the BMZ added three million euros to a project aimed at strengthening the health system. On top of that, two million euros has been dedicated to the introduction of electronic teaching in vocational training. 30 million euros was provided for a new government COVID fund to assist small and medium-sized enterprises.

Projects under way as part of the special initiatives on Training and Job Creation and on ONE WORLD – No Hunger have also been adapted to respond to the pandemic, for example through additional efforts to protect jobs and to adjust working procedures to the changed situation.

Mobile solar modules are used to power small electrical devices in areas where there is no access to electricity.

The Reform Partnership: Renewable energy and energy efficiency Reliable power supply, climate action, more jobs Internal link

The Government of Côte d'Ivoire has set itself the goal of raising the share of renewable energy (not counting hydropower) in the power mix to 16 per cent by 2030 and to 42 per cent by 2050. In parallel, it wants to provide all households with electricity by 2025. 

Quality control of cocoa beans at the cooperative PRO-PLANTEURS

Core area Training and sustainable growth for decent jobs Improving vocational training and employ­ability Internal link

The BMZ wants to assist the Ivorian government in implementing its national development plan in the fields of employment promotion and vocational training.

Transporting logs in Côte d‘Ivoire

Core area Protecting life on Earth – the environment and natural resources Conserving forests and biodiversity Internal link

In order to expand agricultural activities, some 60 per cent of Côte d'Ivoire's forests have been cut down over the last 25 years. The increasing deforestation is posing an acute threat to protected areas and their biodiversity. 

Current situation

Young Ivorians in the ASEC Mimosas football club in Abidjan

Striving to achieve stability and development Internal link

Since President Alassane Ouattara took office in 2011, the political situation in Côte d'Ivoire has stabilised. Free and peaceful elections have been held, a new constitution has been adopted, and progress has been achieved in the area of good governance, with transparency and effectiveness improving.

Former war veterans receive technical training in Bouaké

Years of division and violence Internal link

After Côte d'Ivoire gained independence from French colonial power in 1960, the country was governed as a single-party system for more than 30 years by President Félix Houphouët-Boigny and his Parti Démocratique de Côte d'Ivoire (PDCI).

Women at a parents' evening at a primary school in Côte d'Ivoire

Big differences between the North and the South Internal link

Côte d’Ivoire may be one of West Africa's biggest economies, but the majority of its people have no share in the country's economic success.

Children in front of a warehouse of a cocoa cooperative in Côte d'Ivoire

The role of cocoa in the economy Internal link

Côte d'Ivoire's market share of about 45 per cent means that it is the biggest cocoa producer in the world. Other important agricultural commodities are cashew nuts, palm oil, rubber, cotton and coffee.