Young Ivorians in the ASEC Mimosas football club in Abidjan

Political situation Striving to achieve stability and development

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.

However, the crisis-torn country is still very much at the start of its journey towards democracy, the rule of law, and national reconciliation. Politically and socially, Côte d'Ivoire is a deeply divided country. The need for reform remains huge and the danger of conflicts being reignited still lingers.

This became evident most recently when presidential elections were held in October 2020. Following the sudden death of his designated successor, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Ouattara again ran as presidential candidate for the governing party, RHDP. This decision led to protests, some of them violent, as the Ivorian constitution provides for a maximum of two terms as president. Two opposition candidates called for a boycott of the election. Ouattara won the election with 94 per cent of the vote. The violent protests left several people dead or injured.

Great political challenges

Important tasks facing the government are consolidating democracy, continuing the reconciliation process, reviving the country's economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, creating inclusive economic growth and more jobs, reducing poverty, reforming the judicial system, fighting widespread corruption, and protecting the environment.

Even though former president Laurent Gbagbo, who was acquitted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague in March 2021, has returned to the country, and a few talks have been held between the opposing political forces now, there is still no in-depth dialogue on national reconciliation, and there has been no full criminal investigation of the human rights violations committed during the civil war (2002 to 2007) and during the crisis following the 2010 presidential elections. The country also needs to establish an effective separation of powers, which requires a parliament with strong opposition parties and an independent judiciary, together with free media and mechanisms for resolving social conflict peacefully.