Abidjan – Côte d’Ivoire must catch up if it wants to become an emerging country, the World Bank said in a report released Thursday in Abidjan.
“If the country has regained strong growth after more than a decade of political instability, its goal of becoming an emerging country cannot be achieved without more successful companies,” said the international institution in its sixth report on Ivorian economic situation.
The government of Côte d’Ivoire, the largest Francophone economy in West Africa, regularly recalls its objective of becoming an emerging country by 2020.
“In Côte d’Ivoire, the productivity of labor and capital of a company is generally three to four times lower than that of a company in Indonesia, Morocco or China”, and this “in all sectors of the economy. ‘Economy’, worries the World Bank in this report entitled ‘At the gates of paradise – how Ivory Coast can catch up on technology’.
Companies “do not use modern technologies and invest little in research and innovation, half the average in other African countries,” says the institution.
The Bank recalls that “the current level of per capita income remains lower today than in the early 1980s”. The poverty rate is around 45%, compared with less than 10% at the beginning of the 1980s.
The World Bank therefore calls on Côte d’Ivoire to “change strategy” to “emergency”.
The country must focus on “openness to foreign investment through foreign investment and exports”, “two vectors (which) promote technology transfer,” according to the report. “Smart partnerships” with foreign companies will “strengthen the skills of its workforce and the connectivity of its economy.”
The report also calls on the Ivorian authorities to invest in “lowering the costs of physical and virtual transport”, citing in particular the need to improve the performance of Ivorian ports, “a priority”, as well as the costs of mobile telephony and internet, “1.5 to 3 times more expensive than Ghana”, a neighboring country.