Côte d’Ivoire climbs recovery ladder - CNBC Africa

Côte d’Ivoire climbs recovery ladder

Western Africa

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Côte d’Ivoire's presdent Alassane Ouattara. PHOTO: Financiala Afrik

“The first thing that the country needs to achieve is to get their inaugural sovereign rating. They’ve enlisted the help of Fitch and Moody’s, and that’s imminent. Once that can happen, then the stage is set for them to go to international markets,” Ronak Gopaldas, country risk analyst at Rand Merchant Bank, told CNBC Africa.

“It will be their first foray into international capital markets since the conflict, and the default on their existing 2032 Eurobond. It’s going to be an interesting gauge of investor appetite towards the country that has made substantial strides in the past few years.”

According to analysts, Côte d’Ivoire’s prospects are significantly positive, and its economic recovery through major public works projects produced had an estimated growth of roughly 8.8 per cent in 2013.

(READ MORE: Ivory Coast works towards economic facelift)

Gopaldas added that given the fact that the country lost roughly a decade of infrastructure and reconstruction efforts, this setback might slow the country’s prospects going forward.

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President Alassane Ouattara is however a former deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund and a well-known technocrat who, according to Gopaldas, which could prioritise investment as a major priority.

“Generally, if you look at the economic prospects and what’s been achieved under the Ouattara administration, you’ve got substantial improvements in the business environment, you can set up a business within 48 hours, you’ve got a one-stop shop for investment and investment volumes in the past year increased by 131 per cent,” Gopaldas explained.

“In addition to that, you’ve got a court of arbitration for legal disputes, a new mining code was passed, a new investment code was passed, and private capital and investment has been prioritised as key to unlocking the economic potential.”

Last year, the country’s economy expanded by around 8.7 per cent and 8.8 per cent, and Gopaldas anticipates that economic growth will be driven across sectors. Côte d’Ivoire is also the world’s largest cocoa producer, will be an additional growth driver.

(WATCH VIDEO: West Africa's cocoa sector on track for strong crop)

“All of that, when you’re driving infrastructure investment and underpinned by a national development plan, aims to turn the country into an emerging market by 2020. I expect growth to be broad-based across sectors as the country continues with its economic recovery,” said Gopaldas.

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