Ivory Coast


Official name Republic of Côte d'Ivoire
Political capital Yamoussoukro
Local currency West African CFA franc (XOF)
Official languages French

Why Ivory Coast

Since 2011, the main economic indicators have turned positive. Cote d’Ivoire’s GDP has grown between 8% and 10% over the past four years, the United Nations Human Security Index decreased from 3.8 in 2012 to 1.3 at the end of 2014, and the Africa Development Bank relocated back to its headquarters in Abidjan.  Major infrastructure projects such as the 3rd Bridge in Abidjan and the highway from Abidjan to the capital city Yamoussoukro have been completed in addition to the construction or refurbishment of thousands of schools, hospitals and universities.

Public and private infrastructure investment and household consumption accounted for most internal demand, while external demand boosted commodity exports thanks to higher world prices. Growth was also due to efforts under the national development plan (Plan national de développement) to improve the business climate and speed up structural reform. The country thus became more attractive, especially for foreign direct investment.

Investment opportunities in Ivory Coast

Fishing sector. Despite the decline of the sector, the country still held a particular place within West Africa due to its harbour and shore facilities, which have made Abidjan the second most important fishing port in the region.

There are three main lagoons in Côte d’Ivoire: Ebrié Lagoon, Aby Lagoon and Grand-Lahou Lagoon. Due to their location between the continent and the sea and their shallow depths, lagoons are among the most productive ecosystems but also very sensitive to both climatic and human impacts. In West Africa, estuaries and lagoons are sites of an important fishing industry for mollusks, crustaceans and fishes.

With regard to food security, fish is the primary source of animal protein for Côte d'Ivoire consumers. Annual national fish consumption is estimated at between 250 000 and 300 000 tonnes with annual local catches averaging 80 000 tonnes. Current fisheries and aquaculture policy is incorporated into the Agricultural Development Master Plan 1992-2015, designed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Resources. Under it, three general objectives have been set for all the sectors addressed:

  • Improving productivity and competitiveness.
  • Striving to achieve food security.
  • Diversifying exports and sources of farm incomes. In this case, the fisheries sector was specifically tasked with the rational exploitation of all the fisheries potential and the optimum exploitation of the water bodies by developing maritime and lagoon fisheries and aquaculture1.

For aquaculture is potentially a huge national asset and should be widely exploited because Côte d'Ivoire has considerable natural advantages in this area: 150 000 hectares of lagoons, 350 000 hectares of lakes and numerous wetlands that are suitable for fish farms, and with a wealth of aquatic fauna comprising a hundred families of fish of which several species are potentially viable for aquaculture purposes2. At the present time, inland aquaculture is practised in the rural environment and therefore contributes to food security. It is considered to be a secondary activity which provides aquaculturalists with access to fish, as animal protein input for their diets or as a supplementary source of income. Thanks to the various aquaculture projects that have been implemented, new players have emerged in this industry. They have been motivated by the projects. They have mainly been developers, planners or builders, food traders and farm managers. The projects have invested in strengthening the capacities of these players, which has fostered the professionalization of this sector. In the long run, this should also enable aquaculture to become economically profitable, like any other farming activity.

The main constraints on aquaculture production are the lack of adequate technical supervision in terms of quantity and quality, the lack of installation and operating credit, high initial investment costs and the poor organization of the sector which, among other things, hampers fish marketing.

Nevertheless, these constraints should be taken more into account by the new current policy. The government has redirected its aquaculture development strategy by putting in place a number of regional projects in order to better entrench this activity throughout the whole country

1FAO, National Aquaculture Sector Overview


Ongoing programmes

Fisheries in West Africa: a study tour in Italy for potential partnerships and acquiring best practices in the fishery sector
UNIDO ITPO Italy at the Observatory of Mediterranean fisheries
Presentation of the technical assistance project in favor of fishermen in West Africa