White House Advisor Ivanka Trump and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green visit women entrepreneurs, at the demonstration cocoa farm in Adzope
JOHANNESBURG - It's amazing how one of the largest economies in Africa has maintained a growth rate in excess of 7percent for seven consecutive years.

The country continues to have one of the most dynamic economies in the world, boasting the highest growth rates in the West African Economic and Monetary Union at 7.4percent in 2018.

Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) ranks in the Top 20 of the largest economies in Africa, being one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with a Human Development Index value for 2017 of 0.492 - which put the country in the low human development category - positioning it at 170 out of 189 countries and territories.

Ivory Coast has an estimated population of 26.2million people with 80percent of its economic activity concentrated in Abidjan, the economic capital, which is home to more than 5million people.

Ivory Coast is the third fastest growing country in Africa with an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) of $43billion (R611.7bn) in 2018. The growth in the GDP has been mainly effected by the fall in global oil and cocoa prices.

Inflation has decreased from 1percent in 2017 to 0.5percent in 2018.

Its economy is based mainly around agriculture, with two-thirds of its population depending on agriculture and related activities.

On the usual Neil Economic Table in Abidjan a 300ml Coca-Cola is 500 CFA (R12.18) and 1litre of petrol is 600 CFA (R14.62).

The weird statistic is that Ivory Coast supplies the world with cola for Coca-Cola as one of its product's ingredients, making you again think why Coca-Cola is more expensive here.

The country is a commodity dependant economy driven by cocoa beans, coffee and palm oil.

Ivory Coast has targeted the agricultural processing of cocoa, cashews, mangoes and other commodities as a high priority.

Mining and energy supply are growing industries outside agriculture.

The country can work on improving education, healthcare and gender equality in order to turn its large and growing youth cohort into human capital.

However, Ivory Coast is party to most of the relevant continental institutions dedicated to regional integration and is also an important transit corridor for its landlocked neighbours, thanks to its ports in Abidjan and San Pedro.

It is a key partner in the regional electricity market and is part of an electricity interconnection network with Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, and soon Mali, as well as to the Mano River Union countries (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone).

It is sad, but true, that it is one of the poorest countries in Africa as growth in the economy has not yet started to yield results that can be seen in the reduction of poverty.

The country needs a Structural Economic Transformation plan to convert its potential in other sectors, for example mining and electricity generation.

The realistic factor of the country's leadership is that the country is led by President Alassane Ouattara, an ex-member of the International Monetary Fund, an economist by profession and indeed at heart.

Africa needs more leaders that drive their economies rather than driving war and seeking power.

Ouattara is building Ivory Coast as well as leading the West African objective.

A true Economic African Renaissance! Viva Cote d’Ivoire.

Neil De Beer is the founder and president of the IFA and advises several African States. [email protected]

BUSINESS REPORT