Geographical, historical and economic context of Côte d'Ivoire
26.4 million population
41.4% of the population is under the age of 15
30.8% of the population has access to banking and microfinance services
Côte d’Ivoire is one of the driving forces of West Africa: driven by an average growth rate of 7 to 7.5% per year between 2011 and 2019, the primary sector remains the foundation of the economy (22% of GDP and nearly 50% of jobs) thanks to the diversity of its resources (the world’s leading producer of cocoa, coffee, sugar, cashew nuts, and rubber) and its two deep-water ports, which facilitate the supply of countries in the hinterland (Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger). Major infrastructure modernization programs have been launched in recent years, in particular to connect rural areas to electricity.
Nevertheless, there are major disparities within the country, particularly between the capital Abidjan and the rest of the country. In terms of health, the major challenges are mother-child health (infant and maternal mortality rates remain high) and nutrition (one Ivorian in five suffers from malnutrition).
The youth of the Ivorian population and its integration into labour market remain important challenges. It is estimated that 90% of jobs and 70% of value added are produced by the informal sector. In terms of political climate, Côte d’Ivoire has been affected by several internal crises in recent years, although slow progress is being made in terms of national reconciliation.
Entrepreneurs du Monde in Côte d’Ivoire
Entrepreneurs du Monde is present in Côte d’Ivoire with three programs.
In January 2021, Entrepreneurs du Monde started an energy access project in partnership with the European Institute for Cooperation and Development and the association Côte d’Ivoire Entreprises et Développement. This program supports entrepreneurship and economic development in 4 villages to improve the living conditions of households, the productivity of economic activities and the establishment of services in these areas. The team on site was able to carry out a complete study of the energy needs of these localities.
Entrepreneurs du Monde has started a program to support entrepreneurship in the Bélier region, in collaboration with many French and local actors. This project “Support for the development of youth activity and employment in the cassava and market gardening sectors through the development of vocational training and project support in the Bélier Region” (Adfa-B) aims to create income-generating activities and sustainable employment in rural areas. Entrepreneurs du Monde intervenes in the training of young people in entrepreneurship; the learners are accompanied in the field to define their professional business project on the operational and financial levels.
In Côte d’Ivoire, only 31% of the population has access to banking services and microfinance. Many women are excluded from these services and do not have access to the basic tools to develop their business. To overcome these obstacles, Entrepreneurs du Monde wishes to develop its social microfinance approach in Côte d’Ivoire and has begun the process of creating a new institution called EkilEko. This program will support very vulnerable families, excluded from traditional microfinance, in urban and rural areas of the Gbêké and Bélier regions.