The Ivory Coast, which is a major producer of coffee, cocoa,
rubber and diamonds, attracted multinational investors as,
as a result of Boigny's authoritarian rule, it was able to
guarantee political stability and also offer exceptionally
cheap labor, which, to a large extent, came from neighboring
growth in the economy of 8-10% annually in the period from
1966-1976 disappeared at the end of 1979 with the crisis in
the West. Agricultural exports fell from $ 4 billion to just
under $ 1 billion from 1980-1983. Half of the companies set
up from 1966-1976 were closed, while unemployment rates rose
to 45% and foreign debt fivefold in the period 1981-85.
Following "proposals" from the IMF, President Boigny
drastically cut public spending, suspended almost all
government projects and removed food subsidies. It did not
immediately lead to social unrest - the unions were too weak
and there were obvious political alternatives. The students
and the liberals thus became the only rebellious elements
that organized strikes and demonstrations.
In May 1984, foreign debt was successfully renegotiated
with the Paris Club and the country's other creditors, but
the economic crisis continued thanks to the decline in world
market prices for coffee and cocoa.
At the Ivory Coast Democratic Party, PCDI's 8th Congress
in October 1985, the now 80-year-old Houphouet Boigny was
nominated as a candidate to renew his term for the sixth
time. His candidacy was supported in the same month by 99%
of voters. At the November general election, 75% of voters
failed to vote.
In an attempt to distance itself from the harsh
realities, the Board erected a number of monumental
buildings; including Africa's largest cathedral - in a
country where only 12% of the population professes
The Ivory Coast, which is the world's largest cocoa
producer, had to see its main exports decline sharply: from
July 1987 to October of that year, the world market price of
cocoa fell by around 50%.
In 1991, the government still failed to implement a
three-year plan aimed at restoring the country's economy,
privatizing state-owned enterprises and improving the
competitiveness of private enterprises.
The death of the president in December 1993 gave rise to
disagreements over who should be his successor.
President-elect Henri Konan-Bédié was appointed new
president, and he succeeded in consolidating his position in
the Democratic Party government, despite opposition from
former Prime Minister Ouattara.
In 1994, there were confrontations between the government
and the unions, which demanded compensation for a 100%
devaluation in January. In what was interpreted as a
compensation for having accepted the devaluation - proposed
by France and the IMF - half of the Ivory Coast's debt to
the countries of the Paris Club was abandoned. Nevertheless,
the country still has the largest external debt per share.