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Ivory Coast

1997 Ivory Coast

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 countries.

According to Countryaah, 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 Christianity!

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. inhabitant.

 

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