Côte d’Ivoire and the EU share strong political, cultural and economic ties. Côte d'Ivoire is the second biggest economy in West Africa after Nigeria and the country with the highest GDP per capita in the region. As the world’s top exporter of cocoa and raw cashew nuts, Côte d’Ivoire has one of the biggest development and growth potential in the region.
As an example of these strong ties, Côte d’Ivoire is one of the two countries in the West African region (the other being Ghana) with which the EU has signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Another example being the Côte d’Ivoire-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) which aims to address illegal logging, improve forest governance and promote trade in legal timber products. The Côte d’Ivoire-EU VPA negotiations started in 2013, have catalyzed important legal reforms in support of the forests in Côte d’Ivoire. The agreement is expected to be signed before the end of 2023. The EU also supports the economic, social and environmental sustainability of cocoa production in Côte d’Ivoire through the EU Sustainable Cocoa Initiative.
Our flagship initiatives
The EU has been working to support Côte d'Ivoire towards sustainable and inclusive development, in line with the Global Gateway Strategy.
The EU operates together with its Member States, their agencies and the European Investment Bank (‘Team Europe’). Team Europe focuses on three initiatives:
Sustainable Cocoa – Recognising that Côte d'Ivoire is the world's leading cocoa producer and the EU is the world's largest cocoa market (67% of Côte d'Ivoire's cocoa exports go to the EU), the Initiative plans to support the implementation of the Ivorian national strategy set out in the White Paper. It aims to (1) achieve the transition to a sustainable cocoa economy in Côte d'Ivoire (protection and rehabilitation of natural ecosystems, biodiversity and improve the living conditions of farmers and vulnerable groups); (2) support the private sector, including cocoa farmers and cooperatives, to develop innovative agricultural practices; (3) combating child and forced labour; (4) improve the governance of the cocoa sector and guarantee transparency in the management of resources. The total indicative contribution from partners amounts to €429 million.
Low Carbon Transition – The Team Europe Initiative supports Ivorian mitigation actions in: (1) increased production and access to more electricity from renewable energy sources; (2) Recovery of agricultural waste, its use for fertilisers, alternative or less polluting cooking energy and electricity generation; (3) energy efficiency notably in the industry and building sectors; (4) the promotion of cleaner and better structured public and private transport modes; and (5) support to better measure the progress of its low-carbon transition. The total indicative contributions from partners amounts to €1,479 billion.
Peace and Stability: This Team Europe Initiative aims to: (1) strengthen the quality of governance and human rights; (2) support migration policy and migrant management; (3) support the fight against terrorism and organised crime; and (4) strengthen the role of civil society as an actor in cohesion. The total indicative contributions from partners amounts to €477 million.
Our broader cooperation
In terms of bilateral allocation, the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for Côte d’Ivoire under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI-Global Europe) for 2021-2024 amounts to €228 million.
The three priority areas of intervention are:
Develop human capital - this area focuses on:
- Vocational training: contributing to the employability of young people, including girls, and meeting skill needs.
- Social Protection: contributing to the reduction of social and health vulnerabilities.
- Migration as a development opportunity.
Foster inclusive, sustainable, and digital growth - this area has the following priorities:
- Business climate and sustainability of investments: aligning economic interests and development.
- Agriculture and Food Systems Sustainability: supporting a transformation system for agriculture and food so that it is fair.
- Low-carbon transition: supporting sustained economic growth by limiting its climate impacts.
Strengthen the rule of law and democratic governance, maintain the peace and stability - This area aims at advancing:
- Democracy and human rights: deepening the bedrock of common values between the EU and Côte d'Ivoire and the commitment to a multilateral world.
- Peace, stability, and social cohesion: preserving Côte d'Ivoire as a pole of stability in West Africa.
- Digital governance: supporting the digital transformation of Côte d'Ivoire through inclusive, safe, and human-centred digital governance.
The EU has dedicated programmes for the development of the northern regions and we already provide support towards productive investments for enhancing access to energy, sustainable agriculture, management of protected areas of the Comoé National Park, addressing inter-communal violence, strengthening conflict prevention, and promoting socio-economic development of cross-border regions. For example the EU is contributing to the construction of a 37.5 MWp solar power plant (centrale Boundiali) in the North of the country, the largest and first public solar power plant in Côte d’Ivoire to be connected to the grid.
Our bilateral cooperation is complemented by EU regional Global Gateway programmes in the areas of security, green transition (including energy), sustainable growth and agriculture. For example, Côte d’Ivoire will benefit from the EU-Africa strategic corridors to enhance transport infrastructure.
The EU and its Member States recognize the importance of civil society as a powerful vector of change and a fully-fledged actor in the development of the country and will continue its structural reinforcement, to create the conditions, legal and systemic, to make civil society organizations legitimate and competent.