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Ivory Coast Country targets poverty with $49B, 5-year investment plan

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A view of the premises of Ivory Coast's parliament in Abidjan December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Luc Gnago play A view of the premises of Ivory Coast's parliament in Abidjan December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Luc Gnago (Reuters)

Ivory Coast is aiming to invest more than 29 trillion CFA francs ($48.53 billion) in the next five years as part of efforts to foster economic development and reduce poverty, the government said on Wednesday.

Government spokesman Bruno Kone said most of the financing for the national development plan, about 18 trillion CFA francs, was expected to come from private sector investment with the remainder to be contributed by the government.

"The main goal is to reduce poverty, which today is around 48 percent, by half," Kone said after a cabinet meeting in the commercial capital Abidjan.

Having emerged from a decade of political turmoil following the civil war in 2011, Ivory Cast, the world's top cocoa grower and French-speaking West Africa's largest economy, is increasingly turning the heads of foreign investors.

Under the stewardship of President Alassane Ouattara, who won re-election in a landslide victory in October, its economy has expanded by around 9 percent in each of the past three years.

But the former senior International Monetary Fund official is under pressure to make that growth more inclusive in his second, and final, five-year term.

Investments for a previous four-year development plan totaled 12 trillion CFA francs.

While specific investments were yet to be hashed out, Kone said they would target improving security to ensure lasting peace, developing infrastructure, job creation and increasing local processing of agricultural commodities.

"Forecasts for the period of 2016 to 2020 put economic growth at an average of 8 to 9.8 percent depending upon the year," he added.

($1 = 597.5200 CFA francs)

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