** Ivory Coast economy

Ivory Coast: Economy

Figure 1.-- The Ivory Coasr like most of West Africa has an economy based on agriculture. Here we see African children ponding one of their staples, prabably casava into a paste in the Ivory Coast some time about 1965. Corn, rice, casava, and millet are the major crops Ivoriuan subsisisten farmers raise for consumption.

There is not a great deal known about the people living in Ivoiry coast in pre-history. For millenia, tribal groups living in what now the Ivory Coast lived by hunting and gathering seeds and fruits. African agriculture is belkieved to have developed in waht is now the heart of the Sahara Desert (about 5200 BC). The region at the time had sunstantial precipitatiomn and was well populated. The poopulation domesticated a variety of native crops, including pearl millet, sorghum and cowpeas,crops which were spread through West Africa . The crops did not produce the calories needed which only limited surpluses. Thggereis am indugenous rice species. Tubers were developed later and poved important in the better watered southern regions. Yams and casava were very important. The desertification process turned the Sahara into a barrier. Important trade routes with Arab North Africa began to develp across the Sahara (8th century AD). This meant exposure to other cultures afecting crops. The arrival of Europoeans along the coast brought significant changes to thge economy. Portuguses navigators began sailing south alonng the coast in search of a riute to the east. Along the way they began establishing trading posts (15th century). There was a minor interest in spreading Christianity, but a substanial commercial interst. This included ivoey, and gold. Slaves were especially important, but the lack of suitable ports limited the development of the slave trade. It is at this time new crops were introduced, including Asian rice, corn, and casava (16th century). France became the major Euyropean power dominating the trade. French planters began founding plantatiuoins producing cash crops (coffee, cocoa, and palm oil). Later bananas were added. The Ivory Coast was one of the African countries base on the colonial econonomy that had the brightest prospsects at the time of independence. Ivory Coast borders on Ghana, anothger agriucultural country with farmers focusing on similar crops. farmers for their own consumption raise millet, sorghum, maize (corn), groundnuts, and cowpeas in the north. Root crops such as cassava and yams dominate Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, and C�te d�Ivoire. Finally, tree crops such as cocoa, palm trees, or cashew trees are found in the Guineo-Congolian zone. Rice is also one of the most harvested crops, especiallt tomthwest of Ivory Coast. The country became indepensent with little actual pressure from the population, in contrast to Ghana. Ivory Coast developed a largely free market economy. A substantial part of the export oriented sector was based on foreign-owned plantations and estates nanaged by Government corporations. As a colony, the Ivory Coast depended on French aid and technicians. This continued after independence. The French population did not drop after independence. [Due] The Ivory Coast economy is stable and currently growing. This is a substantial improvement in the aftermath of political instability which plagued the country for years. The Ivory Coast is largely market-based economy and depends heavily on the agricultural sector. Some 70 percent of the Ivorian people are engaged in some form of agricultural activity The country was at independence had one of the strongest West African economies. The primary exports were all agricultural: coffee, cacao, and palm oil. The country also exports rice, wheat, plastic materials, rubber, and resins, agricultural chemicals, telecommunications, and oil and gas equipment. Despite its small size, the country is an important world exporter of these commodities. The economy suffered in the 1980s. This in part contributed to the destabalization of the political system. Despite the political turmoil, continued relations with France, a bountiful cocoa agricultural economy have created a more prosperous economy than many neighboring countries. This has attracted important foreign investment. The country today despite its size is one of the largest producers and exporters of coffee, cocoa beans, and palm oil. The gross domestic product (GDP/PPP) was about $37 billion (2010), some $1,680 per capita. Fishing and forestry are also of some importance.


Due, Jean M. "Agricultural development in Ivory Coast and Ghana," The Journal of Modern African Studies (1969) Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 637-60.


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Created: 9:11 PM 9/25/2019
Last updated: 9:11 PM 9/25/2019