According to Michel Lazare, Assistant Director in the IMF’s African Department, the strong growth would depend on a sustained growth of private sector investment and a favorable external environment.
Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s top cocoa grower and French-speaking West Africa’s largest economy, has seen a revival since the end of a decade-long crisis in 2011. But the IMF forecasts were below the government’s own growth targets of 9.4 percent in 2015 and double-digit growth in the coming years.
Under Ouattara’s stewardship, the government has carried out a large-scale infrastructure makeover aimed at attracting private sector investors and spurring economic growth.
On Friday, Dutch brewer Heineken and French industrial group CFAO laid the first stone for a new $169 million brewery.
Côte d’Ivoire ranked second behind only Nigeria this year on Nielsen’s African Prospects Indicator, an index combining macro-economic, business, retail and consumer outlooks.
Increased borrowing has covered much of the investment spending, which has included a costly rehabilitation of the power sector. Côte d’Ivoire issued two Eurobonds in 2014 and 2015 for a total of $1.75 billion.
The predicted 9.6 percent growth in 2015 make the former French colony the stand-out performer on a continent being hammered by a slump in commodity prices, capital outflows and tumbling currencies.