The move comes amid growing public concern over price increases in the west-African nation.
In January, electricity prices jumped by 5 percent, but some customers saw rates rise by as much as 40 percent, according to the government.
“This situation reminds us of the need to open up the water and electricity sectors to competition,” President Ouattara said in a Labor Day speech.
“It is competition that will lower the price of electricity. I’m calling on all who wish to invest in this sector to do it so we can have a healthy competition that will allow to control prices and bring the cost of electricity down,” he said.
Electricity distribution is controlled by Cie Ivoirienne d’Electriciteé, or CIE, a unit of Eranove SA which is 56 percent-owned by private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners and 19 percent by Axa SA.
“I’ve asked the prime minister to plan for a distribution of electricity by many companies,” Ouattara said.
President Ouattara’s chief accomplishment in his first term was an economic turnaround that has made the country the second fastest growing economy in Africa over the past three years.
The World Bank has rated Côte d’Ivoire in the top 10 most improved places to do business for the past two years.