A 1999 coup destroyed the reputation of
With peace restored, French construction firm Bouyges and oil companies such as Tullow and
"We lost half of our companies during that time. The level of poverty increased from 10 percent to almost 50 percent," Trade Minister
A brief civil war in 2011 allowed Ouattara, who won the election that sparked the fighting, to secure the presidency and reunite the nation.
With the former International Monetary Fund (IMF) official at the helm,
Large-scale infrastructure projects are springing back to life. A highway linking
Heavy investment in electricity generation aims to boost output from 1 600 megawatts to 4 000MW by 2020 as
The president has pushed through reforms to improve an intimidating business climate. A new business can now be set up in under 48 hours and a commercial court is up and running to arbitrate disputes.
Private investors seem ready to take the plunge.
Long-neglected in favour of agricultural commodities, mining is taking off, with production of gold and manganese rising rapidly.
The oil ministry signed 18 production sharing agreements in 18 months in 2012 and 2013, as investors bet
But not all the news is good. While
In 2012, a total of 40 percent of government procurement was awarded via contracts that were not put out to tender and that figure jumped to 80 percent in the first quarter of last year. Ministries are dogged by rumours of corruption despite a public policy of zero tolerance.
"During the crisis, some very bad habits were acquired and they're difficult to get rid of," Billon said.
"We must fight it if we want to protect growth and encourage investors." - Reuters
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