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Côte d’Ivoire- “Business to Government” show or challenges of public-private dialogue

The Ivorian government hopes to create 4 million jobs between 2021 and 2025 through its National Development Plan. This is also one of the objectives of the “Business to Government” show which is taking place in Abidjan on September 21 and 22. For this sixth edition, 38 public companies will meet with business operators.

By Issiaka N’guessan in Abidjan

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This is not new. Côte d’Ivoire had already organized, on June 15, 2022, a Consultative Group with international development partners to support the Ivorian dynamics. This meeting between government representatives and the private sector was attended by 500 private investors from Côte d’Ivoire, Africa in general, Europe and the Americas. It is in line with these partnerships that a new meeting between the public administration and private operators is organized, in the framework of “Business to Government”, on September 22 in Abidjan, at the Caistab building, (The Plateau).

In Abidjan, access to economic urban land has become a headache due to several instances of corruption repeatedly denounced by the Ministry of Construction. To better manage these often intractable situations, the « Guichet Unique du Foncier et de l’Habitat (GUFH), » « the Guichet Unique du Permis de Construire » (GUPC) and the « Agence de Gestion et de Développement des Infrastructures Industrielles (AGEDI) » are the contacts for the private operators during the meetings.

Taxation at the heart of debates 

The Investment Promotion Center (CEPICI) is present to discuss investment conditions in Côte d’Ivoire. Taxation remains at the heart of the debates with the General Directorate of Taxes (DGI) and the General Directorate of Customs. Property rights, bank financing conditions by public banks and public certification structures also have their own stands to exchange with visitors.

With an overall amount of 59,000 billion CFA francs or 89.64 billion dollars, the National Development Plan 2021-2025 is ambitious. It aims to reduce poverty, increase the number of paved roads, create jobs and provide access to drinking water and health care, with a special focus on youth and women. The State’s share amounts to CFAF 15,353.3 billion ($23.32 billion), or 26%. The expected participation of the private sector is estimated at 43,646.4 billion CFA francs (66.31 billion dollars) or 74%.

The central role of the private sector

The impact of the private sector is essential for the government to carry out its major projects. For example, a multifunctional industrial terminal has just been opened at the Autonomous Port of San Pedro (PASP), the result of a public-private partnership worth CFAF 130 billion ($197.31 million). The private side, which complements that of the Ivorian State, was financed by the Arise P&L group. This terminal has allowed in 6 months to process 1 million tons of nickel for an estimated annual capacity of 3.6 million tons. For the works, 1000 employees were hired. At the inauguration on Wednesday September 14, Patrick Achi, the Ivorian Prime Minister acknowledged that “this infrastructure illustrates our government’s ambition to build powerful and fruitful partnerships with the private sector”.

Exchange platform for public administrations

According to a note from the Center for Information and Government Communication (CICG), “Business to Government (B2G) meetings offer business operators the opportunity to discuss their daily concerns with public administration officials. The aim is to facilitate business operators’ access to the right information” and provide advice on how to refer their concerns to the government and how to deal with them, as well as offering a platform for public administrations to communicate on the new reforms underway within the administration.

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