Ivory Coast’s political stability & economic inequity
As Ivory Coast president Alassane Outtara publicly acknowledges that he is weighing running for a third term, he is surely taking into account how the country’s economy has soared in the last five years. The rapid rate of GDP growth—frequently described as a “miracle” by the foreign press—averaged more than 9 percent per year from 2012 through 2016, with estimated 2017 and 2018 growth nearly as impressive. Per conventional political wisdom, economic expansion this remarkable would be strongly supportive of an incumbent.
Less widely discussed is the mood of the average Ivorian, particularly as many lower-income groups may not have benefited equally during the current boom. While employment rates have improved, even Outtara has acknowledged an undercurrent of unrest among some segments of the population. Poverty is particularly elevated in rural areas.
Ivory Coast GDP growth rate vs. poverty rate
Source: World Bank, UNESCO, McKeany-Flavell
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