Ivory Coast: Cepici, an investment facilitator

To turn the country into « an investment land», the Center for Investment Promotion in Ivory Coast (Cepici) has, since the end of the Ivorian crisis, stepped up actions to facilitate the creation of businesses – in order to become an emerging country in 2020.

According to Esmel Essis Emmanuel, Director General of Cepici, « since 2013, 57 reforms have been carried out towards SMEs for an amount of CFA 16 billion. Thus, in 2016, 12,166 companies were set up, compared to 9534 in 2015. It is an average of « 50 new companies that are created every day in the country », another key area to become, perhaps, an emerging country in 2020.


Before, the obstacle course

According to Touré Almamy – CEO of Almamy Touré Transport, the top Ivorian transport company and winner of the 2016 Award, just like N’guettia Assouman, 3rd Alternate Chair of the Association of Cashew Exporters of Ivory Coast (AECI), the creation of a business had long been a hurdle, before Cepici substantially facilitated the process.

« Before, the notary took all the steps, he used to take care of everything in three weeks … Or more often: it depended on his competence … » says Touré Almamy. « I set up my first company in 2009. It was not easy: I had to provide too many things requiring a lot of money, a lot of time, a lot of documents … We were confronted with the goodwill of officials, » insists N’guettia Assouman.


More than three years to become an emerging country

To make the Ivory Coast an emerging country, the National Development Plan (NDP) intends to allocate CFA 30,000 billion over the 2016-2020 period. Thus, the actions undertaken resulted in 17 international agreements, generated 6647 jobs in 2016, in addition to the 6533 jobs already created in 2015, and the companies created generated CFA 672 billion.

As the foreign direct investment (FDI) is growing, and has seen France return to a leading position – Cepici also encourages the development of « a group of local investors. » For example, « with CFA 15,000, you can start a business, without a notary’s expertise, in a single day. » This « Ivorian attractiveness » must help become an emerging country, a hope that « is no longer a view of the mind but a reality » according to Emmanuel Essis Esmel.

Efforts are required

Though the Ivory Coast ranks 2nd in the UEMOA zone, it still ranks 142th in the world, according to the Doing Business ranking. That is why Cepici members consider that « there have been less efforts » and commit to work first and foremost on « transferring ownership and cross-border trade. » Of course, this margin of progress also requires political stability, as the last mutinies have been reversed.

But for Diaby Ibrahim, Director of PND, « all nations are experiencing jolts. The problems faced by the Ivory Coast are not more serious than those faced by great nations. When we walk, we stumble a little. » Another way of explaining that of the CFA 30 000 billion, CFA 700 billion are also expected for the military planning law.


Author: Issiaka N’ GUESSAN // Photos: Esmel Essis Emmanuel, Director General of Cepici – Nguettia Assouman, CEO Sidcom, 3rd alternate Chair of the Association of cashew exporters – © Issiaka N’ GUESSAN

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