Business resilience in Africa: Côte d’Ivoire presents public-private partnership as keystone

“Crises and Business Resilience in Africa”. This is the theme of the 9th edition of “CGECI Academy”, the economic forum of Ivorian employers which opened on October 28, 2021 in Abidjan. An opportunity for Côte d’Ivoire to present the strengthening of the public-private partnership as a driver of the resilience of the Ivorian private sector in the face of economic crises such as that of the Covid-19.

A GDP of around 400,000 billion CFA francs; a growth rate of 2% instead of the expected 7.2%; an inflation rate that rose to 2.4%; a budget deficit estimated at 5.6%; 500 billion CFA francs of budget revenue losses. This table shows the impact that the Covid-19 crisis has had on the economy of Côte d’Ivoire. And at the economic forum held from October 28 to 29 at the Sofitel Hôtel Ivoire in Abidjan, at the initiative of Ivorian employers, on the theme: “Crises and Resilience of Businesses in Africa”, Moussa Sanogo, the Ivorian Minister of the Budget and the State Portfolio, explained how the State had to intervene urgently to help the private sector cope with the crisis, through an economic and financial recovery plan of 1.5 trillion Fcfa and a support plan health of nearly 95 billion CFA francs. But given that, as Jean-Marie Aka, the president of the CGECI recognized, “we are now in a world of crises, where nothing will be the same as before”, Moussa Sanogo estimated that the States must put mechanisms in place to make their private sector much more competitive and enable businesses to be resilient. This will involve, among other things, strengthening the quality of economic policy by creating a sound macroeconomic framework, controlling the budget deficit, having inflation that is not excessive, reducing exchange rate variability, avoiding over-financing of the economy and structure the debt.

An opinion shared by the hundreds of participants from 15 countries including Rwanda, Ghana and Malaysia for this 2021 edition of the “CGECI Academy”. All are of the opinion that the strengthening of the public-private partnership is the link that will allow African companies to face the many economic crises that are upsetting the business environment on the continent.

As proof, to emerge from the 20 months during which the pandemic upset the normal functioning of the global economic ecosystem, the African private sector has had to innovate. With new ways of working and new organizational practices, companies have rethought their management. But in the general opinion of all players in the sector, “all these new changes in businesses will only be truly successful if they are supported by the public authorities”.

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