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close this bookAfrican Agriculture: The Critical Choices (UNU, 1990, 227 pages)
close this folder7. Ivory Coast: Agricultural and industrial development
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe role of agriculture in Ivorian industrial development
View the documentThe industrialization strategy
View the documentConclusion


In common with most development models in underdeveloped countries since their political independence, those of African countries have usually been inspired by a global development strategy based on the theory of the international specialization of labour and comparative advantage. According to this strategy, underdeveloped countries' interest lies in exporting to industrialized countries those factors of production that they possess in abundance, particularly agricultural, mineral and energy raw materials. This will enable them to obtain foreign exchange that, in turn will enable them to buy capital goods for their industrialization.

Twenty-five years after political independence this development strategy has proved to be disappointing for most African countries.1 The Ivory Coast is, however, one of the rare exceptions. Numerous factors explain the relative success of the economic experience, and the development model, of the Ivory Coast. First, although possessing few mineral resources,2 the Ivory Coast is favourably endowed with varied natural conditions that enable agriculture to serve as 'the basis and the motor' of its economic and social development. Secondly, the Ivorian development model is a liberal one, widely open to the outside world and 'regulated' by a presidential single-party system, with flexible planning and a major role for the state. This development model which. 'without being socialist seeks to realize a very bold social policy' aspires in the long run to establish a 'popular capitalism'.3

Finally, not only has this model rested on the intensive exploitation and export of the raw products of cash-crop agriculture but also it has sought, with some success' to establish relations between agriculture and industry, through an industrialization strategy based on agro-industry in general and the agricultural foodstuffs industry in particular.

This study is divided into two parts: 1) the role of agriculture in Ivorian industrial development: and 2) the industrialization strategy and the underlying significance of the relations between agriculture and industry for Ivorian economic development.