Area Handbook for Ivory Coast

By T. D. Roberts; Donald M. Bouton et al. | Go to book overview

SECTION III. ECONOMIC BACKGROUND

CHAPTER 17
CHARACTER AND STRUCTURE OF THE ECONOMY

The Ivory Coast is one of the many poor countries of the world whose economies are underdeveloped. Limited in its command of capital, enterprise and skilled labor, it suffers the classical disadvantages of being almost exclusively an importer of manufactured goods and an exporter of primary agricultural products. Nevertheless, it is closer to prosperity than are most of the other West African countries. Its resources are more varied; its range of exports is more diversified; and its infrastructure is better developed than those of all but a very few of its neighbors. Extractive and processing industries have taken a foothold and are growing. In contrast to most of the new African republics, it has enjoyed a continuously favorable balance of trade since the early 1950's. Of all the former French West African territories, the Ivory Coast had the highest potential for economic growth in 1962.

The Ivory Coast's economic dependency on France outlived its political dependency and still existed in 1962. French public and private capital helped to support the government, assured the internal and external acceptability of the currency, financed most major commercial enterprises, and was the foundation of the country's banking and credit structure. French enterprises operating in the country were a major market for the Ivory Coast's wage labor; France absorbed over half of the country's exports; and Frenchmen held most of the key posts in business and in many government ministries.

On the other hand, the economic bonds between the Ivory Coast and the other former French dependencies in West Africa were weak, despite a common heritage and a community of interests. However, the government, by virtue of its adherence to a number of groupings of former French African territories, was committed to the principle of African economic cooperation and eventual unity, but not at the expense of its immediate domestic interests or its close economic ties with France (see ch. 21, Domestic and Foreign Trade).

By its broad policies, the government was promoting a mixed economy in 1962, but one that encouraged and favored free enterprise. Also, it seldom permitted political considerations to impede overall economic

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Area Handbook for Ivory Coast
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Preface to the Second Edition ix
  • Country Summary xi
  • Summary of Events: January 1963--December 1972 xv
  • Bibliography lvii
  • Preface to the First Edition lxv
  • Section I. Sociological Background 1
  • Chapter 1 General Character of the Society 1
  • Chapter 2 Historical Setting 7
  • Chapter 3 Geography and Population 29
  • Chapter 4 Ethnic Groups and Languages 55
  • Chapter 5 Family 79
  • Chapter 6 Social Structure 95
  • Chapter 7 Education and Intellectual Expression 111
  • Chapter 8 Religion 131
  • Chapter 9 Artistic Expression 145
  • Chapter 10 Health and Welfare 155
  • Chapter 11 Social Values and Patterns of Living 169
  • Bibliography 179
  • Section II. Political Background 189
  • Chapter 12 Constitution and Government 189
  • Chapter 13 Political Dynamics 213
  • Chapter 14 Foreign Policy 231
  • Chapter 15 Information and Propaganda 251
  • Chapter 16 Attitudes and Reactions of the People 265
  • Bibliography 273
  • Section III. Economic Background 283
  • Chapter 17 Character and Structure of the Economy 283
  • Chapter 18 Agriculture 289
  • Chapter 19 Industry 309
  • Chapter 20 Labor 331
  • Chapter 21 Domestic and Foreign Trade 349
  • Chapter 22 Financial System 367
  • Bibliography 387
  • Section IV. National Security 395
  • Chapter 23 Public Order and Internal Security 395
  • Chapter 24 the Armed Forces 411
  • Bibliography 427
  • Glossary 431
  • Index 437
  • Published Area Handbooks 449
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