(Ecofin Agency) – US rating agency S&P Global Ratings estimates economic growth in Côte d’Ivoire at 6% for 2021. In an official document consulted by Ecofin Agency, S&P Global Ratings said it expects that further structural reforms, as part of the Ivorian National Development Plan 2021-2025, will allow for a strong economic growth trajectory, after the contraction in 2020 due to Covid-19.
The Agency says Côte d’Ivoire’s membership in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) somewhat limits its monetary flexibility and reduces the country’s external risks. For its issuer profile, the county received a rating of BB- for the long term and B for the short term.
This is positive news as it reassures the country’s creditors that it will continue to honor its commitments in terms of debt repayment and interest payments. For 2021, debt service is expected to be CFA2,132.7 billion, of which CFA1,072 billion is domestic debt and almost the same amount for external creditors. Debt repayment represents 54% of the internal budgetary resources collected by the state.
However, these good forecasts remain fragile. S&P Global Ratings explained that these ratings could come under pressure if budget deficits do not shrink as expected or if socio-political tensions increase significantly. Beyond its international credibility, Côte d’Ivoire still has 40% of its population in poverty as of the end of 2020, according to World Bank indicators.