Ivory Coast urges WAEMU countries to break down barriers to regional integration

Apr 17, 2014

Ivorian Minister of Economy and Finance Kaba Nialé insisted on Monday, April 15 that there is a need to "remove the constraints" that block regional integration in the WAEMU area.

Ivorian Minister of Economy and Finance Kaba Nialé insisted on Monday, April 15 that
there is a
need to "remove the constraints" that block regional integration in the WAEMU area.

She believes the solutions lie in developing and interconnecting, roads, energy and telecommunications infrastructure, as well as boosting production and local processing of agricultural products and natural resources, promoting small and medium-sized business and developing the financial sector.

She said at a WAEMU conference that Ivory Coast will focus on regional integration for sustainable growth.

"The integration offers an opportunity to diversify our economies (and) the development strategy of Ivory Coast takes into account our membership in this economic space," she said , quoted by Xinhua news agency.

The country is emerging from a long period of economic stagnation and political conflict which culminated in the post-election crisis of 2010-2011. After the crisis, the new government quickly set up a recovery program.

Ivory Coast is now the second largest economy in West Africa and stands among the largest exporters of cocoa and cashew nuts. It therefore has enormous economic potential, with a 2013 growth rate of around 8.7 percent, according to figures from the World Bank.