Case Examples

Country Assessments: Africa

Burkina Faso | Cameroon | Cote D’Ivoire | Ghana | Mali | Namibia | Senegal | Swaziland | Tanzania | Zambia
Cote D’Ivoire
Information Source: Cote D'Ivoire: Country Assessment Report.
The World Bank, AFTU 1 & 2. January 2002.
Cote D’Ivoire Map Location Photo - Cote D'Ivoire

Context Summary

Côte d’Ivoire has an estimated population of 15 million and an annual population growth of 2.6 percent (2000 data). Its economy is primarily agricultural; the country is among the world’s largest producers and exporters of coffee, cocoa beans and palm oil. Until 1975, Côte d’Ivoire was the most prosperous of the sub-Saharan African countries due to its agricultural exports. Côte d’Ivoire has been in an economic recession since 1986 which led to a reduction in GNP per capita from US$1,000 in 1980 to US$670 in 2000. Côte d’Ivoire is now ranked 154th out of 174 counties listed in 2000, according to the Human Development Index (HDI).

Extensive urban poverty is a recent phenomenon in Côte d’Ivoire; in 1992, it was estimated that 50 percent of the total population was living in poverty. The proportion of poor households rose from 11 percent in 1985 to 32.3 percent in 1993. The proportion of poor householders in Abidjan rose from 4.8 percent in 1993 to 20.1 percent in 1995.”

Approximately 46 percent (6.9 million) of the total population of Côte d’Ivoire lives in urban areas. Yamoussoukro is the official capital; however, Abidjan is the de facto capital, the largest city, and the main port. In 1963, the population of Abidjan was 300,000; in 2000 it was estimated at almost three million, which represents 40 percent of the total urban population of the country.

During the period of economic prosperity, the rate of population growth was very high because of immigration from neighboring African counties. In 1999, it was estimated that workers from neighboring countries comprised 20 percent of the population.

In 1999, there was a military coup, and the country has recently been dealing with a political and economic instability that it had not experienced previously.


Lessons from Recent Projects - Summary

(Lessons based on 1994 evaluation of Alliodan, M'Ponon, PK18, Ramblai I and Ramblai II and Zoe Bruno areas in Abidjan.)

Conflict about the population surveys

  • It is difficult to impose on the local population an external institution to conduct surveys when conflicts arise over original land occupation. Three players wanted to carry out the survey, and the decision regarding who got to conduct the survey was made according to variables such as the social structure of the neighborhood and the municipality involved.

Problems concerning how to evaluate the demand of infrastructure by the population and the costs of the upgrading

  • The method of evaluation consisted in querying the population about their own needs. But in spite of the consultations, the urban planners proceeded to evaluate the infrastructure in line with the standards established by the government. The low standards only considered plots and legalization and did not address the problems of financing infrastructure.

Inefficient methods of cost-recovery

  • The population found the amount too high in that they had already paid for the land to the customary chief. Land insecurity was the argument used to convince the population to make financial contributions for land legalization and regularization.

Financial contribution of the population

  • Some occupants who had the necessary income had not paid for their plots despite the lengthening of the payment period (from 12 or 18 months to 30 months). The obligation to develop the plot in a limited period of time forced the poorest population to leave.

Problems with the management of funds

  • The MCU, the mayors and the CAR all wanted to manage the funds, which was not clarified before the start of the operation.

Problems with the resettlement of displaced people

  • The displaced people did not receive compensation and they had to pay for the costs, just as other beneficiaries did, plus the cost of reconstruction.

The role of the mayors and the Upgrading Support Committees

  • The mayors and the Upgrading Support Committees reacted against the centralized method of upgrading. The more important problems are not technical but managerial and were linked to the lack of transparency and confusion in the attribution of roles.

Clarification of the objectives of the land legalization and upgrading activities

  • The players interpreted the objectives of the land legalization and regularization activities differently. They were conceived as either the implementation of a lotissement (particularly for inhabitants), land development or improvement of quality of life.

For the other projects carried out in Abidjan some further lessons are noted.

The approach for supporting local initiatives though MOS

  • When intervention must include financing for land legalization, it is possible that the time needed for population mobilization is very (or even too) long. This is particularly true because of WB requirements: only a minimum number of people can be displaced and the relocation must be in the same area.

Actors in the upgrading projects

  • Each locality needs a specially delegated executor for the implementation of the project. The implementation requires an every-day presence in the field in order to give quick responses to problems that can be addressed only by local inhabitants. Options include by the municipality (although there may be problems when there are political changes), the neighborhood association or an NGO.

The institutional MOS framework for the 'Under-Equipped Neighborhood Support Program'

  • The focus on rapid investments sometimes meant that supporting activities were not achieved. For example, the implementing system for standpipes was finalized at the end of 1999, but by April 2001, the standpipes were out of order because there had not been any arrangements for their maintenance.

The international institutions had agreed to pay for MOS

  • Mayors are not eager to pay even though they considered the role of MOS necessary.

The Projet de Quartier approach

  • The community participation approach cannot be presented as the only response to the growing urbanization of African countries. Based on community participation for neighborhood investments, this approach developed cities from the bottom-up but not from the top. In fact, towns have to be built from both the bottom and the top.

The physical development of the project.

  • The land legalization procedures introduced a series of obligations for the occupants that were simplified but still remain complex (for example, the obligation to demolish a precarious dwelling and build a new house with conventional materials and the obligation to ask for a building permit).

For more information:
Click on:
Foreword and Overview
1. Problems and Context
2. Current Situation
3. Policy Context and Institutional Framework
4. Upgrading Projects and Programs
5. Case Study
6. Lessons Learned
7. Challenges and Proposed Next Steps
Annex A: Country and City Profiles
Annex B: Bibliography
Annex C: Contact Information
Annex D: Photographs

Download for Printing:
Download Report (Acrobat PDF file, 17 k)

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