Ivory Coast: electoral tensions and choice of economic actors

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In addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, which is strongly affecting the world economy and the Ivorian economy, there is a risk of socio-political unrest associated with the October 31 presidential election. Many observers fear that the country’s economy will pick up after good years of growth and development. Following the 2010-2011 election crisis, Côte d’Ivoire’s GDP had lost 4 points. In late September, rating agency Bloomfield downgraded Côte d’Ivoire’s “land risk” rating due to new policy tensions, while forecasts already required growth to slow to 1.6. % in 2020 instead of the expected 7.8%. In fact, Ivorian economic actors have already begun to adapt their choices and decisions for fear of a new electoral crisis.

A skinny car is stored in front of Maninga Mory’s small shop. The bonnet, the two front seats, remain at the wheel, but the rear of the vehicle is deboned and the engine eradicated. Maninga sells spare parts for German cars: rims, gearboxes, bumpers, engines, he collects parts from other vehicles and also orders in Europe when the parts that his customers are looking for cannot be found.

But in this period before the election, he chose to stop all orders abroad for fear of not being able to recycle his goods as in normal times. “Because I buy my spare parts in Europe. But if there are problems, if there is the policy, if my container comes, then how do I clear it? “

Fewer parts to sell means lower revenue. Specialized seller regrets that the country’s economy suffers from political problems with every choice. “If there are problems everywhere, left to right, and those who have to invest are not there. How do I do it? Or? If there is no activity, my shop is closed and you, for example, your car is spoiled, how to get the parts, you can not have them ”

According to Séraphin Prao, professor of economics at the University of Bouaké, who was contacted by telephone, “the country risks losing 4 to 5% of growth if the situation worsens as in 2010”; he believes that the current institutional crisis is already having an impact on the decisions of economic actors.

The spare parts seller is aware of this risk and appeals to calm on the shelves of his store. “The only advice I can give young people today is to better leave politicians in their place. If there is choice, it is better to silence your voice than to give your chest on the road. Because when it gets tough, we’ll look at ourselves here. They, their children, are in Europe, they have everything. We who are in Africa are the ones who are suffering. It’s us who kill each other: my neighbor, my neighbor. ”

The presidential election will be held on October 31, 2020. Maninga Mory still wants to believe in a political and peaceful solution between the various protagonists during the run for the top office.

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