Ivory Coast Embassy

February 11, 2010 03:00 ET

Cote d'Ivoire Minister of Economy and Finance to Receive 'Finance Minister of the Year, Africa' From the Banker Magazine

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Feb. 11, 2010) - Charles Kofy Diby, Cote d'Ivoire Economy and Finance Minister will receive the "Finance Minister of the Year for Africa" from The Banker Magazine on 12th February in London in the presence of the Cote d'Ivoire Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Construction, Minister of Infrastructure and Minister of African Integration.

Since his appointment in April 2007 - only one month after the reconciliation agreement known as 'The Ouagadougou Political Accord' - Mr Diby has sought to bring financial stability and attract foreign investment.

Says The Banker "Since 2009, the diligent and steadfast efforts of Minister Diby to put the country's economy and budget back on track have started to pay dividends."

"I am honoured to receive this award from The Banker" says Mr Diby. "We are committed to achieving sustained growth and realizing the transformation of Cote d'Ivoire."

Economic growth was 2.3% in 2008, 3.7% in 2009 and is estimated to be 6.8% in 2013. Investment is forecast to rise from 9.5% of GDP in 2007 to 18.7% in 2013.

From 2002 to 2008 Cote d'Ivoire suffered as a result of political unrest and loan defaults. However by December 2008 Cote d'Ivoire had cleared arrears to the World Bank and qualified for debt relief under the multilateral Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.

In March 2009 the IMF confirmed a $556 million IMF loan package. The IMF praised "the new economic programme and establishing a foundation for growth and higher living standards for Cote d'Ivoire's 19 million people".

Mr Diby secured debt cancellation of $845 million and rescheduling $3.845 billion with the Paris Club in May 2009. A single dollar 23 year bond is being introduced, replacing three different bonds in two currencies, making it the largest Eurobond in sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa.

Cote d'Ivoire is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2010. It is the world's leading producer of cocoa. Oil exploration is now taking place, a second oil refinery is under construction and there are gold, mining, energy and construction industries. Telecommunications, especially mobile phone and new information technologies, also contribute towards Cote d'Ivoire's economy.

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