Ivory coast - Too much cocoa and cofee is bad for you?
This Brief Report discusses the roots of the crisis in the Ivory Coast. Felix Houphouet-Boigny’s regime is increasingly under threat. The economy grew rapidly after independence in 1960, due to state capitalism and friendly relations with the West, particularly France. However, the prosperity and political stability masked economical and political weaknesses. The Ivorian economy is dependent on producing unprocessed cocoa and coffee. Both farmers and the state benefited from the rising price of these commodities, but the collapse of world cocoa prices in the 1980s has bankrupted the economy. Politically, Ivory Coast is a one-party state with power in the hands of President Houphouet. In July 1989, Houphouet announced an agreement with the World Bank for an economic recovery programme. However, Ivory Coast is classified as a middle-income nation and does not qualify for extensive relief and support. The situation has deteriorated, with the government unable to meet salary arrears and it may be cut off from external financing if it fails to meet debt obligations to the International Monetary Fund. As a result of the years of political stability, clandestine opposition movements are forming only now. This may lead to another military regime in West Africa.