Last updated in December 2012
Côte d’Ivoire and the Federal Republic of Germany have a tradition of friendly relations. Immediately after the presidential elections in Côte d’Ivoire on 28 November 2010, the German Federal Government, the EU and the international community had recognized Alassane Ouattara as the winner and rightful President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. Ouattara was, however, only able to take office on 11 April 2011 after the military defeat of former President Gbagbo.
After the end of the post-election crisis, a number of delegations from the German Bundestag paid visits to Côte d’Ivoire and held political talks there. Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara is paying a visit to Germany in January 2013.
In trade with Germany, Côte d’Ivoire ranks third amongst the Sub-Saharan African states in terms of imports and 11th in terms of exports. In 2011, Ivorian exports to Germany were worth approximately EUR 1 billion, while German exports to Côte d’Ivoire amounted to around EUR 100 million. Côte d’Ivoire is very eager to step up economic relations with Germany. Economically, Côte d’Ivoire’s is mainly of significance as the globally most important supplier of cocoa to Germany’s cocoa-processing industry.
During the crisis that flared up in 1999, Germany was one of the few bilateral donors not to suspend development cooperation with Côte d’Ivoire. German development cooperation with the country currently focuses on rural economic development and biodiversity, with projects designed to preserve the Taï National Park, West Africa’s largest intact rainforest and a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. The aim is also to create sustainable income opportunities in the country’s structurally weak rural areas. In the sphere of environmental protection, German engagement in Côte d’Ivoire dates back to 1993.
Ivorians show keen interest in the cultural programme and language work of the Goethe Institute in Abidjan. At present, there are three PASCH partner schools in Côte d’Ivoire. In addition, an academic teacher seconded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) looks after German Studies students at the University of Cocody-Abidjan. After being closed as a result of the crisis, the university was completely renovated and re-opened in September 2012. The University of Cocody-Abidjan is partnered with the University of Bamberg (history departments). There is also a town twinning arrangement between the German city of Reutlingen and the city of Bouaké in Côte d’Ivoire’s interior.