Relations between Germany and Côte d’Ivoire have traditionally been friendly, as demonstrated by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara’s visit to Berlin in January 2013 as well as his attendance at the G20 Africa Partnership conference in Berlin in June 2017 and Chancellor Merkel’s Compact with Africa conference in October 2018. Germany is held in high regard in Côte d’Ivoire and is assisting the country, both bilaterally and through the European Union, in its stabilisation and reconstruction process.
Côte d’Ivoire has been stepping up its efforts to intensify economic relations with Germany. Its economic importance is based mainly on its role as the biggest supplier of cocoa to Germany’s cocoa-processing industry.
In 2018, Germany exported to Côte d’Ivoire goods worth 211 million euros. During the same period, German imports from Côte d’Ivoire – mainly raw cocoa – were worth 981 million euros.
There is a European Chamber of Commerce (EUROCHAM) in Abidjan that supports the business community. The KfW opened an office in Abidjan in November 2017.
Bilateral development cooperation has been intensified since the end of the crisis in April 2011. The main focuses are: the energy sector (electricity supply) and the development of natural and economic areas. Germany and Côte d’Ivoire have been cooperating on environmental protection since 1993. There are also projects underway in the areas of health care and family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention, renewable energy as well as the governance of raw materials.
There are some 300,000 people learning German in Côte d’Ivoire. The universities in Abidjan and Bouaké have large German Studies departments with more than 1000 students. There is a Goethe-Institut in Abidjan that not only offers language courses, but also features prominently in the city’s cultural life through the wide-ranging programme it organises. Student and academic exchange and scholarship programmes are overseen by a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) lector, who is based at the Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan.