Last updated in May 2017
Germany and Côte d’Ivoire have traditionally enjoyed friendly relations, as evidenced by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara’s visit to Berlin in January 2013 and by his attendance at the G20 Africa Partnership conference in Berlin on 12 and 13 June 2017. 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.
Former Federal President Horst Köhler travelled to Côte d’Ivoire in February 2017, while Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Gerd Müller visited the country in early March 2017. The Federal Chancellor attended the 5th African Union-European Union summit, which was held in Abidjan on 29 November 2017, and the Federal Foreign Minister attended the AU-EU Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that took place as part of the summit.
Côte d’Ivoire has been stepping up its efforts to intensify economic relations with Germany. These efforts have so far borne only modest fruit. Côte d’Ivoire’s economic importance is based mainly on its role as the world’s biggest supplier of cocoa to Germany’s cocoa-processing industry.
In 2017, Germany exported to Côte d’Ivoire goods worth 219 million euros. During the same period, German imports from Côte d’Ivoire – mainly raw cocoa – were worth 812 million euros.
German industry is increasingly using Côte d’Ivoire as a hub for trade with francophone West Africa. However, the number of German companies present in the country is growing only slowly.
There is a European Chamber of Commerce (EUROCHAM) in Abidjan that supports German industry. Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) has had an office in Abidjan since November 2017. From mid-2018, this office will also serve as a contact point for the German Investment and Development Company (DEG).
Since the end of the crisis in April 2011, bilateral development cooperation has been intensified. For 2014, Germany pledged funding to Côte d’Ivoire totalling 51 million euros. This is being used in the energy sector to improve the power supply as well as for the development of nature conservation and economic areas in the Taï and Comoé National Parks and their catchment areas. For 2015 and 2016, Germany pledged 20 million euros in financial support to help develop the country’s health care system. For 2017, Germany committed approximately 150 million euros in assistance, including, for the first time, funding to support a reform partnership on renewable energy and energy efficiency alongside the G20’s Compact with Africa initiative. 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 250,000 people learning German in Côte d’Ivoire and around 1500 German teachers. 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 but is also responsible for the Université Alassane Ouattara in Bouaké. There is a very active town twinning arrangement between Reutlingen and Bouaké that focuses primarily on biogas and hospital projects. In addition, a German non-profit association based in Düren is cooperating with the Ivorian town of Adzopé in the areas of vocational training and agriculture.
This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.