Ivory Coast: what professional opportunities ?

Posted by Fed Africa in Career advice
Posted at 15/05/2023
Ivory Coast: what professional opportunities ?
Ivory Coast  is growing economically and is now the main economic power in its sub-region. Focus on the opportunities and the evolution of the various sectors of activity which allow the growth of the Ivorian economy.

With one of the fastest and most sustained economic growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa (8,2 % average growth over the period 2012-19), Ivory Coast has imposed its position as the major economic power in its sub-region, contributing up to 40 % of the GDP and exports of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).

The country has bounced back impressively since the Covid-19 pandemic : after its growth slowed to 2% in 2020, the nation’s economy has recovered strongly to 7 % in 2021, and the government projects an average economic growth rate of 7,65 % for the period 2021-2025.

Beyond this economic dynamism, Ivory Coast is provided with substantial natural  resources. The country is the world’s first producer of cocoa and cashew nuts and has a fast-growing hydrocarbon sector. Finally, thanks to proactive policies*, Ivory Coast is now showing signs of structural transformation, as demonstrated by the emergence of local processing of raw materials and the diversification of its exports.

This positive economic trajectory is expected to be reinforced by the new 2030 strategy, which plans to accelerate the structural transformation of the economy over the next few years, at the end creating jobs in new high-potential areas as a result. Here are the five most dynamic sectors of an evolving country.

The infrastructures sector

Since 2011, the Ivorian authorities have launched a policy of major works to fill the country’s infrastructure deficit. Today, Ivory Coast has about 50 % of the WAEMU road network, the second largest port in West Africa and a modern airport with a national airline that serves all major capitals in the region.

The port of Abidjan has just been equipped with a second container terminal, the Terminal Ivory Coast (TIC), which has been operational since November 2022, and a 37 km metro will soon be built in Abidjan. The sector offers opportunities for a wide variety of professionals, from project engineers, as well as Project and Business Managers.

The hydrocarbon sector

Although home to rich deposits of metals and minerals as well as plentiful hydrocarbon reserves, the Ivorian mining sector has been relatively unexplored until recently. The sector, however, has experienced massive growth for nearly a decade since the implementation of one of the most favorable mining codes on the continent in 2014, resulting in a 43% increase in mining activities in 2019. 

Moreover, while Ivory Coast is not yet an oil country in the same way as Ghana or Nigeria, the discovery of a large oil and natural gas field off its coast in 2021 could change the situation, with a consequent increase in demand for experts involved in oil refining or energy transport. Professionals in the field such as geological or topographical experts, drilling engineers and petroleum and petrochemical installation engineers are all professions and fields that will become more and more sought after in the near future.

The agro-food industry

Agriculture has an important role in the Ivorian economy but remains slightly under-industrialized. Fortunately, the country is actively working on the processing of its main cash crops. Several structural reforms should make it possible to considerably increase the country’s capacity to process raw cashew nuts and cocoa, and to continue the construction of local rice husking and marketing units.

The sector’s core areas include activities such as product processing (which includes production and packaging), quality control, research and development, purchasing and supply, and marketing/sales.


The main driver of the digital economy, the telecommunications and Internet sector generated revenues of €1.40 billion in 2019 and accounts for 11 % in terms of value added in GDP. The majority of the sector’s activity is dominated by mobile telephony (88 % of the sector’s revenue).

The Internet is not left behind, however : this sector is growing steadily, with 17.24 million subscribers registered as of December 31, 2019. As for mobile telephony, it remains the main mode of access to the Internet (98% of subscribers), while the mobile money penetration rate is estimated at 67%, with 17.5 million subscribers at the end of 2019 – a growth of 37.2% compared to 2018.

As a result, companies and start-ups across the country are constantly looking for engineers who can develop new forms of telecommunications and improve existing products and services, as well as experts to develop solutions to problems that may arise on the network. Mobile application developers, data analysts and fintech specialists will also be in high demand.

The industrial sector

With 45 industries with a turnover of over €33 million, Ivory Coast has a dynamic and diversified industrial fabric. The sector recorded a growth of 9.7% in 2019, while its share of GDP increased from 25% in 2018 to 26% in 2019.

The country has mining, petroleum, textiles, cement, steel mill, petrochemical and cosmetics industries, with manufacturing leading the way. Last but not least, the country is determined to become a regional industrial power by the period 2025-2030, which will require the modernization and expansion of industrial zones and production facilities as <ell as the construction of new factories.

Finally, we can therefore expect that industrial product managers, business engineers or industrial engineers as well as multi-skilled managers in the health, safety and environment field, as well as industrial production unit managers to become very popular positions in the coming years.