The implementation of Côte d'Ivoire’s National Development Plan 2021-2025 (PND) requires significant investments, a substantial portion of which will be directed towards projects with strong social or environmental impact across various fields. Additional financing [1], at a cost of about $22 billion, will also be required to implement the country’s revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), submitted to the UNFCCC in 2022 [2], [3].


Key policies and governance approach

Côte d’Ivoire has developed the Côte d’Ivoire Sustainable Bond Framework (the “Framework”) under which it intends to issue ESG-accredited instruments, in particular green, social, and sustainability bonds and loans, and use the proceeds to finance and refinance, in whole or in part, existing and future projects and programs that are expected to contribute to the sustainable development of the country, as envisioned in the National Development Plan 2021-2025 (PND). The Framework defines eligibility criteria in 5 areas: 1). Access to Basic Infrastructure; 2). Access to Basic Services; 3). Employment and Competitiveness; 4). Promotion of a resilient and inclusive post-COVID-19 recovery; and 5). Environment and Sustainable Development [1], [4].   

Côte d’Ivoire started to introduce specific Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria in formulating its Financing Strategy in 2019, when the country carried out its first ESG financing transaction via the placement of a syndicated Social Loan on the international banking market, which was subject to an independent external evaluation by the SPO provider Vigeo Eiris [1].

The issuance of ESG Instruments is intended to align with the “Social Bond Principles” (SBP), the “Green Bond Principles” (GBP) and/or the “Sustainability Bond Guidelines” (SBG) for bonds, as well as the “Social Loan Principles” (SLP) and the “Green Loan Principles” (GLP) for loans. Conducting ESG financing transactions is a direct application of the country’s economic and social development strategy, and the 2021-2025 PND in particular, and reaffirms the commitment of Côte d’Ivoire’s government to the pursuit of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) [1].

Successes and remaining challenges

In 2021, Côte d’Ivoire engaged Sustainalytics to review the Côte d’Ivoire Sustainability Bond Framework. Following this review, Sustainalytics concluded that the Framework is credible, impactful and aligns with the four core components of the SBG, GBP, SBP, SLP and GLP. Further, it was noted that the projects, programs, and activities that will be financed through the Framework are expected to advance the country’s inclusive and sustainable development, as well as advance the shift to a low carbon economy [4].   

Financing instruments issued by Côte d’Ivoire under its Sustainable Bond Framework will finance projects that are anticipated to have positive social and environmental impacts. However, it was recognized that, as with any large initiative, such eligible projects may lead to some negative environmental and social outcomes. Key environmental and social risks associated with the eligible projects could include (i) land use and biodiversity loss associated with large-scale infrastructure development, (ii) human and labour rights (including occupational health and safety risks), (iii) risks of increasing inequalities if social programmes are not appropriately targeted to beneficiaries or if universal access is not ensured, and (iv) risks related to bribery and corruption which could undermine the achievement of key objectives. However, Sustainalytics believes that Côte d’Ivoire has implemented adequate measures and is well-positioned to manage and mitigate environmental and social risks commonly associated with the eligible categories [4].   

Initiatives and Development Plans

The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) in June 2022 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire to enhance and increase the share of adaptation and resilience investments financed by the country’s forthcoming Sustainable Bond Program. GCA will support the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) projects identification, with a focus on climate change and adaptation-related projects.

The immediate focus of GCA technical assistance will be on budget screening and identification of eligible budget expenditures, within the scope of the ESG Framework of Côte d’Ivoire, and in the medium to long term promote the implementation of process and tools to: (i) Classify climate change related expenditures; (ii) Track climate related expenditures in the national budget system (climate budget tagging), and (iii) Train relevant government entities on these process and tools (including the ESG Committee).

Côte d’Ivoire has formed an ESG Committee to select projects financed by the Sustainable Bonds. The ESG Committee is led by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, specifically the Debt Management Office (“Direction de la Dette Publique et des Dons”). It includes representatives from the Ministry of Planning and Development, the Ministry of Budget, and from a range of sectoral Ministries covering critical policies related to the Eligible ESG Categories, in particular, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Hydraulics and the Ministry of Solidarity and Fight against Poverty [5].

Goals and Ambitions

In September 2019, Abidjan became the 29th centre to join the Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) network. Abidjan is the leading financial hub for the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union. Abidjan will be represented by the soon-to-be-launched Abidjan International Financial City. In the meantime, it is represented by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Their ambition is supported by a high-level public-private working group [6].


Côte d’Ivoire is well-positioned to issue green, social, and/or sustainability bonds and loans [4].