Côte d’Ivoire seeks a development strategy to reach middle-income status—a challenge that would require annual growth rates averaging 10 percent over the next 13 years. Global experience of both developed and emerging economies shows that GDP per capita rises with increased urbanization.
However, Côte d’Ivoire’s economy is underperforming relative to its level of urbanization. The country’s urbanization has been negatively correlated with income per capita since the late 1970s, and poverty has been increasing. Rather than consider development of cities individually, successful urbanization plans in Côte d’Ivoire should consider the country’s cities as a portfolio of assets, each differentiated by characteristics that include size, location, and density of settlements.
The authors of Diversified Urbanization: The Case of Côte d’Ivoire identify three types of cities on the basis of their contribution to growth and job creation: Global Connectors, Regional Connectors along major corridors for regional transport and trade, and Domestic Connectors of localization economies for agribusiness.