The Journal of Modern African Studies


The Ivory Coast Economic ‘Miracle’: What Benefits for Peasant Farmers?

Robert M. Hecht*

The pattern of rapid economic growth in the Ivory Coast since the early 1950s has been frequently described with some hyperbole, by foreign experts and Ivorian politicians, as an economic ‘miracle’. While most African nations, with the exception of the oil-exporters, have taken a rough ride on the economic roller-coaster during the past two decades, and while some like Guinea, Ghana, and Uganda, have followed a steadily downward trajectory, the economic fortunes of the Ivory Coast have improved consistently.


* Rockefeller Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1981–2. Research for this study was carried out initially at Cambridge University, England, during 1978–80. Fieldwork in the Ivory Coast was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., the Wenner Gren Foundation, New York, and the William Wyse Fund, Trinity College, Cambridge