Free Societies

Auditing economic freedom in Côte d'Ivoire

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The Fraser Institute releases its Economic Freedom of the World Index annually, which ranks every country based on the degree to which each country’s policies and institutions support economic freedom. Audace Institut Afrique (AIA), an Atlas Network partner located in Côte d'Ivoire, recently ranked 132nd in the index. While their economic freedom scores rank average at best, AIA is digging in its heels and pressing for reform, striving to protect private property, rule of law, and individual freedom for the millions of citizens affected by deficient policies. AIA hosted an Economic Freedom Forum with the Fraser Institute to engage in panel discussions with decision makers, opinion leaders, economists, and think tanks to identify areas to reform in Côte d'Ivoire’s economy.

Besides the severe lack of leadership and organization in government affairs, recurring land ownership disputes also remain a significant source of conflict and tension in Côte d'Ivoire. However, with an already successful Rural Land Project implemented in 2017, and by opening up a dialogue with influential decision makers, AIA is working toward improving the country’s ranking in the following indicators within the index: “legal systems and property rights,” “freedom of international trade,” “size of the state,” and “regulation of the credit market.”

"The objective of this economic freedom forum is not to distribute notes or give lessons,” emphasized Gisèle Dutheuil, the director of AIA. “It is to share ideas with the largest number of specialists, with the utmost modesty, to make recommendations to decision-makers, whether they are inspired by them or not. See where we are, have the very specific points that could help Côte d'Ivoire to improve its performance, in terms of economic freedom.”

The mission of Audace Institut Afrique (Dare Africa Institute) is to stimulate the political debate by making contextualized proposals with respect to reforms based on free markets and the growth of economic freedom, private property, the rule of law, and individual freedoms. AIA works also for the strengthening of civil society through debate meetings and an important training schedule for students. It aims to promote public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, free markets, property rights, limited government, and individual freedom in French-speaking Africa.

AIA’s Economic Freedom Forum is part of Atlas Network’s ongoing Economic Freedom Audit series, which offers opportunities to think tanks based in countries scoring in the bottom half of the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World Report. Audits have been or are being undertaken in Greece, Serbia, Argentina, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Oman, Panama, Jordan, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Tunisia, Malaysia, Lebanon, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia, Ghana, and Nepal. Case studies have been written on the audits in Argentina, Egypt, and Venezuela.

AIA received an Atlas Network grant to conduct an Economic Freedom Audit in partnership with the Fraser Institute.