Ivory Coast

#Mots-clés : Dernière mise à jour le 7 June 2019
This page has been translated with Google Translation





Among the largest producers and exporters of oil palm and coffee, Côte d’Ivoire has boasted of being the strongest economy in West Africa. Now, due to a devastating civil war and the global economic pressure since 2002, the country fell into extreme poverty, and its infrastructure is struggling to meet the growing needs of the population. In the city of Abidjan, the housing deficit is estimated at 12,000 units per year. The urbanization has exacerbated the problem, with nearly half of the population growth that is taking place today in cities.


After the violence that followed the 2010 presidential elections, many citizens fled abroad or are internally displaced within the country. Commission “Dialogue – Truth and Reconciliation” was created in 2011, but still little or no operational. It is a policy of reintegration of households is implemented




A video testimony made by Habitat for Humanity in Cote d’Ivoire for the World Habitat Day in 2012 shows an overview of housing and role-playing residents See the video (FR).

In the cities, among others due to the voluntary action of the state, consists of two habitat “live traditional models” :

  • Residential and economic habitat produced by the state. These neighborhoods include homes “band” or “high.” Housing called “band” are delimited by low fences and quiet spaces, housing “height” are apartment buildings in several levels, with common areas, managed by real estate companies in the state. These units are offered for rent or lease. The people attempt to adapt these units to their needs, which often results in overcrowding phenomena welcomed the extended family under one roof.
  • Habitat Court. In neighborhoods developed following frames rectangular courtyard habitat is the dominant form. It is a ten homes located on a plot of 400 m2 around a courtyard where tenants live together and sometimes the owner. Two long buildings “band” are arranged side street and backyard, each comprising 4 or 5 units with 1-3 rooms. Of both sides, there are kitchens and bathrooms and in the center of the court, the palaver tree.

Under the effect of the crisis, these modes “traditional” have evolved fences were strongly elevated guards were engaged in residential areas during the communes are individualized and new types of housing have emerged: the studios the apartments. Sublease and roommate became usual.


According to Habitat for Humanity, in rural areas, the need for housing is also immense. Many people live in temporary structures, which require extensive maintenance and repair and are vulnerable to fires. The walls are generally made of mud in a wooden frame and there is often cracked, causing leaks and ultimately may lead to the collapse. in the roofs of houses, home to many insect vectors of diseases such as malaria mosquitoes and tsetse flies, which can spread disease to the eyes.


The right to housing is recognized in the Ivorian Constitution of July 2000, in its

  • Article 4: “The home is inviolable. Violations or restrictions that may be made by law.”
  • Article 15: “The right of property is guaranteed for all. No person shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and under the condition of a just and prior compensation.”
  • Article 19: “The right to a healthy environment is recognized at all.”

Access to the text of the Act: Constitution of Ivory Coast 2000


This short video explains briefly the situation in the poor neighborhoods of Abidjan: Video about squatters


“In Ivory Coast, the people had, before the arrival of settlers, traditional natural rights on their property. Everyone knew who owned the land and it was respected. The arrival of the colon has upset the natural order and the Ivorian government, independence, reproduced the imported model and took possession of the land. This revolution has created many conflicts, and it was not until 1998 that the legislature has attempted to bring solutions across a rural land code. Despite this, in 2012, only 1.5% of the land is registered with a title. ”

The causes of this problem seem to be on the one hand the complexity of the law (written by and for lawyers, not taking into account the possibilities of people – sometimes illiterate – to take ownership) as well as differences in customs on across the country (sometimes patriarchal system of inheritance and sometimes matriarchal).

Access to legislation: Text of Rural Land Law



  • Joungpeople
  • Old people
  • Women


Social and economic aspects


There is a mismatch between supply and demand for housing. Despite posters estate agents, it is almost impossible to find accommodation at a decent price in the center of Abidjan. Buying a home is considered unaffordable.

The reason for this goes back to the rural exodus that took place in the early 2000s, following a military-political crisis. Abidjan has sharply increased creating a phenomenon of overpopulation.

With a minimum wage of 40,000 CFA francs and a monthly rent of 300,000 FCFA (2012), it is clear that the situation is untenable! To this is added the problem of rent deposit, which can vary between 4 months and a year to be paid in advance; intermediaries ask them one month’s rent.

However, after the country’s independence, real estate companies of State (SICOGI and SOGEFIHA) offered social housing for low-income people. But the structural adjustment programs of the 1980s put an end to this policy.

Today (2012), the housing deficit stands at around 40,000 units per year, roughly half of which 400,000 homes in the capital Abidjan.


According to Habitat for Humanity, with so many people living in poverty, the issue of substandard housing is an insurmountable challenge. Most families live in traditional houses made of mud walls and thatched roofs or poorly constructed brick houses. Overcrowding exists in most of these houses, and the lack of natural light and ventilation are common problems, causing illness and other problems.


According to UN Habitat (2001),

  • 44% of the population lives in urban areas
  • 68% in urban informal settlements (slums)
  • The growth of urban population is 3%, in the shantytowns of 6%


In 1926, all French West Africa, there is one tool of public housing policy: the Office of Economic Dwellings (OHE) a decree which sets goals (1949): “build safe housing, cheap and oriented individual homeownership. “Société d’Habitation Estate Côte d’Ivoire (SIHCI) was founded in 1952 and merged with the Society of Urban Construction and Côte d’Ivoire ( SUCCI). These organizations will build expensive housing for European officials, and cooperating with local elites.

At independence, several policies to support housing development are in place: tax exemptions on imported materials for housing, access to international financial markets, financial aid, etc.. In 1964, creates SOCOGI, Society of Real Estate Management and Promotion Mixed Economy, which resulted from the merger of the two companies existing at the time of colonization. The new company built housing types varied, ranging from luxury villa for affordable housing. Residents can obtain such housing as tenants or as owners leasing. In addition to providing housing, the company makes adjustments ‘social’ neighborhoods. The Management Company Financière de l’Habitat (SOGEFIHA) also played an important role as a promoter of housing for a variety of audiences. Production of affordable housing has partly determined the urban structure of cities in Côte d’Ivoire. This policy was the government until 1980 when a sharp slowdown or cessation of public investment in housing economy will be felt.

From the 1980s. The Ivorian experiencing strong economic crisis between 1980 and the early 1990s. This will explain the withdrawal of the state in housing that wants to limit spending. These are the programs related to housing, education and health that have been most affected by these cuts.

In the 1990s, the Ivorian government is facing multiple crises in the prices of raw materials (such as cocoa) on international markets, which has created great economic uncertainty in the country, and large fluctuations in the budget of the State. The Ivorian economy is a “model” of liberal economy with a rapid dismantling of existing regulations, customs protection, control of the state and overexploitation of natural resources.

The Ivorian government has embarked on a major investment program 2011-2015 giving a high priority habitat. This implies the arrival of funds from outside the country as well as public-private partnerships. Among the projects put in place a program of social housing in a town of Abidjan. This national program for housing should also include the construction of housing for low-income households. Among the various projects include also those aimed at improving mobility in the country and with neighboring countries. The issue of growing energy needs is also part of the reflection.

the great innovation that will bring the Ivorian is the creation of a National Guarantee Fund for Housing, so that people can more easily get a mortgage.

Cultural aspects – Religious – Symbolic

Environmental aspects

Bibliography & Sitography


According to the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Daring Africa Institute which focused on the difficulty of implementing a rural land rights in Côte d’Ivoire. article and video from Audace Afrique :

  • A land law conceived, designed by lawyers, despite the operation and capabilities of rural populations to apply: the complexity of implementation, non operational structures in place, …
  • A single law that will deal with a diverse reality, especially in terms of customary law. Customary law is validated, but without explaining what the customs it is. Parts of Côte d’Ivoire operating according to a patriarchal customary law and other parts in a matriarchal law.
  • Many legal loopholes leaving too much room for potential conflicts.


According to the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Institute Audacity Africa focused on the difficulty of implementing a rural land rights in Côte d’Ivoire. Article and video Daring Africa:

  • Popularize the Act of 1998 (Code rural land).
  • Urgently clarify the controversial notions, subjective and confligènes in Law 98 (and in particular to whether the title may or may not exclude non-nationals – to establish rules for the succession of the earth that reflect the realities customary varied according to ethnicity – …).
  • Facilitating the procedure of land registration (simplification of procedures – reducing the costs of acquisition of title – decentralize administrative services – launch a national registration of land – …)
  • Reduce the risk of conflict.
  • Include new actors in réfoeme law 98 (including inviting civil society)


  • HABITAT FOR HUMANITY INTERNATIONAL IN IVORY COAST = network section Habitat for Humanity. Specifically, they work on all the Ivorian territory rehabilitating hydraulic pumps, building houses, building the capacity of local communities. They have developed a micro-housing finance, improving the lives of vulnerable populations such as children or people with disabilities, access to drinking water, training in various materials including business construction. Site HFHCIContact them.