Ivory Coast Table of Contents
As the demand for Côte d'Ivoire's exports increased in the 1960s and 1970s, the government improved the road network dramatically. From 25,000 kilometers of roads in 1961, the network expanded by 1986 to 53,765 kilometers, of which 3,765 were paved, including 141 kilometers of divided highway. Paved roads linked Abidjan with all major population centers in the country, and although they constituted only 7 percent of the total road network, they carried approximately 70 percent of the traffic. Roads were the principal mode of domestic transport, carrying about 78 percent of interurban passenger traffic and 70 percent of freight traffic. In Abidjan, as elsewhere in the country, traffic growth was rapid, expanding 10 percent per year for passenger traffic and 7 percent per year for freight traffic from 1970 to 1980. In 1986 a daily average of 14,000 vehicles entered and left Abidjan, as opposed to an average of 4,800 vehicles in 1969.
A 1969 World Bank transportation survey strongly recommended improvements to the primary road network during the 1970s. Over the first five years of the plan, inadequate planning and a lack of overall policy coordination and evaluation resulted in gross overspending. Although 75 percent of the road projects originally proposed were implemented, they cost 123 percent more than the amount earmarked to pay for the entire program. Nevertheless, highway construction did not abate. In 1986 the World Bank approved a US$40 million loan as part of a US$230 million highway construction and improvement program, described as the "quickest way to inject money into the economy and affect all sectors." For the same year, the BSIE earmarked CFA F39.4 billion for highway construction and improvement.
Data as of November 1988