Côte d'Ivoire - Country Commercial Guide

Describes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and covers prominent B2B websites.

Last published date: 2021-04-20

Côte d’Ivoire’s telecommunications infrastructure and growing internet market have laid the groundwork for the further development of e-commerce. The e-commerce sector also offers investors an opportunity to provide cyber-security technology services to secure online payments.

Assessment of Current Buyer Behavior in Market

The government announced in late 2019 its intention to expand e-commerce options.  Several online retail shopping websites have opened and their usage by Ivoirians is increasing.  E-commerce is also expanding through social media.  U.S. businesses interested in entering this market should plan to employ various payment modes, including cash on delivery, as many Ivoirians do not have credit cards. In lieu of developing their own delivery systems, U.S. businesses can take advantage of an increasing amount of delivery service options available on the local market.

Local eCommerce Sales Rules & Regulations

E-commerce companies receive many of the same incentives as other companies as provided in the Investment Code.  The Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Côte d’Ivoire (ARTCI) regulates the sector and reports to the Ministry of Digital Economy, Telecommunications, and Innovation.  A license is required to engage in e-commerce and the firm must be registered with the government’s Investment Promotion Center.  

Local eCommerce Business Service Provider Ecosystem

The West African Central Bank (Banque Centrale des Etats de l‘Afrique de l‘Ouest, BCEAO) has an inter-bank automated electronic payment system to reduce delays in bank settlement operations.  The system has helped promote swift e-commerce, though credit cards are still not often used outside of major cities. 

Côte d’Ivoire is a regional hub for e-commerce as well.  WAEMU’s Interbank Electronic Banking Group https://www.gim-uemoa.org/ (Groupement Interbancaire Monétique_GIM-UEMOA) is located in Abidjan; Côte d’Ivoire accounts for over 40 percent of its activity. The GIM-UEMOA is standardizing many operations, such as e-commerce payments and internet payment of taxes and utility bills.