The Ministry of Sports of Côte d’Ivoire has been organised the first edition of the Ivoirian Sport Economy Forum from 10 to 11 July 2023 in Abidjan with discussions around the role of sport as a lever for socio-economic development and job creation for youth. More than 300 participants, representatives of the government, the sports movement and the private sector, took part in the event to discuss sustainable development of the sport ecosystem in Côte d'Ivoire.

Promoting sport: a key challenge for Côte d’Ivoire

In recent years, Côte d’Ivoire has recorded significant progress in developing sports infrastructures and promoting local talent. Just a few months before the next African Cup of Nations football tournament to be organised in the country, the Ivoirian Sport Economy Forum has capitalised on this momentum to ease interactions between stakeholders and accelerate sustainable investment within the industry.

The Forum notably highlighted the key contribution of sport as a vector for economic and social development, creating jobs, stimulating investment and enhancing Côte d’Ivoire’s national and international notoriety.

Paulin Claude Danho, Minister for Sport, has underlined the vision of the President of the Republic to make sport a key source of social cohesion, well-being, wealth & job creation for future generations.

Key output

The role of public authorities: government representatives were able to discuss ways of developing the local ecosystem (from grassroot to professional sport) through (i) the deployment of appropriate policies involving local authorities, (ii) the introduction of tax measures favourable to investment in the sector, and (iii) the sustainable management/maintenance of major sports complexes and local infrastructures.

The role of economic stakeholders: sports federations, private organisations (equipment manufacturers, sports marketing agencies, sponsors, etc.) and specialised media have discussed the challenges and opportunities related to the development of sport in Côte d’Ivoire and have also explored partnerships and synergies to promote the sector.

The role of sport in tourism development: the sustainable use of sports infrastructures was also discussed, to enable the country to capture more economic benefits directly related to the increase in sports, events and cultural tourism.

Investment in the training of athletes and capacity building of coaches: the forum also highlighted the importance of training athletes and sports coaches and, more broadly, of training young people for careers within the sport industry.

Innovation and technological development in sport: participants also discussed opportunities for innovation and technological development in sport, with a focus on improving athlete performance, optimising the management of sporting events and enhancing the spectator experience.

At the end of the two-day Forum, the authorities and stakeholders in the sports movement have signed a contract for the development of the sports economy. This contract focuses on 4 main axes:

– Strengthening cooperation between stakeholders within the sports industry

– Establishing an ecosystem for the funding of sports facilities

– Promoting innovation within the sports industry

– Supporting the structuration of the Ivorian offer (locally and sub-regionally).

Patrick Olivier Daipo, Technical Adviser representing the Minister of Trade, Industry and Promotion of SMEs, mentioned that “the implementation of this agreement will contribute to the structuring of the Ivorian sports economy sector and will support local companies to better conquer new markets”.

The recommendations and initiatives resulting from this first edition of the Ivoirian Sport Economy Forum will be promoted during the next Sport Impact Summit, the reference event for sport in Africa, to be organised in Dakar in November 2023.