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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 08.08.2020, 09:37

Addressing and management of cities, impact in economic development in Ivory Coast

Christian Agnimel Agro, Baltic International academy, faculty of Regional economy and Economic policy, Latvia , 08.07.2020.Print version
Faced with the change in recent decades in Ivory Coast linked to the demographic shift from rural to urban. Some rural regions are urbanized at almost 20%.

Faced with the demographic explosion in the cities of developing countries, mastering urban management has been made all the more difficult since local authorities, new actors in this management in the context of the ongoing decentralization movement, have often been unable to develop the means to cope with urban growth.


Nowadays, Ivory Coast is facing a worrying situation for the functioning of its urban services. Without a location system, simple question remains - how to find yourself in an ever-growing city? How to quickly guide ambulances, firefighters, security services? How identify or find an Ivorian citizen in the event of a committing crime or in the event of an offense? How to control local taxation?

This involves proceeding step by step, bringing local managers step by step to master urban information: city mapping, coding of lanes, census surveys, implementation of a simple computer system, development of tools of applied management, in particular with a view to improving resources by better identification of taxpayers.


Objective of the project:

-  Effective reforms in the identification of populations in Ivory Coast

-  Modernize the addressing with named and numbered streets in all regions in order to be able to locate any individual living in Ivory Coast.

-  Facilitate the identification and localization of all citizens in all circumstances for the proper functioning of economic activities

- Improve the return on taxation at the national level on professional activities (VAT, local taxes) by setting up a database with a file of companies.


In Ivory Coast, as in most African cities, the first addressing systems appeared during the colonial era. After Independence, as urbanization accelerated, the systems applied in the old city centers were not extended to the new districts.


All cities have experienced very significant urban growth in recent decades. This growth has often taken place in a disorderly context, characterized, among other things, by the absence of a tracking system in the city. And the method of addressing has remained the same since independence in 1960 until today. The will of the municipal authorities is, at present, to improve services and urban management [1].


Abidjan is the economic capital of Ivory Coast and his population continues to grow rapidly, as everywhere in Africa, to congregate around large cities, Abidjan now approaches 5 million inhabitants.


In Ivory Coast, peoples of cities that have experienced and / or are experiencing strong and rapid urban growth often find themselves faced with difficulties in locating and orienting themselves.  The difficulties are also at the level of the local authorities which are often unable to locate their citizens geographically.

In Ivory Coast when you ask someone for his address, he will answer you:

For example, my address: "22 BP 1964 Abidjan 21 Yopougon, Niangon"

22 BP 1962 means:  the post office box

Abidjan 01 means: The town

Yopougon means: The commune

Niangon means: District


An absence of address leads to a number of more or less unfortunate consequences, such as the difficulty, or even the impossibility of receiving parcel at home, receiving visitors, getting by taxi to a specific address, receiving help quickly.

Addressing makes it possible to locate an area plot or house, i.e. define its address from a system of cards and signs mentioning the numbering or the names of streets and buildings.


This concept can be extended to urban networks and services. In other words, you can not only give an address to a construction but also to a specific "urban object" such as a street lamp, a taxi station.

The addressing and urban system of cities in Ivory Coast and France

Since the mid-eighties, the World Bank (IDA) and France (French Cooperation - Ministry of Foreign Affairs) have contributed to the financing of addressing operations in many African countries south of the Sahara.


In Côte d'Ivoire, the cities of Abidjan, Abengourou and San-Pedro have benefited. However, the impact of this addressing is limited both within populations and on the national economy.


However, a good addressing system and quality postal codes are essential elements of a country's infrastructure and socio-economic development. They serve as the basis for quality postal services and facilitate commercial transactions and therefore the country's economic growth. In addition, addressing the streets strengthens the efficiency of the Cadastre, facilitates aid to people (location of intervention areas) and contributes to participatory democracy by bringing citizens closer to the administration [2].


The main objective of addressing is to gain better knowledge and location of each land entity. Communal taxation, almost nonexistent in terms of effective return, was considered to be the first area of application allowing each commune to assert a fair and transparent tax.


The carrying out of addressing operations and tax inquiries, however, created a dynamic in the municipal services in charge of tax collection: a dynamic more particularly visible for the Municipal tax levied on small traders.


1.Tab. classification in Ivory Coast

Abidjan (economic capital)

Density: 11 155 inhab./km 2

Number of inhabitants: 4 707 404 inhab. (2014)

Area: 42,200 ha = 422.00 km 2

percentage of the urbanized area: 20%

Streets called: 7%

percentage of doors addressed: 6%


Yamoussoukro (political capital)

Density: 3,175 inhabitants / km 2

Number of inhabitants: 362,000 inhab. (2014 )

Area: 11,400 ha = 114 km 2

percentage of the urbanized area: 17%

Streets called: 15%

percentage of doors addressed: 8%


Codification of the ways


The ways identifier is composed as follows:

For example, my address: "22 BP 1964 Abidjan 21 Yopougon, Niangon"

22 BP 1962 means:  the post office box

Abidjan 01 means: The town

Yopougon means: The commune

Niangon means: District

Door numbering


Until the early 1970s, addressing continued to be limited essentially to the names of the city's main arteries, squares, and main buildings. And the door numbering is not done, and this makes it difficult to locate and identify Ivorian citizens. Streets signage almost don’t exist in the Ivory Coast cities[3].

1.Addressing plan in Abidjan


We can see on the map that the majority of the streets do not have names. Experience shows that it is practically impossible to assign names in a systematic and rapid manner, since the name requires lengthy arbitrations by the Municipality and the residents. The solution therefore consists in adopting a channel numbering system, which will later and gradually be supplemented by names [4].


2.Tab. Classification in France

Paris (capital)

Density: 20,000/km2

Number of inhabitants: 2.148 million inhab. (2020)

Area: 105.4 km²

percentage of the urbanized area: 98%

Streets called: 98%

percentage of doors addressed: 98%


The town planning in France includes the practice and conceptualization of urban planning in France. This is distinguished at first by the establishment of rules which are imposed in a regalian way on the right of private property before constituting a specific planning right. But the rules of construction and use of the land are not limited to this single right and must also take into account the various related rights such as that of state property, the environment, local authorities, heritage. But town planning goes far beyond its legal framework. It is also based on a diagnosis of the strengths and weaknesses of a territory, an inventory of assets, means and constraints. It is also distinguished by its multi-scalar context: country, intercommunal, urban area, department, region, state [5].


The ways identifier is composed as follows:

For example, my address:” Palace of Justice, 20, bd Saint Jean, BP 10325, 60000 BEAUVAIS

20 bd Saint Jean means: the door numbering and street named

BP 10325 means: the post office box

60000 BEAUVAIS means: District


2. Addressing plan in Paris


The form of settlement on a territory is an essential component of urban systems. Whatever the scale of observation at which one is situated - department, region, country - there always appears to be a regularity in the arrangement of the sizes of cities: cities tend to organize themselves and spread over the territory according to of their dimension. The theory of central places, resulting from the works of Christaller and Lösch, constitutes an important spatial interpretation which accounts for the regularities of the spacing and the inequality of the size of the cities according to the level of their activities and their radiation [6].


The hierarchy formed by the distribution of the population of agglomerations records all the variations that occur at the scale of cities. Indeed, cities do not develop at the same rate, and their position in the urban hierarchy fluctuates all the more since they are at the bottom of the hierarchy. But despite the increase in the number of cities and their population over time, one is struck by the remarkable stability of the shape of the hierarchy of their size. Several interpretations have been given to justify the existence and persistence of such a hierarchy: the result of a growth process, the most probable state of equilibrium, or even, the result of a dynamic of self-organization [7].



The expected result is to facilitate travel and localization in the cities of Ivory Coast, using inscriptions visible to all, identifying the streets and the entrance to the constructions. For the identification of the ways, we saw that the attribution of a name is a long and delicate operation and that it is preferable first to adopt a numbering system allowing to refer to known places or divisions Population.



The investigation between France and the Ivory Coast shows that the position of France in this area is entirely within the European average, whether it is the importance of urban sprawl or its evolution. We also insist on the importance of taking into account, for the evaluation and estimation of these trends, the situation of cities in city systems in Ivory Coast. A recent article illustrates magnificently for France how these city systems can be identified, at several geographic levels, from the interaction networks that structure all kinds of relationships between cities.




1. Catherine Farvacque-Vitkovic, Lucien Godin, Hugues Leroux, Florence Verdet et Roberto Chavez, (2004)  Adressage et gestion des villes (P.33)

2. Programme national  d’adressage  , URL:

3. Pedro De OLIVEIRA, (Novembre 2018) Les adresses et la modernisation  des pratiques urbaines au Bénin , CBP - RICOH Édition.

4. Dynamics of development in Africa 2018 , URL :

5. France Guérin-Pace et Xavier Lesage,( 2001)  Le système urbain français ,Éditions de l’EHESS.

6. Robert Laugier. Février  (2012 ) L’étalement urbain en France . France, (P13).

7. Marianne Guerois, Denise Pumain,( 2017),  Des tendances de l'urbanisation en France et en Europe, (P98-100).






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