Cote d'Ivoire was an economic success story in the first twenty years of independence, but a sharp reversal began in 1980 and by 1993 per capita incomes was back to the level of 1960. Devaluation of the African Financial Community (CFA) franc triggered an economic rebound, but this was soon undermined by the political crisis beginning in 1999. Just as the economy was starting to move forward, a new crisis struck in early 2011, with considerable loss of life and assets. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth will be significantly negative in 2011, after 30 years of almost uninterrupted decline in per capita incomes and a rise in poverty from 10 percent in 1985 to 43 percent in 2008. The country is in urgent need of rapid and inclusive growth to reduce poverty, create jobs, provide hope for a better future, and help heal the wounds in the social fabric. The report devotes some attention to two key backbone services transport and telecommunications. The transport sector facilitates exports of goods, and access to essential imports, but also represents a service export in its own right (for neighboring land-locked countries). The focus here is on the 'soft' side of transport procedures, regulations and services which are often overlooked in favor of hard infrastructure investments. Improvements on the soft side are typically more cost-effective if only because they cost little or no money.