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 Friday, 3 January, 2003, 11:24 GMT
Ivorian war cuts Mali's cotton profits
Map of West Africa
Mali's cotton industry has dramatically slashed its profit forecast for 2003 because of increased transport costs caused by the civil war in neighbouring Ivory Coast.

The conflict in West Africa has, at times, shut down the main ports in Ivory Coast, affecting not only Mali but most other neighbouring countries.

Mali's state-owned cotton company CMDT cut its forecast by 67% from 4.62bn CFA francs (4.6m; $7.3m), which was based on exporting through Ivory Coast's main port of Abidjan.

"Now, as the chances of this happening are dwindling and as we go to Lome (Togo), Tema (Ghana) and Dakar (Senegal) to export, expected profit has been reduced to 1.52bn (CFA francs)," a company official told Reuters.

Economic cost

The three-month-old conflict has effectively partitioned Ivory Coast into government and rebel-held areas.

The country was the economic hub of the region with an annual gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $10bn before the fighting began.

When fighting erupted, Mali's borders with Ivory Coast were sealed, forcing the largest cotton producer in sub-Saharan Africa to find other trade routes.

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world and its economy ministry has already put tax losses due to the war at 11.4bn CFA francs.

The overall cost to the economy in the first quarter of 2003 is forecast at 100bn CFA francs.

Cotton is Mali's second biggest export earner behind gold.


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03 Jan 03 | Africa
11 Sep 02 | Business
30 Jul 02 | Business
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