Definition of Youth

While Côte d'Ivoire does not provide a definition of youth, the Youth Card is available to all citizens ages 16-35.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 20
  • --
  • --
  • Female
  • 18
  • --
  • --

  • No data for marriage with parental consent. No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Penal Code of Côte D'Ivoire

Majority Age


Source: Civil Code (n.d)

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 59.61% Male (15-24) %
  • 40.68% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • --Male %
  • -- Female %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 26.30% Male (13-15) %
  • 10.90% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Côte d'Ivoire is drafting a national youth policy. A draft is not yet available online.

According to a statement by the President, drafting of a national youth policy is under way. However no information is currently available. The Civic Action Service for Employment and Development (SCAED) aims to:

  • Provide a civic, academic and professional education
  • Facilitate the placement of the beneficiaries in traineeships within enterprises;
  • Facilitate young people's integration within the  country's economic fabric.
The National Youth Fund (FNJ) provides financial support and guidance to young people who want to engage in community oriented entrepreneurial activities. The Youth Card (Carte Jeune), launched in 2012 and available to all aged 16-35, gives access to the Ministry’s projects and programmes, such as job offers, vocational training and various discounts.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry for the Promotion of Youth, Sports and Leisure is in charge of youth policy. In a 2011 speech, the Minister presented plans for a national youth policy and a policy on national civic service.  The former is described as having a wider scope, which ranges from education, financial support, protection of young people´s well being. The National Civic Service Policy aims to shape young people into citizens, to educate to the respect of state institutions and community values. Unfortunately, digital copies of the policies are not currently available.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The National Youth Council of Côte d´Ivoire (CNJCI) includes education-based youth associations, different youth federations and youth NGOS represented by elected delegates. The CNJI “aims to encourage youth civic participation, to represent the country’s culturally, politically and social diverse youth and share opinions and advice on matters regarding young people”. Possession of the Youth Card is necessary to elect CNJI representatives, and having an independent income is a requisite for candidacy.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
The 2012 budget for the Ministry for the Promotion of Youth, Sports and Leisure was CFA 5.9 billion (USD 12.3 million). It is unclear what proportion of this amount is specifically for youth. Transversal projects targeting youth, such as employment schemes, education and training, are not included in the budget. The government has committed to allocating CFA 810 billion (USD 1.7 billion) to the modernisation of the education system. According to the World Bank, Cote d’Ivoire spent 24.61% of its government expenditure and 4.60% of its GDP on education provision in 2008.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

The 2010 report by the Catalan Institute for Peace examines the role of youth in the nation´s conflict. It looks closely at the issue of nationality, one of the root causes of the violence in Côte d'Ivoire, and an important question for migrant or migrant-origin youth in the country. Youth was both subjected to and active in the violence of the civil war (i.e. the militias and rebel groups) and in the political and ethnic conflicts following presidential elections in 2010. The report therefore suggests key steps for the inclusion of youth in consolidation of peace process (original in French, our translation):
Substantially reform nationality laws (...) to attenuate the imperfections of a legislation inadequate for social reality and prone to political exploitation; To re-think the system of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR);
The 2010 report by the United States Institute of Peace highlights the devastating effects of the civil war on education in the country and its relationship to the conflict. It states:  
Since the beginning of the civil war in Côte d’Ivoire in 2002, the education sector has been the scene of several confrontations involving the government, the rebel movements, teachers, and student organizations. The issues range from education policy to the status and coordination of teachers, access to education, and the organization and administration of exams.
Education for War-Affected Youth and Children
Set up alternative forms of education for war-affected youth. Children and young people have been particularly affected by the conflict. Thousands of children have been separated from their families, physically and sexually abused, and abducted and forced to join combat operations. Others have dropped out of school due to constant displacement. The civil service training promised to youth affected by war and ex–child soldiers by the OPA is an important step in addressing these issues, but the focus should not only be on job skills.
Prevention and treatment of AIDS is also a challenge to youth well-being in the country. According to a Presidential Decree, a Ministry for the Fight against AIDS was created in 2007 alongside the formulation of a national action plan against the pandemic. In 2012 the government announced events to raise the awareness of youth regarding prevention of the virus, addressing young women in particular. According to statistical research by UNICEF in 2012 shows that only 32% of women ages 15-24 use condoms with different partners.