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Rural electrification and women's empowerment in Côte d’Ivoire

Jean-Louis Bago (Government of Quebec, Quebec City, Canada)
Wadjamsse Djezou (Department of Economics, Alassane Ouattara University, Bouake, Côte d’Ivoire)
Luca Tiberti (Department of Economics and Management, University of Florence, Florence, Italy) (Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP), Kenya, Nairobi)
Landry Achy (Department of Economics, Alassane Ouattara University, Bouake, Côte d’Ivoire)

Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2044-0839

Article publication date: 6 March 2023

Issue publication date: 29 January 2024




This paper assesses the impact of this program on the rural women's employment opportunities using data from the 2015 round of the household's living standard survey (HLSS) of Côte d'Ivoire.


In 2013, in order to improve the living conditions of the rural population, the Ivorian government launched the National Program for rural electrification (PRONER) to electrify all localities with more than 500 inhabitants.


The results show that PRONER, while reducing the time allocated to performing household chores, increases women's employment through the reallocation of time to full-time paid work in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors. The authors also find that the allocation of men's time is not affected by this programme. A possible mechanism that would explain such a pro-women effect is the labour-saving technology introduced to home production as an effect of the reform.

Research limitations/implications

As a limitation, it is important to note that these results were obtained in the specific context of PRONER in Côte d’Ivoire and are not necessarily applicable to rural electrification programmes in other contexts. Furthermore, the choice of other indicators to measure women's empowerment is limited by the quality of the data available. It would be interesting for future research to extend this analysis to include other aspects of women's empowerment and household welfare.


This paper is the first to the author’s knowledge to apply a robust econometric method by combining an inverse probability weighted regression adjustment model with Heckman sample selection method to access a robust causal effect of the PRONER in Côte d'Ivoire.



This study received technical and financial assistance from the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) (, funded by the Government of Canada through the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The authors would like to thank Senouin Gongbe, Ahou Angaman, Fofana Binate and Bénoît Ledjou for their contributions to the project, as well as Jorge Davalos for his helpful suggestions and Claude Sinzogan for his advice on policy implications.


Bago, J.-L., Djezou, W., Tiberti, L. and Achy, L. (2024), "Rural electrification and women's empowerment in Côte d’Ivoire", Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 25-43.



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