During the first 15 years after political independence in 1960, Cote d'Ivoire was considered one of the outstanding economic success stories in sub-Saharan Africa. The country enjoyed rapid economic development, reflected in an average real gross domestic product growth rate of over 7 percent per year from I960 to 1975. The principal objective of short-term stabilization in Cote d'Ivoire, as elsewhere, was to reduce the account deficit. According to the conventional diagnosis, a sustained external imbalance reflects excess demand, particularly for traded goods. The standard prescription usually includes some combination of expenditure reduction and expenditure switching. Major environmental problems in Cote d'Ivoire include deforestation and soil degradation, affecting rural agriculture primarily, and domestic and industrial pollution, affecting urban centers and coastal fisheries. The principal cause of land degradation in rural areas is the lack of a consistent and secure land tenure system.