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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

This Selected Issues paper examines fiscal policy implications for labor market and economic diversification in Botswana. The IMF report analyzes that large public employment significantly affect labor market outcomes in middle-income countries, including Botswana. It is noted that reforms aimed at reducing the rents and the size of the public sector is likely to significantly improve market outcomes in Botswana. As part of efforts to find new engines of growth and support sustainable long-term and broad-based growth, Botswana has over the years also vigorously pursued policies to diversify the economy.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix paper on Burkina Faso reviews background information and analytical support for key policy issues. This paper extends the results from the debt sustainability analysis for Burkina Faso and develops two alternative debt ratios that are suitable for assessing the impact of discount rate changes on the debt burden of the country. To better understand the implications of discount rate changes on the debt situation, the set of available debt ratios by developing two new measures of debt burden were extended.

International Monetary Fund

The staff report for Niger’s 2008 Article IV Consultation, first review under the Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, and request for Waivers and Modification of Performance Criteria is discussed. The authorities initially suspended taxes on critical foodstuffs but also relied on targeted interventions for vulnerable groups, which made it possible to end the tax suspensions in September. They also froze the retail price of petroleum products, in effect suspending part of the tax on fuel.