1. São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) is prone to different fiscal risks. Being a small island import-dependent economy where a major part of the annual budget is financed by grants from development partners, the country is affected by changes in international political conditions and commodity prices, particularly fuel and cocoa. In general, fiscal risks could have a significant impact on government finances. As recent experiences show, fiscal risks could originate from a wide range of exogenous sources, including the COVID-19 pandemic, global commodity prices, the Global Financial Crises, etc. The realization of fiscal risks could lead to significant increases in budget deficits and debt liabilities, and a deterioration of public sector net worth.
Ms. Monique Newiak, Mr. Abdoul A Wane, and Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo
Governance and corruption issues have taken the center stage in international discussions, especially after the adoption by the IMF in 2018 of a new framework for engagement on governance and corruption. Sound institutions that guarantee integrity in the management of public affairs are critical on the path toward higher and more inclusive growth. Corruption undermines the quality of institutions, weakens the effectiveness of government programs, and compromises social trust in government policies. Indeed, countries around the world that improved their governance systems are reaping a “governance dividend,” and governance-enhancing reformist countries in sub-Saharan Africa include Botswana, Rwanda, and Seychelles. In addition, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Angola demonstrate that important reforms are possible, including in fragile environments. The importance of good governance has acquired even more importance as countries try to introduce policies to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Special attention to governance in an emergency context, including situations associated with conflict, other health crises and natural disasters, is therefore essential. Innovation and new technologies are critical instruments that policymakers can use in their efforts to improve governance and transparency.