While the non-mining sector was severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, overall growth in Guinea remains strong, reaching 7 percent in 2020, driven by booming mining production. Inflation exceeded 12 percent as a result of COVID-related supply disruptions and the ongoing monetary and fiscal response. The already weak social indicators have deteriorated further.
Guinea is being severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A local outbreak is spreading rapidly, adding pressure to the fragile social context and putting a strain on the health system. Containment measures have started to negatively impact domestic economic activity. Furthermore, the sharp slowdown in China (Guinea’s main export market) has hindered mining exports and tax revenues, putting pressure on Guinea’s external and fiscal position. Since the completion of the fourth ECF review, worsening global conditions and the local outbreak have deteriorated Guinea’s short-term outlook. Real growth is expected to sharply decelerate to 1.4 percent in 2020.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a severe human, economic, and social impact on Mauritania. The economy is estimated to have contracted by about 2 percent in 2020 and the crisis generated large financing needs. The authorities responded swiftly to mitigate the impact of the pandemic while international partners provided grants, loans, and debt service suspension. This, compounded by higher commodity exports (iron ore and gold) and some delays in emergency spending, resulted in unexpected fiscal surpluses and an accumulation of international reserves, which may now be used to support the recovery in 2021–22. The outlook remains highly uncertain and dependent on volatile commodity markets, with sizable downside risks in case new waves of the pandemic spill over into Mauritania.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on C.A.R.’s economy but appears now somewhat contained. The number of positive cases and related deaths has been very limited over the last few months, even though most containment measures have been progressively loosened. Despite some progress since the February 2019 peace agreement, the security situation remains precarious. Despite some delays in voter registration, the first round of the presidential and general elections is still scheduled on December 27.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the August 2020 coup d’état have disrupted more than half a decade of strong economic performance, during which growth averaged 5 percent.1 Growth is projected to decline from 5 percent to -2 percent in 2020 both on account of the pandemic (reflecting a slowdown in external demand, travel, and FDI, as well as the impact of uncertainty and reduced mobility on domestic demand) and of post-coup disruptions in trade, transport, economic and financial flows following the sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Inflation accelerated slightly in recent months but is expected to remain below 2 percent, while the current account deficit is projected to narrow due to higher gold prices (main export) and lower oil prices (main import). Risks around the outlook are exceptionally high in light of the uncertainty surrounding the political transition, the impact of the sanctions on trade and overall activity, and continued deterioration in the security situation. Weak social safety nets amid high informality, food insecurity and a fragile healthcare system exacerbate challenges.
The Covid-19 pandemic has ended a period of buoyant growth averaging about 6 ½ percent over the last 6 years. Containment measures, lower external demand, reduced remittances, and the sudden stop of travel and tourism are taking a significant toll on the economy. Without forceful policy measures, the current crisis could unravel development gains over the last decade. The authorities have taken strong actions to contain the pandemic and mitigate its economic fallout, supported by significant additional external financing from Senegal’s development partners. The IMF disbursed US$442 million (100 percent of quota) under the RFI/RCF in April.
Since the approval of the first Rapid Credit Facility (RCF-1) request on May 4, 2020 (IMF Country Report No 20/185), weaker external demand in major trading partners (China and Europe) and a more pronounced impact of containment measures to slow the rising number of COVID-19 cases, have further deteriorated growth prospects and worsened Cameroon’s external and fiscal positions. Given limited fiscal buffers and urgent balance of payments needs due to the pandemic, the authorities allowed the current ECF arrangement expire at end-September, reiterated their interest on a successor arrangement, and in the meantime requested financial assistance under the “exogenous shocks window” of the RCF equivalent to 40 percent of quota (SDR 110.4 million). This additional request will bring the total disbursement under the RCF to 100 percent of quota in 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic, the volatility in oil prices, heightened insecurity, and a looming food crisis due to climate change have severely stressed an already vulnerable Chadian economy. The two Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) disbursements in April and July 2020 allowed Chad to meet its immediate financing and urgent balance of payment needs in the early stages of the pandemic. The authorities have requested Fund assistance under the ECF to support their post-COVID recovery and their plan to reduce debt vulnerabilities through a combination of a debt workout and a multi-year fiscal consolidation program. However, due to the death of the president following a resurgence of fighting with rebel groups in April and the delayed delivery of donor support, the treasury situation has become extremely tight, threatening social stability.