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Mr. Gilles Montagnat-Rentier and Mr. Gilles Parent
This paper outlines reforms that have been achieved in the modernization of the customs administrations of francophone sub-Saharan (African) countries since the mid-1990s. It also highlights the remaining issues in this process. Progress has been made in the automation of operations and procedures, with constant and significant efforts to strengthen revenue collection and improve trade facilitation in a number of countries. However, the pace and scope of modernization remains insufficient, particularly in developing customs control and enforcement capacities, and enhancing operational resources and management. The findings suggest that the authorities’ strong commitment to reform, organizational and management changes, adequate technical assistance and project management, and effective implementation of modern customs standards, are critical to accelerate the modernization of customs in francophone sub-Saharan Africa.
Holger Fabig
This paper proposes a general framework for monitoring macro-critical energy sectors in low-income countries, defined as consisting of the three subsectors of crude oil and natural gas production, refinery, and electricity production. It aims to derive consistent information on physical and financial flows in the sector, including on interlinkages between the subsectors. It then applies this framework to Côte d'Ivoire. While being an important source of growth, the Ivoirien energy sector is found to have important shortcomings, in particular as regards transparency, efficiency and contribution to fiscal revenue. Among the key problems are partially intransparent production sharing arrangements for hydrocarbon production, price distortions for natural gas, administered prices for refined petroleum products, underfunding and lack of investment in the electricity sector, and inefficient government subsidies in the latter two subsectors.
Ms. Anne Marie Gulde and Mr. Charalambos G Tsangarides

Abstract

About one-third of countries covered by the IMF's African Department are members of the CFA franc zone. With most other countries moving away from fixed exchange rates, the issue of an adequate policy framework to ensure the sustainability of the CFA franc zone is clearly of interest to policymakers and academics. However, little academic research exists in the public domain. This book aims to fill this void by bringing together work undertaken in the context of intensified regional surveillance and highlighting the current challenges and the main policy requirements if the arrangements are to be carried forward. The book is based on empirical research by a broad group of IMF economists, with contributions from several outside experts.

International Monetary Fund
This report provides an update on the work and direction of the Fund since the 2006 Spring Meetings and for the period ahead. Over the past six months work has concentrated on implementing key aspects of the Medium-Term Strategy (MTS), especially in the areas of surveillance and quotas and voice. In surveillance, the new multilateral consultation has been launched, the Board is reviewing the Fund’s general decision on surveillance (the 1977 Decision on Surveillance over Exchange Rate Policies), and it has discussed the possibility of setting a remit for surveillance based on a set of objectives and priorities. Progress is being made on quotas and voice and specific proposals are contained in the report and resolution from the Executive Board to the Board of Governors. Work in other areas has focused on the role of the Fund in emerging markets and low-income countries (LICs), building institutions and capacity, and managing an effective institution.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Provides a broad synopsis of recent economic developments in the Middle East and Central Asia region, highlighting common trends and policies among countries in the region, and reviewing prospects and policies for the coming year. Includes a statistical appendix.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

02/188: Dollarization, Monetary Policy, and the Pass-Through, Alain Ize and Eric Parrado

Mr. Saleh M. Nsouli and Ms. Françoise Le Gall
The new international financial architecture can help African countries benefit from globalization, while minimizing the risks, and foster an environment conducive to increased domestic investment and higher sustained growth. This paper highlights the progress that African countries have made in several areas of the new architecture, but it also underscores the considerable way that these countries must go to meet the requirements of the new architecture.
G. E. Gondwe

This paper examines how Africa can reposition itself to take full advantage of globalization—while minimizing the risks in the process—to accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty. The paper highlights that Africa’s share of world trade has dwindled, foreign direct investment in most countries has remained at low levels, and the income gap relative to advanced countries has widened. The paper looks at why Africa has missed out so far on the benefits of globalization, and indicates what steps Africa now needs to take to boost economic growth.

Mr. Paul Louis Ceriel Hilbers, Ms. Marina Moretti, and Krueger Russell

As countries in East Asia and elsewhere weigh far-reaching measures to strengthen their financial systems, increase transparency, and address systemic issues affecting their financial sectors, a number of critical questions arise. How can the IMF strengthen its surveillance over countries’ financial systems in the context of Article IV consultations? What indicators of the soundness and vulnerabilities of financial systems (that is, macroprudential indicators) can be used most effectively to monitor financial system stability? Should the international community establish guidelines and standards for the compilation of such indicators and, in general, aim for harmonization of efforts in this area?