Mr. Sami Ben Naceur, Mr. Ralph Chami, and Mohamed Trabelsi
This paper explores the relationship between remittances and financial inclusion for a sample of 187 countries over the period 2004-2015, using cross-country as well as dynamic panel GMM regressions. At low levels of remittances-to-GDP, these flows act as a substitute to formal financial channels, thereby reducing financial inclusion. In contrast, when remittance-to-GDP ratio is high, above 13% on average, they tend to complement formal access and usage channels, thus enhancing financial inclusion. This “U shaped” relationship highlights the role of remittance flows in financing household consumption at low levels, while raising formal household bank savings and allowing for more intermediation, at high levels of remittance-to-GDP.
This paper discusses Burkina Faso’s Requests for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rephasing of Access Under the Extended Credit Facility. The immediate challenge is to contain the spread of coronavirus disease 2019, strengthen medical care, implement the social distancing and other containment measures, and mitigate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, especially on the most vulnerable. The authorities’ measures to contain and mitigate the socio-economic fallout of the pandemic have given rise to substantial and urgent fiscal and balance of payments needs. With uncertainties surrounding the duration and scope of the pandemic, the fallout could intensify further. The IMF emergency support under the RCF will provide much-needed resources to support the authorities’ response to the crisis and help catalyze further donor support. A widening of the fiscal deficit in 2020 is warranted to create room for health care spending, social safety nets and for the mitigation of the economic impact of the shocks. Prioritized, well-targeted and cost-effective spending would be critical.
This regional consultation IMF staff report for West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) highlights that growth remained strong in 2018, the fiscal deficit narrowed by 1/2 percentage point of GDP, external reserves increased, and important banking reforms were put in place, including the introduction of Basel II/III standards. The medium-term outlook remains positive despite somewhat less favorable global conditions, but critically hinges on planned fiscal consolidation and structural reforms to improve competitiveness and allow the private sector to become the main engine of growth. Other risks relate to terms-of-trade and weather shocks, and a difficult security situation in some countries. The report also discusses that collectively adhering to fiscal consolidation commitments, with a greater focus on domestic revenue mobilization and more effective control of below-the-line operations, is essential to lower risks of public debt distress, support international reserves, and preserve external viability. Structural policies aimed at improving competitiveness and growth inclusiveness are critical to reducing vulnerabilities to external shocks, building external buffers, stimulating private-sector-led growth, and making the growth momentum sustainable.
This Selected Issues paper examines Burkina Faso’s banking system and traces its macro-financial linkages. The analysis builds upon the macro-financial linkages work conducted in the context of the Article IV consultation with the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Overall, the banking system remains profitable and well-capitalized, but its ability to support the real economy needs to be improved if the authorities are to reach their development goals. Moreover, financial inclusion remains low, and despite recent progress on basic access to the financial system, significant barriers to accessing credit remain; particularly for women, rural inhabitants, and the agricultural sector. The available data indicates that the banking system remains well-capitalized and profitable. Systemic risks remain broadly contained, and new banks have come into operation, but there is significant scope to improve the banking system’s ability to support the real economy and financial inclusion. Deteriorating security conditions could undermine banks’ ability to expand into underserved remote areas.