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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper explains the cashew economy and the unfolding of the 2017 campaign. At least half of all households are thought to be engaged in production, commercialization, or exportation of cashew nuts. The activity has at least four macroeconomic impacts: one, it injects liquidity to producers; two, owing to producers’ high propensity to consume, it impacts the price level; third, it is the main provider of foreign exchange via exports; and fourth, it is an important source of fiscal revenues. Despite streamlining of marketing arrangements over the years, cashew production is still subject to significant government intervention. Vested interests have traditionally permeated public policies, with nontransparent issuance of licenses and permits used in some instances to block competition. Cashew production started to expand during the 1980s and yearly output has over the years increased to currently about 200,000 tons. Native of north Brazil, cashew trees were introduced by the Portuguese during the colonial period but output remained negligible through to the country’s independence in 1973.
Ms. Christine Dieterich, Anni Huang, and Mr. Alun H. Thomas
As labor market data is scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), this paper uses household survey data to analyze the determinants of the gender gap in the labor market and its welfare implications for five SSA countries in multinomial logit models with propensity score matching method. The analysis confirms that education opens up opportunities for women to escape agricultural feminization and engage in formal wage employment, but these opportunities diminish when women marry—a disadvantage increasingly relevant when countries develop and urbanization progresses. Opening a household enterprise offers women an alternative avenue to escape low-paid jobs in agriculture, but the increase in per capita income is lower than male-owned household enterprises. These findings underline that improving women’s education needs to be supported by measures to allow married women to keep their jobs in the wage sector.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Le FMI publie deux fois par an des Perspectives économiques régionales pour cinq régions : Asie et Pacifique ; Europe ; Moyen-Orient et Asie centrale ; Afrique subsaharienne ; et hémisphère occidental. Chaque rapport aborde l'évolution économique récente et les perspectives de la région concernée, ainsi que pour certains pays. Les rapports comportent des données statistiques clés sur les pays de la région. Chaque rapport traite des politiques qui ont eu une incidence sur les résultats économiques régionaux et précise les enjeux auxquels les décideurs sont confrontés. Les perspectives à court terme, les principaux risques et les difficultés de politique économique afférentes sont analysés tout au long des rapports, qui examinent également l'actualité (par exemple, comment mettre fin progressivement à l'intervention publique tout en préservant une reprise économique mondiale qui reste fragile). Ces rapports précieux sont l'aboutissement d'études interdépartementales exhaustives, fondées pour l'essentiel sur les renseignements recueillis par les services du FMI dans le cadre de leurs consultations avec les pays membres.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The October 2010 Regional Economic Outlook features: (i) an overview of economic developments and prospects in sub-Saharan Africa; (ii) an analytical assessment of how monetary policy changes are transmitted through the region's economies; and (iii) a study of why growth rates in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) have lagged behind other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The overview highlights the broad-based economic recovery that is now under way in sub-Saharan Africa and projects growth of 5 percent in 2010 and 5½ percent in 2011. It explores the resilience of most economies in the region to the global financial crises of 2007-09 and explains why sound economic policy implementation and a growing orientation of trade toward Emerging Asia are expected to continue to underpin growth. The second chapter provides evidence suggesting that monetary policy may have more power to influence monetary conditions than previously assumed. Main messages from the WAEMU study are the importance of strong policy environments and political stability for achieving sustained growth; and of robust fiscal frameworks for directing resources towards priority spending needs.

Mr. Joachim Harnack, Mr. Sérgio Pereira. Leite, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Ms. Luisa Zanforlin, Mr. Girma Begashaw, and Mr. Anthony J. Pellechio

Abstract

This chapter explores the key relationships between participatory democracy and successful economic development and reviews the early steps of participatory decision making in Ghana. More generally, it sets the stage for a discussion of Ghana's main achievements and failures since 1992 in raising the standard of living of its population and reducing poverty. The high-profile political process that launched constitutional democracy in the 1990s and generated Ghana—Vision 2020 placed poverty reduction at the center of economic policy. Based on a set of price and unit labor cost indicators, Ghana's competitiveness improved in the early 1990s through 1994. The evidence for 1995–98 is quite strong. The Bank of Ghana is suspected to have used administrative means and moral suasion to influence the exchange rate, resisting the cedi's depreciation. The terms-of-trade shock forced the Bank of Ghana to focus more clearly on maintaining adequate foreign reserves. The depreciation may then have helped make the foreign exchange market more active and the nominal exchange rate more representative of market conditions.