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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses Niger’s Fifth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria. Niger faces daunting development challenges, aggravated by terrorist incursions, climate change, and low uranium export prices. Presidential elections are due in late 2020. Reforms are advancing and economic activity is reasonably strong. Program implementation has been broadly satisfactory. All quantitative targets for end-June 2019 were met. However, a subsequent weakening of revenues, partly due to Nigeria’s closure of its borders to trade, as well as topped-up budget support, required mitigating policy measures and the adjustment of end-December 2019 targets. Structural reforms are advancing with delays. Niger can strengthen prospects for a successful transition by securing favorable contractual arrangements with foreign investors; establishing a framework for administering oil resources in line with good practices, notably channeling all revenues directly through the Treasury; and increasing spending on physical and human capital, while being mindful of the inherent volatility in natural resource revenues.
Rasmané Ouedraogo and Idrissa Ouedraogo
We examine the impact of gender equality on electoral violence in Africa using micro-level data from the sixth round of Afrobarometer surveys. The sample covers 30 countries. We find that gender equality is associated with lower electoral violence. Quantitatively, our estimates show that an increase in female-to-male labor force participation ratio by 1 percentage point is correlated with a reduction of the probability of electoral violence across the continent by around 4.2 percentage points. Our results are robust to alternative ways to measure electoral violence and gender equality, as well as to alternative specifications. The findings of this paper support the long-standing view that women empowerment contributes to the reduction of violence and underscore the urgency of addressing gender inequality in Africa.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper reviews West African Economic and Monetary Union’s (WAEMU) regional macroeconomic surveillance framework to control all sources of debt accumulation and ensure debt sustainability. WAEMU’s regional surveillance framework aims at ensuring the sustainability of national fiscal policies and their consistency with the common monetary policy. While fiscal deficits have been the main driver of public debt across WAEMU member countries, the size of residual factors has varied greatly among these countries. The WAEMU Macroeconomic Surveillance Framework would benefit from adjustments to more effectively set the region’s public debt on a sustainable path. In addition, beyond adhering to the WAEMU fiscal deficit rule, member countries must curb below-the-budget-line operations. This would require improved monitoring of fiscal risks and the building of adequate budget provisions to address such risks before they materialize. Improved Treasury practices would also help eliminate the recourse to pre-financing arrangements and tighten control over expenditure. Public dissemination of the WAEMU progress report and strengthened peer-to-peer learning among member countries could improve the momentum for reforms.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper presents an external stability assessment on Niger. Niger’s current account balance deteriorated in 2013, mostly on account of higher food and capital goods imports. The deficit is expected to widen further in 2014–15, mainly driven by large investment in the extractive industry and basic infrastructure. The current account is projected to gradually improve from 2016 as important projects in infrastructure will come to end, the oil and mining sectors come on stream and public and private savings increase. Although aid and foreign direct investments are the main sources of external financing, external borrowing–mainly on concessional terms–has increased significantly.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper reviews Mali’s 2012–2017 Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Paper. Mali’s GDP was CFAF 1,741.89 billion in 2012; real growth was ?1.2 percent, that is, excluding inflation (2.7 percent in 2011). The decline of 3.9 points in growth between 2011 and 2012 was finally stemmed, despite the major shocks that Mali had to face in 2012. The dual security and institutional shock had a negative impact on the entire economy, and more particularly on certain subsectors such as construction and public works, the hotel industry, and commerce. The GDP growth rate was ?1.2 percent in 2012, compared with 2.7 percent in 2011.