This Selected Issues paper takes stock of poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Poverty has receded in the DRC over the last decade on the back of gradual stabilization in the security and political situation, strong economic growth, and sharp decline in inflationary pressures. Most social indicators also improved during the period. However, poverty remains pervasive with a level still among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, and DRC will likely not achieve any of the Millennium Developments Goals by 2015. Policy actions should focus on fostering the development of labor-intensive sector, increasing social spending, and redirecting public resources to the poorest regions of the country.
This supplement presents the analytical frameworks underlying the IMF’s staff’s enhanced policy analysis and advice to resource-rich developing countries (RRDCs). The proposed macro-fiscal models, which are applied to selected country or regional cases, are aimed at addressing questions regarding how to deal with resource revenue uncertainty and how to scale up spending within relevant frameworks that ensure fiscal and external sustainability while addressing absorptive capacity constraints. The country applications confirm the importance attached by both IMF staff and country authorities of using the appropriate macro-fiscal frameworks to address the specific challenges faced by RRDCs.
This paper aims to widen the prism through which Fund policy analysis is conducted for resource-rich developing countries (RRDCs). While all resource-rich economies face resource revenue exhaustibility and volatility, RRDCs face additional challenges, including lack of access to international capital markets and domestic capital scarcity. Resource exhaustibility gives rise to inter-temporal decisions of how much of the resource wealth to consume and how much to save, and revenue volatility calls for appropriate fiscal rules and precautionary savings. Under certain conditions, it would be optimal for a significant share of a RRDC’s savings to be in domestic real assets (e.g., investment in domestic infrastructure), though absorptive capacity constraints need to be tackled to promote efficient spending and short-run policies are needed to preserve macroeconomic stability. The objective of this paper is to develop new macro-fiscal frameworks and policy analysis tools for RRDCs that could enhance Fund policy advice.
This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Congo analyzes the challenges of sustainable growth in the Republic of Congo. The paper highlights that it is paramount for the authorities to avoid repeating the experience of the 1980s, particularly in light of the projected decline in oil production over the next decade. It proposes a macroeconomic policy strategy that takes advantage of this unique opportunity to foster higher sustainable growth. The paper also provides a summary of various recent assessments of the quality of the Congo's public financial management system.
This paper investigates the linkages between oil and growth in Congo, where there appears to be no evidence of direct spillover effects. The empirical results suggest however that political instability has a negative effect on non-oil growth, and that the presence of oil could have fueled political instability by being associated with weakening institutions. The results also show that fiscal discipline is beneficial for growth. In addition, there are strong linkages between world oil prices and the real effective exchange rate, with movements in the latter having important indirect repercussions for growth.
This paper provides empirical evidence that the propensity for political instability in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) has been increased by low tax revenues and deteriorations in the terms of trade. The direct effect of political instability on economic growth is not statistically significant, once account is taken of domestic investment, and economic growth in neighboring countries. The policy implications are: (i) mobilization of domestic revenues to pay public employees' salaries and provide basic social services would lower the probability of coups; (ii) economic diversification would reduce the propensity for adverse terms of trade shocks to fuel coups; and (iii) neighboring countries' efforts to resolve conflicts and achieve sustained growth would be beneficial for the C.A.R.'s economic performance.