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.
Francisco Arizala, Mr. Matthieu Bellon, Ms. Margaux MacDonald, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, and Mustafa Yenice
After close to two decades of strong economic activity, overall growth in sub-Saharan Africa decelerated markedly in 2015–16 as the largest economies experienced negative or flat growth. Regional growth started recovering in 2017, but the question remains of how trends in the economies stuck in low gear will spill over to the countries that have maintained robust growth. This note illuminates the discussion by identifying growth spillover channels. The focus is on trade, banking, financial, remittance, investment, fiscal, and security channels, which are the most prominent and most likely to transmit growth trends across borders. In addition to bringing together findings from a broad array of existing research, the note identifies countries that are the most likely sources of regional spillovers and those that are most likely to be impacted, and provides estimates for the size of these channels. It finds that intraregional trade and remittance flows are an important channel for growth spillovers, while banking channels are less important but will remain a risk going forward. Finally, the note documents other important spillover channels through financial markets contagion, revenue-sharing arrangements in fiscal unions, commodity-pricing policies, corporate investment, and forced migration. The main takeaway is that the level of interdependence among sub-Saharan countries is higher than is generally assumed. Consequently, there is a need for additional emphasis on regional surveillance and spillover analysis, along with traditional bilateral surveillance.
"Public Investment Management Assessments (PIMAs) are the IMF‘s key tool for assessing infrastructure governance over the full investment cycle and supporting economic institution building in this area. The PIMA framework was first introduced in the 2015 Board Paper on “Making Public Investment More Efficient,” as part of the IMF’s Infrastructure Policy Support Initiative (IPSI). A key motivation for its development has been that strong infrastructure governance is critical for public investment to spur economic growth. PIMAs offer rigorous assessment of infrastructure governance, that is, the key public investment management (PIM) institutions and processes of a country.
On the basis of the PIMAs conducted to date, this paper summarizes the lessons learned and updates the assessment framework itself. PIMAs summarize the strengths and weaknesses of country public investment processes, and set out a prioritized and sequenced reform action plan. The PIMA framework has been well-received by member countries, with over 30 PIMAs conducted to date (mainly in emerging markets (EMs) and low income developing countries (LIDCs), and a pipeline of new requests in place; eight PIMAs have been or are about to be published. The PIMAs conducted show that there is much room for strengthening PIM, with weaknesses spread across the investment cycle. The results and recommendations of several PIMAs have been used in IMF lending, surveillance, and capacity development (CD) work, and have improved support and coordination among CD providers.
While leaving the structure of the 2015 framework unchanged, the revised PIMA framework highlights some critical governance aspects more prominently. In particular, it brings out more fully some key aspects of maintenance, procurement, independent review of projects, and the enabling environment (e.g., adequacy of the legal framework, information systems, and staff capacity). Yet, the revised PIMA retains the key features of the 2015 framework, including the three-phase structure (planning, allocation, and implementation) with five institutions assigned to each phase, three dimensions under each institution, and three possible scores under each dimension (i.e., not/partially/fully met). The revision has benefitted from extensive stakeholder feedback, including from IMF teams, World Bank staff, and country authorities."
This report reviews the discussions between the IMF and the regional institutions of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). It highlights that the economic activity in the WAEMU remains strong but vulnerabilities persist. Despite lower terms of trade, social tensions, and security challenges within the region, real GDP growth is estimated to have exceeded 6 percent in 2017, underpinned by strong domestic demand. The outlook remains positive but hinges critically on the planned fiscal consolidation and implementation of structural reforms by member countries. Growth is projected to stay above 6 percent with continued low inflation over the medium term. Risks are tilted to the downside.
The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) has a long and varied history, and this book examines how the WAEMU can achieve its development and stability objectives, improve the livelihood of its people, and enhance the inclusiveness of its economic growth, all while preserving its financial stability, enhancing its competitiveness, and maintaining its current fixed exchange rates.
This Technical Assistance Report surveys the resources of the subnational jurisdictions and proposes a tax reform strategy for Mali. In Mali, the system of local taxes generates insufficient revenue and relies on obsolete taxes, which are particularly difficult to collect. It proposes that the rental value be replaced by a value per hectare indexed on various factors such as access to property or public services; geographic location; and average and georeferenced consumption of electricity, water, cell phone minutes. A real property tax system will also require the elimination of key exemptions under the current real property tax.
KEY ISSUES Context. The region continued to experience strong growth in 2014, led by the continued economic expansion in Cote d’Ivoire. The outlook is for further strong growth, subject to a range of downward risks, in particular political instability ahead of upcoming elections in several countries, and security issues in Mali and Niger. With an elevated fiscal deficit exerting pressure on the balance of payments and the regional financial market, delays in fiscal consolidation or structural reforms pose the main medium-term risks. Policy recommendations: • Fiscal consolidation. Safeguarding external stability in the region will require governments to adhere to their budget deficit reduction plans while maintaining public investment efforts, which will require increasing tax revenue and controlling current expenditure. • Monetary policy. Macroeconomic conditions do not warrant a tightening of monetary policy at this juncture. However, if fiscal deficits do not decline as envisaged, the BCEAO should consider increasing its policy rates. In the mean time, the BCEAO should very closely follow the evolution of the macro-prudential risks flowing from its sharp increase in commercial bank refinancing. • Financial stability. The WAEMU authorities should enforce existing prudential rules and raise standards to international best practice. Ongoing reforms go in the right direction but need to be accelerated. • Structural transformation and regional integration. Policies to promote structural transformation should focus on addressing weaknesses, such as the lack of education and training, finance, and supportive regulatory environments. Countries should refrain from using the possibility to deviate from the common external tariff of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in force since January 1, 2015, in order to protect the gains from regional integration in WAEMU.
This West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) IMF staff report focuses on common policies for member countries. The region continued to experience a strong upswing in 2013, and the immediate outlook is for further vigorous growth and moderate inflation. Delays in implementing reforms, at both the national and regional levels, are the principal medium-term risk. It highlights that with continued strong growth projected for the region, countries are encouraged to seek opportunities to strengthen fiscal sustainability while maintaining public investment efforts.