This Selected Issues paper discusses growth strategy for Ghana. Ghana has achieved impressive development gains over the last decades, with rising incomes, lower poverty, and better health, education, and gender outcomes. However, growth has recently become less inclusive, with high inequality and slower poverty reduction. In order to address these challenges, the authorities are pursuing a “Ghana beyond Aid” development strategy centered around agricultural modernization and export-led industrialization. Accelerating productivity growth calls for fostering competition, improving the business environment, strengthening human capital, taking advantage of growing regional markets and industrial policies that prioritize sectors that can export and innovate and where Ghana could achieve economies of scale. Consistent and predictable government policies can help increase long-term investment and improve public spending effectiveness. A key lesson from growth accelerations in other countries is that it is crucial to achieve economies of scale. In most cases, rapid economic growth required achieving export success in specific sectors.
This paper discusses Tanzania’s Sixth Review Under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) and Request for a Six-Month Extension of the PSI. Tanzania’s macroeconomic performance has been strong, albeit with a recent deceleration in economic growth. Program performance under the PSI has been broadly satisfactory. Most quantitative targets for December 2016 and March 2017 were met. Although progress in structural reforms identified under the program has been generally slow, the authorities have stepped up efforts to advance them. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for a 6-month extension of the PSI arrangement and recommends completion of its sixth review.
This Selected Issues paper discusses the assessment of economic activity in Togo in absence of quarterly GDP series. Togo collects about 40 macroeconomic indicators monthly that span a wide range of sectors of the economy. The selection of the variables for the economic activity index is conducted by finding the combination of variables. The indicators are aggregated into an index using a methodology used by the Conference Board. Then an economic activity index is constructed that effectively replicates the historical growth rates of real GDP in Togo. The selected index minimizes the deviations between the growth rates of the indicator and actual real GDP growth over 2002–13.
Several administrations have adopted electronic fiscal devices (EFDs) in their quest to combat noncompliance, particularly as regards sales and the value-added tax (VAT) payable on sales. The introduction of EFDs typically requires considerable effort and has costs both for the administration and for the taxpayers that are affected by the requirements of the new rules. Despite their widespread use, and their considerable cost, EFDs can only be effective if they are a part of a comprehensive compliance improvement strategy that clearly identifies risks for the different segments of taxpayers and envisages measures to mitigate these risks. EFDs should not be construed as the “silver bullet” for improving tax compliance: as with any other technological improvement the deployment of fiscal devices alone cannot achieve meaningful results, whether in terms of revenue gains or permanent compliance improvements.
This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Mozambique reports key policy and institutional issues in the macroeconomic management of scaled-up aid and in promoting sustainable private-sector led growth. A further moderate scaling-up of foreign aid could continue to be fully spent and focus on productive priority sectors. This would help achieve the Millennium Development Goals while at the same time eliciting a supply response to mitigate potential Dutch-disease effects brought on by an appreciating real exchange rate.