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International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper on Burundi highlights that after the Arusha Peace Agreement in 2000 Burundi has faced a wide range of challenges to generate sustained and equitable economic growth and improve social conditions. Burundi has begun to stabilize the economy, liberalized the trade and exchange regimes, reformed monetary policy, and taken steps to reinforce public financial management. GDP growth has been high during the program, except in 2005, when drought and floods reduced growth to about 1 percent of GDP.

Michael Atingi-Ego, Mr. Dominique Desruelle, Sudarshan Gooptu, and Sudhir Shetty

The global financial crisis has slowed the Burundian economy and a significant decline in inflation. Against the background of the East African Community (EAC) integration, the Article IV Consultation discussions focused on three fundamental themes. IMF staff and authorities agreed on the need to pursue appropriate growth-enhancing reforms. The authorities and staff agreed on the need to continue reforms of wages and employment to bring the wage bill down to sustainable levels. The fourth review was completed based on Burundi’s performance and the strength of the program.

Shelley Winston and Carolina Castellanos

Africa's Middle-Class Motor finds growing evidence that a recent resurgence in the continent's economic well-being has staying power. In his overview article, Harvard professor Calestous Juma says the emphasis for too long has been on eradicating poverty through aid rather than promoting prosperity through improved infrastructure, education, entrepreneurship, and trade. That is now changing: there is a growing emphasis on policies that produce a middle class. The new African middle class may not have the buying power of a Western middle class but it demands enough goods and services to support stronger economic growth, which, as IMF African Department head Antoinette Sayeh points out, in turn helps the poorest members of society. Oxford University economist Paul Collier discusses a crucial component of Africa's needed infrastructure: railways. It is a continent eminently suited to rail, development of which has been held back more by political than economic reasons. But even as sub-Saharan African thrives, its largest and most important economy, South Africa, has had an anemic performance in recent years. We also profile Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's colorful economic czar. "Picture This" mines current trends to predict what Africa will look like a half century from now and "Data Spotlight" looks at increased regional trade in Africa. Elsewhere, Cornell Professor Eswar Prasad, examines a global role reversal in which emerging, not advanced, economies are displaying resilience in the face of the global economic crisis. The University of Queensland's John Quiggin, who wrote Zombie Economics, examines whether it makes sense in many cases to sell public enterprises. Economists Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago and Rodney Ramcharan of the U.S. Federal Reserve find clues to current asset booms and busts in the behavior of U.S. farmland prices a century ago.

Mr. Emre Alper, Ms. Wenjie Chen, Mr. Jemma Dridi, Mr. Herve Joly, and Mr. Fan Yang
This paper assesses the extent of economic and financial integration among the East African Community (EAC) along a number of dimensions and, where possible, whether integration has increased in the wake of the major regional integration policy milestones.
Mrs. Joslin Landell-Mills

Abstract

This paper discusses the IMF’s New Facilities for Structural Adjustment (SAF) for helping the poor. The first arrangement supported by the SAF was approved by the IMF’s Executive Board in August 1986. By the end of February 1992, 35 countries had already used resources under SAF arrangements and 19 under enhanced structural adjustment facility arrangements. For several of these, donors have used the policy framework paper as a basis for deciding their own loan commitments. It is hoped that the IMF’s part in the international effort to deal with the crisis in the poorest countries will make an effective contribution to improving their well-being in a sustainable way.

Mrs. Joslin Landell-Mills

Abstract

The international community has responded to the crisis in the poorer developing countries by equipping the International Monetary Fund with two special new facilities—the structural adjustment facility (SAF) in March 1986 and the enhanced structural adjustment facility (ESAF) in December 1987. Under these facilities, up to SDR 8.7 (about US$12) billion of concessional resources is expected to be made available to help low-income countries with protracted payments problems take measures to improve their balance of payments and foster growth over the medium term.

Ms. Hema R. De Zoysa, Mr. Robert L. Sharer, and Mr. Calvin A McDonald

Abstract

Following its independence in 1962, Uganda initially witnessed a period of considerable economic progress. Between 1963 and 1973, the annual average rate of GDP growth was 6 percent. Additionally, the balance of payments was in surplus during most of this period, and inflation was low. However, in 1971, a military regime assumed power under General Idi Amin, and Uganda moved away from the outward-oriented policies pursued in the immediate postindependence period. Local industries were granted significant protection, the size and involvement of the public sector in economic activity expanded considerably, and members of the Asian community, which had dominated the industrial and commercial sectors, were expelled and their properties expropriated. Efficiency and financial discipline suffered, leading to a significant decline in output of about 20 percent during the 1970s. As budgetary revenues collapsed, there was an increasing reliance on domestic bank financing, which intensified inflationary pressures. Despite mounting inflation, and the consequent appreciation of the real effective exchange rate, the official exchange rate and agricultural producer prices were kept practically fixed throughout the 1970s.

Ms. Hema R. De Zoysa, Mr. Robert L. Sharer, and Mr. Calvin A McDonald

Abstract

The recent economic performance of the Ugandan economy can be assessed with respect to the following: (i) the broad policy objectives in the major macroeconomic sectors as well as structural areas; (ii) policy implementation, including the financial and structural performance criteria and benchmarks of IMF programs, in addition to other policy areas important to the overall success of the program; and (iii) the economic outturn in the real, monetary, fiscal, and external sectors.

Ms. Hema R. De Zoysa, Mr. Robert L. Sharer, and Mr. Calvin A McDonald

Abstract

This section sketches a broad picture of the effects of economic stabilization on resource mobilization, allocation, and growth during the years 1987–94. Given Uganda's poverty and weak social indicators, attention is also given to the social dimensions of growth and the impact of the adjustment effort on such economic indicators as employment and income distribution.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

The Burundian economy faced several adverse shocks. The government responded by allowing greater exchange rate flexibility and by tightening its monetary policy. The fiscal stance was in line with the program, and program implementation has been broadly satisfactory despite difficult circumstances. Sustaining revenue mobilization remains a top priority. Public financial management needs to be bolstered significantly and the country remains at high risk of debt distress, underscoring the importance of reinforcing debt management. Monetary policy should remain tight until inflation falls.