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International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes sources of economic growth in Benin. It concludes that the policies implemented since the early 1990s paved the way for higher growth rate by raising total factor productivity as well as capital accumulation. The paper examines the cotton sector reform in Benin and the subsidies by major producing countries. It also analyzes recent trends in Benin’s external competitiveness, and conducts an analysis of the equilibrium exchange rate to assess whether the movements in the real effective exchange rate in Benin were consistent with the underlying macroeconomic fundamentals.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper analyzes the competitive threats to the tourism sector in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The paper concludes that the ECCU countries have lost competitiveness globally and vis-à-vis newly emergent Caribbean tourist destinations as a result of both price and nonprice factors. The short-term measures implemented by the countries seem to have been insufficient to prevent further declines in 2002. The paper also describes strengthening fiscal discipline through fiscal benchmarks.

Rattan J. Bhatia

Abstract

Until 1984, the West African Monetary Union (WAMU) consisted of six West African countries—Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. (Mali withdrew from the Union in 1961 and rejoined in 1984; it is therefore excluded from this analysis, which deals with a period when it was not a member.) For nearly two decades these countries have had a freely circulating common currency issued by the Central Bank of West African States, the Banque: Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO), which was formally established in 1962. The BCEAO implements the same monetary policy for the entire WAMU area, and its statutes cannot be unilaterally altered by a member government, although they can be amended by unanimous agreement. The currency, the CFA franc, is pegged to the French franc at an exchange rate of CFAF 50 = F 1 that has remained unchanged since 1948. France, which is represented on the Bank’s Board of Directors, ensures unlimited convertibility of the CFA franc into French francs through an operations account at the French Treasury, which holds the foreign exchange reserves of all the member countries and which handles the BCEAO’s foreign exchange transactions.

Rattan J. Bhatia

Abstract

The “politico-economic” framework within which the BCEAO operated changed between the time it look on the broader functions of a common central bank in 1962, and the revision of its statutes in 1974. At the time of its transformation in 1962, almost all the countries belonging to the WAMU were economically and financially dependent upon France. About 60 percent of their exports went to France, a large share under preferential agreements: France also represented an important source of official capital, and provided almost two thirds of the union’s imports.1

Rattan J. Bhatia

Abstract

The BCEAO area is open to trade and payments, which sets obvious limits on how far it can have an independent monetary policy because the balance of payments outcome is almost exogenously determined by production and prices of exports. This is evident from the factors affecting the money supply.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Sixth Review under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement, and Request for Augmentation of Access-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Benin

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

This paper discusses Benin’s Sixth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement and Request for a Waiver of Nonobservance of a Performance Criterion (PC). The last review of Benin’s ECF arrangement confirms the improved growth performance during the program. Real GDP growth is expected to reach about 5½ percent in 2014 for the third consecutive year. The government is tackling emerging issues in several areas to reduce risks to the good macroeconomic performance. The IMF staff recommends completion of the review and supports the authorities’ request for a waiver of the PCs on nonconcessional borrowing.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the growth, structural transformation, and export diversification in Benin. Although Benin has delivered high economic growth over recent years, it faces critical challenges regarding export diversification and domestic production. Benin’s competitiveness is impaired by structural bottlenecks. Low and stagnant productivity in the agriculture sector is perhaps a primary cause of the limited poverty reduction in rural areas. Policies to promote structural transformation and diversification should focus on addressing weaknesses that hinder entry into new lines of economic activity. Further progress on strengthening the business climate, addressing electricity shortages, and increasing human capital could provide significant benefits.
International Monetary Fund
Depuis plusieurs années, le FMI publie un nombre croissant de rapports et autres documents couvrant l'évolution et les tendances économiques et financières dans les pays membres. Chaque rapport, rédigé par une équipe des services du FMI à la suite d'entretiens avec des représentants des autorités, est publié avec l'accord du pays concerné.