Sub-Saharan Africa is contending with an unprecedented health and economic crisis—one that, in just a few months, has jeopardized years of hard-won development gains and upended the lives and livelihoods of millions.
This study discusses the role of domestic debt markets in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) based on a new data set covering 27 SSA countries during the 20-year period 1980–2000. The study finds that domestic debt markets in these countries are generally small, highly short term, and often have a narrow investor base. Domestic interest payments present a significant burden to the budget, despite much smaller domestic than foreign indebtedness. The use of domestic debt is also found to have significantly crowded out private sector lending. Finally, the study identifies significant differences among the size, cost, and maturity structure of domestic debt markets in heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs) and non-HIPCs.
This 2005 Article IV Consultation highlights that The Gambia’s economic performance since the mid-1980s has been uneven owing to exogenous shocks, macroeconomic and structural policy slippage, poor governance, and weak institutions. The economic performance has been constrained by policy distortions and by recurrent weaknesses in fiscal policy. Expansionary policies have increased the government’s recourse to domestic bank financing, which, in turn, has raised real interest. Macroeconomic performance has strengthened over the past 18 months particularly through end-2004, in response to strong financial policies.
The Gambia showed good economic performance under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) Arrangement. Executive Directors commended the reforms in the financial sector, the substantial reduction and rationalization of external tariffs, and the settlement of the property dispute with Alimenta, and stressed the need for a tightened monetary policy stance. They welcomed the new PRGF program, which aims at improving fiscal discipline, ensuring good governance, implementing structural and financial reforms, and reducing poverty. They approved for The Gambia a three-year Arrangement under the PRGF, and use of interim assistance.
This paper discusses key findings of the Sixth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for The Gambia. Recent performance under the ECF-supported program continued to be broadly satisfactory. All quantitative performance criteria for end-September 2009 were achieved, except for the fiscal target, and there was good progress on the structural agenda. IMF staff recommends approval of the authorities’ request for a waiver for the nonobservance of the fiscal performance criterion based on corrective actions, notably the government budget for 2010 approved by the National Assembly with a near-zero basic balance.
The Gambia showed mixed economic performance. Executive Directors expressed concern about slippages in fiscal policy, which stemmed from the efforts to resolve the Alimenta property dispute and also from shortfalls in customs revenue, and delays in implementing some structural reforms. They encouraged the authorities to implement governance-strengthening measures for enhancing transparency and accountability in public resource management. They welcomed the antimoney laundering law, noted the progress made in improving economic and financial data, and stressed the need to tighten monetary and fiscal policies, and strengthen the financial sector.
The Czech Republic’s strong fundamentals helped to sustain economic growth with low unemployment and underpin strides toward convergence with EU-15. Executive Directors welcomed the euro accession strategy and the sustained implementation of the Maastricht criteria, which would provide a solid foundation for euro adoption. They commended the sound financial system and prudent monetary policies and supported policy tightening to counter rising inflation pressures. Directors highlighted the need to sustain fiscal consolidation, promote labor participation, and lower structural unemployment in alleviating fiscal adjustment.
This paper presents key findings of the Fourth Review for the Gambia under the three-year arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). The Gambia remains at high risk of debt distress. Overall performance under the PRGF-supported program has been satisfactory, but downside risks to achieving program objectives have increased. IMF staff supports the authorities’ requests for a waiver for nonobservance of the fiscal basic balance performance criterion, augmentation of access, and modification of quantitative performance criteria for end-March 2009.