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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

At the African Union summit in Maputo, Mozambique, in July and the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in Dubai in late September, African leaders underscored their commitment to sound policies and good governance but expressed strong frustration with donor countries’ slowness in keeping up their end of the bargain. Abdoulaye Bio-Tchané, who has headed the IMF’s African Department for the past two years after serving as Benin’s Minister of Finance and Economy, talks with Laura Wallace about what he sees as the biggest stumbling blocks to ensuring a better future for the African continent.

Mr. David John Goldsbrough, Mrs. Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Mr. Martin D Kaufman, Mr. Daouda Sembene, Mr. Tsidi M Tsikata, Mr. Steve K Mugerwa, Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Mr. Jeff Chelsky

Abstract

In 1999, the IMF and the World Bank adopted a new frame work for supporting economic reform in low-income member countries to achieve the objectives of poverty reduction and economic growth. The frame work consists of two key elements: country-authored Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, drawing on broad-based consultations with key stake holder groups; and a vehicle for the provision of IMF concessional lending, the Poverty Reduction andGrowth Facility. This evaluation takes stock of progress to date and attempts to identify short comings that may require course corrections in the design and implementation of the initiative.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Trade liberalization is often cited as a key ingredient in efforts to boost growth in Africa and reduce poverty. But are the growing number of regional trade arrangements helping? A seminar on Trade and Regional Integration in Africa—held in Dakar on December 6 and sponsored by the IMF and the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO)—took stock of these arrangements and debated what will be needed to increase trade and stimulate growth. Sanjeev Gupta, Assistant Director in the IMF’s African Department, reports on the proceedings.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The IMF’s Executive Board has approved a $75 million three-year arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) for the West African country of Guinea in support of the government’s economic program. The Board also approved the disbursement of $7.6 million in interim assistance under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

This paper discusses Guinea’s Second Review Under the Three-Year Arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility, Requests for Modifications of Performance Criteria and Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criterion, and Financing Assurances. Growth is projected at 4.5 percent for 2013, slightly lower than envisaged because of lower growth in the mining sector. The programs inflation target has been revised upward slightly, mainly reflecting the higher than programmed outcome at end-2012, together with some modest impact from an agreement on increases in civil service wages. Key risks include continued political unrest in the run-up to elections, which could affect growth, investment, and reform momentum, and a rebound in inflation if the private sector follows the increase in civil service wages.

International Monetary Fund

The paper first discusses price trends and the relationship between money growth and inflation. Second, it focuses on the central challenge of improving competitiveness and promoting exports to enhance growth in the economy. Finally, it reviews the microfinance sector. The study also includes the following statistical data: economic and financial indicators, consumer price index, central government revenue and expenditure, monetary survey, structure of interest rates, balance of payments, composition of imports and merchandise exports, nominal and effective exchange rates, and external public debt.

International Monetary Fund

The first review of the three-year PRGF arrangement approved on May 2, 2001, has been delayed to give the authorities time to rectify weaknesses in program execution during a four-month consolidation period by meeting specified revenue and expenditure targets set for that period. The medium-term macroeconomic framework underpinning the poverty reduction strategy paper is consistent with that of the initial poverty reduction growth facility (PRGF)-supported program approved. The public enterprise restructuring and privatization program remains a key element of the structural reform agenda.

International Monetary Fund

This paper examines Guinea’s Request for a Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). The first review of the third annual program supported by the PRGF was completed on December 20, 2000. Progress was made on the structural front, but the public enterprise restructuring and privatization program continues to experience delays. The new program focuses on maintaining macroeconomic stability and accelerating growth as prerequisites for poverty reduction, consistent with the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP).

International Monetary Fund

This paper examines Guinea-Bissau's Request for a Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). Progress was made on the structural front, but the public enterprise restructuring and privatization program continues to experience delays. The new program focuses on maintaining macroeconomic stability and accelerating growth as prerequisites for poverty reduction. Given the authorities’ commitment to the poverty reduction strategy and their consistent record in meeting their obligations to the IMF, the IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for a new three-year arrangement under the PRGF.