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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that the World Bank and its affiliate, the International Development Association (IDA), will support three projects in Kenya—one for rural access roads, an additional for integrated rural development, and a third for wildlife and tourism. A US$4 million loan and a US$4 million IDA credit will assist the government of Kenya in implementing the first phase of the rural access roads program. The program aims at the construction of 15,000 km of rural access roads in eight years.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that important changes have been made in the World Bank’s management systems since Mr. A. W. Clausen became President in July 1981. The changes reflect Mr. Clausen’s belief that there needs to be a more collegial approach to decision making and greater delegation of authority. The aim is that the World Bank should become more efficient and its activities should be more responsive to its clients’ needs. A Managing Committee was also established to take decisions on all key issues facing the World Bank.

Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Victor Ginsburgh, Mr. Shlomo Weber, Tim Harford, and Jeff Madrick

'Wising Up to the Costs of Aging' looks at how falling fertility and rising life expectancy have combined to threaten the ability of many countries to provide a decent standard of living for the old without imposing a crushing burden on the young. In our lead article, Ronald Lee and Andrew Mason say that while population aging in rich industrial countries as well as in some middle- and lower-income countries will challenge public and private budgets in many ways, a combination of reduced consumption, postponed retirement, increased asset holdings, and greater investment in human capital should make it possible to meet this challenge without catastrophic consequences. Neil Howe and Richard Jackson publish a fascinating ranking of which countries are best and worst prepared to meet the needs of the growing wave of retirees. We also have articles on a broad range of current topics, including Middle East unemployment, the economic repercussions of the earthquake and devastating tsunami in Japan, and banking in offshore financial centers such as the Cayman Islands. Carmen Reinhart and Jacob Kirkegaard look at how governments are finding ways to manipulate markets to hold down the cost of financing huge public debts, and, in Straight Talk, the IMF's Min Zhu talks about the long-term challenges now facing emerging markets. Prakash Loungani speaks to Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof, and we discuss with three other laureates-Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, and Robert Solow-what the global economic crisis has taught us. Back to Basics explains economic models, and Picture This highlights the great variations in the cost of sending money back home.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper on Cameroon identifies impediments to growth acceleration in the country. A two-step approach is followed: first, the characteristics of middle-income countries currently experiencing growth accelerations are examined; and, second, the extent to which Cameroon shares these characteristics is assessed. The focus of the analysis is a set of variables the literature has identified as helping to accelerate growth. This paper also presents a possible fiscal strategy for Cameroon based on the permanent income approach.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix highlights that after eight years of decline, economic activity of Cameroon began to pick up following the January 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc, the accompanying upturn in world economic activity, and favorable international commodity prices. Real GDP, which had fallen by an annual average of 4 percent since the mid-1980s, began to recover, with the annual growth rate stabilizing at about 5 percent in the three years to 1997/98. In the policy area, the 1994 devaluation was accompanied by tax and trade reforms.