Mr. Joannes Mongardini, Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Olivier Basdevant, Mr. Alfredo Cuevas, Mr. Xavier Debrun, Lars Holger Engstrom, Imelda M. Flores Vazquez, Mr. Vitaliy Kramarenko, Mr. Lamin Y Leigh, Mr. Paul R Masson, and Ms. Genevieve Verdier
The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is the oldest customs union in the world, with significant opportunities ahead for creating higher economic growth and increased welfare benefits to the people of the region, by fulfilling its vision to become an economic community with a common market and monetary union. This volume describes policy options to address the barriers to equitable and sustainable development in the region and outlines a plan for deeper regional integration.
Growth performance in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains buoyant in a wide range of countries despite a continued worsening of the terms of trade of the oil importers.1 Against a background of an easing of demand for imports in advanced countries, average real GDP growth is now expected to decline slightly in 2005 from its strong performance in 2004. The slowdown in 2005, however, is attributable primarily to lower growth in most of the oil-producing countries following the exceptional increases in oil-production capacity established during 2003 and 2004, especially in Nigeria; non-oil-producing countries are expecting average growth of about 4.5 percent, similar to that observed in 2004. Nonetheless, the number of countries anticipated to achieve growth in excess of 5 percent is expected to increase, while the number growing by less than 2 percent is expected to decline. Real GDP growth in SSA is projected to rebound to 5.3 percent in 2006. Growth in SSA, however, remains below the levels observed in other developing country regions and is still insufficient for most countries to achieve the income-poverty Millennium Development Goal (MDG).
An easing of output growth among some oil producers is expected to lower real GDP growth in SSA during 2005 from the eight-year high in 2004 (Table 2.1). After exceptionally strong increases in oil production in Chad and Equatorial Guinea during 2004, output growth rates in these countries have eased this year; output in Nigeria is expected to grow by only 3.9 percent in 2005, down from the 6.0 percent it registered in 2004. Nonetheless, performance continues to be encouraging across a broad range of SSA countries, with real GDP growth in non-oil-producing countries expected to remain at 4.5 percent in 2005. Excluding South Africa and Nigeria, average output is expected to increase by 5.0 percent in 2005, and average per capita real GDP in the region to rise by 2.6 percent.1 Real growth in SSA, however, does not yet match the levels witnessed in other developing country regions. Moreover, growth in five countries (Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, and Zimbabwe) has remained below 3 percent in each of the past four years, and GDP per capita is continuing to decline.
The average growth rate for SSA as a whole is projected to rebound to 5.3 percent in 2006 primarily because of rising petroleum output in oil-producing countries and some pickup in import growth in advanced countries. Output growth in oil-producing countries is forecast to increase significantly from 4.7 percent to 8.1 percent. This reflects stronger growth in Angola and Nigeria. In the latter, growth is expected to pick up to about 4.9 percent as a major offshore oil field comes onstream. Growth is also expected to be particularly strong in Chad.
Olivier Basdevant, Mr. Andrew W Jonelis, Miss Borislava Mircheva, and Mr. Slavi T Slavov
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the economies of South Africa and its neighbors (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe) are tightly integrated with each other. There are important institutional linkages. Across the region there are also large flows of goods and capital, significant financial sector interconnections, as well as sizeable labor movements and associated remittance flows. These interconnections suggest that South Africa’s GDP growth rate should affect positively its neighbors’, a point we illustrate formally with the help of numerical simulations of the IMF’s GIMF model. However, our review and update of the available econometric evidence suggest that there is no strong evidence of real spillovers in the region after 1994, once global shocks are controlled for. More generally, we find no evidence of real spillovers from South Africa to the rest of the continent post-1994. We investigate the possible reasons for this lack of spillovers. Most importantly, the economies of South Africa and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa might have de-coupled in the mid-1990s. That is when international sanctions on South Africa ended and the country re-integrated with the global economy, while growth in the rest of the continent accelerated due to a combination of domestic and external factors.
Mr. Thomson Fontaine, Dalmacio Benicio, Mr. Joannes Mongardini, Ms. Genevieve Verdier, and Mr. Gonzalo C Pastor Campos
The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is facing its biggest challenge in its 100 years of existence. The global economic crisis has significantly reduced its revenue outlook, which is having a disproportionate impact on its smaller member countries, and which calls for an appropriate policy response. This paper discusses specifically the implications for Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland, and provides recommendations regarding the proper fiscal response by these countries to the decline in SACU revenue.