A zero net domestic financing (NDF) target has served Tanzania well in recent years, contributing to prudent expenditure policy, improved fiscal sustainability, and macroeconomic stability. Moving to a more flexible fiscal policy, however, may serve Tanzania better. The "diamond rule" proposed in this paper incorporates a permanent hard ceiling on debt and annual benchmark limits on NDF, expenditure growth, and nonconcessional external financing. This rule would provide flexibility for countercyclical policy and help define the fiscal space for infrastructure spending that is consistent with longrun fiscal sustainability. An illustrative simulation shows that Tanzania has considerable fiscal space for development spending.
This paper assesses whether regional cooperation and integration of stock exchanges in eastern and southern Africa could offer a way of overcoming impediments to the exchanges' development. The paper concludes that regional cooperation and, at a later stage, integration, if carried out at the right pace and in a pragmatic way, could improve the liquidity, efficiency, and competitiveness of these exchanges. Further progress in developing national financial markets must precede any actual moves to integrate securities markets. These exchanges could meanwhile benefit from closer cooperation, including by encouraging more crossborder listings and information/technology sharing.
This paper evaluates Namibia's competitiveness using several traditional indicators; it concludes that, while the real effective exchange rate (REER) is in equilibrium at present?suggesting no imminent need for concern?the country may wish to improve its competitiveness by increasing educational attainment, reducing the skills mismatch, and diversifying its exports. Moreover, although Namibia scores relatively well on survey-based major indicators of structural competitiveness, the business environment can be made more conducive to private sector activity.
Leandro Medina, Mr. Andrew W Jonelis, and Mehmet Cangul
The multiple indicator-multiple cause (MIMIC) method is a well-established tool for measuring informal economic activity. However, it has been criticized because GDP is used both as a cause and indicator variable. To address this issue, this paper applies for the first time the light intensity approach (instead of GDP). It also uses the Predictive Mean Matching (PMM) method to estimate the size of the informal economy for Sub-Saharan African countries over 24 years. Results suggest that informal economy in Sub-Saharan Africa remains among the largest in the world, although this share has been very gradually declining. It also finds significant heterogeneity, with informality ranging from a low of 20 to 25 percent in Mauritius, South Africa and Namibia to a high of 50 to 65 percent in Benin, Tanzania and Nigeria.