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International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper describes the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and suggests that it should enable HIPCs to exit from the debt-rescheduling process. It argues that implementation of the Initiative should eliminate debt as an impediment to economic development and growth and enable HIPC governments to focus on the difficult policies and reforms required to remove the remaining impediments to achieving sustainable development. The paper describes the implementation of the Initiative through the end of September 1998.

Ezequiel Cabezon and Mr. Tej Prakash
This paper examines, in a formal econometric framework, the linkages between public financial management and fiscal outcomes in sub-Saharan African countries. Similar analyses have been done for Latin America, Europe, and the United States, but none in the context of low-income countries. Using public financial management indicators, as measured in two recent assessments related to the Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, this study shows that improving public financial management leads to better fiscal outcomes, as measured by the overall fiscal balance and external debt levels, after controlling for other characteristics that might alter fiscal outcomes.
Sophia Gollwitzer, Eteri Kvintradze, Mr. Tej Prakash, Luis-Felipe Zanna, Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mr. Richard I Allen, Irene Yackovlev, and Victor Duarte Lledo
This paper presents, for the first time, multi-dimensional indices of the quality of budget institutions in low-income countries. The indices allow for benchmarking against the performance of middle-income countries, across regions, and according to different institutional arrangements that deliver good fiscal performance. Using the constructed indices, the paper provides preliminary empirical support for the hypotheses that strong budget institutions help improve fiscal balances and public external debt outcomes; and countries with stronger fiscal institutions have better scope to conduct countercyclical policies.
Mr. Luis Valdivieso

In the year since the August 1999 referendum on its political future and the subsequent violence, East Timor—aided by significant official, bilateral, and multilateral resources—has sought to lay the foundations for a stable, functioning economy. This article, based on a forthcoming publication by Luis Valdivieso of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department and others, examines East Timor’s progress to date, the IMF’s role, and the challenges ahead.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Tout porte à croire que le ralentissement économique en Afrique subsaharienne aura heureusement été de courte durée. La reprise est en cours dans toute la région. La relative capacité de résistance de la région lors de cette récession mondiale, qui distingue le dernier ralentissement en date des cycles précédents, réside dans le fait que la plupart des pays de la région ont abordé la crise dans de meilleures conditions sur le plan macroéconomique. Les politiques macroéconomiques anticycliques ont joué un rôle important : près des deux tiers des pays qui ont connu un ralentissement en 2009 ont été en mesure d'accroître leurs dépenses publiques pour soutenir l'activité économique. Toutefois, la réalisation des objectifs du millénaire pour le développement a été freinée. Les pays à revenu intermédiaire et les pays exportateurs de pétrole ont été touchés particulièrement durement par l'effondrement du commerce international et des marchés des produits de base ; les pays à faible revenu de la région ont relativement peu souffert. Désormais, dans la plupart des pays d'Afrique subsaharienne, les politiques budgétaires doivent privilégier les objectifs à moyen terme, les marges de manœuvre des politiques macroéconomiques doivent être reconstituées, les systèmes financiers doivent être renforcés. Document publié deux fois par an, en mai et en octobre.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The economic slowdown in sub-Saharan Africa looks set to be mercifully brief. Recovery is now under way across the region. The region's relative resilience during this global recession, compared with previous global downturns, owes much to the health of its economies and the strengthening of policy frameworks in the run-up to the crisis. Countercyclical macroeconomic policies played an important role, with nearly two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa countries experiencing a slowdown in 2009 increasing government spending to buttress economic activity. However, progress toward the Millennium Development Goals receded. Middle-income and oil-exporting countries were hit hardest by the collapse in world trade and commodity markets; the region's low-income countries escaped fairly lightly. Looking ahead, fiscal policies in sub-Saharan Africa generally need to be refocused toward medium-term objectives, macroeconomic policy buffers rebuilt, and financial systems strengthened.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

In a press release issued on August 18, the IMF Executive Board announced that on August 3 it had discussed making the independent Evaluation Office operational (see Press Release No. 00/27) and agreed to the publication of the background paper that provided the basis for the discussion, as well as the Chairman’s concluding remarks.

International Monetary Fund

This paper discusses key findings of the Third Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility for São Tomé and Príncipe. Structural reforms are progressing. Five of six structural benchmarks through September 2006 were met. The authorities strengthened public financial management (PFM) and laid the basis for tax reform and actions against money laundering. The 2007 agenda includes implementing a pilot PFM system and strengthening the environment for private sector activity. The draft 2007 budget shows significant consolidation efforts, given less favorable prospects for oil bonuses and the need to increase pro-poor spending.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Second Review under the Extended Credit Facility, Request for Waiver for Nonobservance of Performance Criterion, Request for Modification of Performance Criteria, and Financing Assurances Review-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Democratic Republic of S�o Tom�