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.
São Tomé & Príncipe remains at high risk of debt distress, although it has received substantial debt relief. The increases in world food and fuel prices have rekindled domestic inflation pressures. Inflation has declined substantially since 2008, but remains at double-digit levels. A tightening of fiscal and monetary policies in 2008 followed by a decline in world food and oil prices helped lower year-over-year inflation from a peak of 37 percent in July 2008 to 11.5 percent in June 2010.
The 2008 Article IV Consultation with the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe and sixth review under the three-year arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility discusses policies and exchange rate arrangement. In recent years, public finances have been supported by large oil signature bonuses, but exploratory drilling for oil has not yet confirmed the existence of commercially extractable reserves. Executive Directors supported the authorities’ intention to reconsider São Tomé and Príncipe’s monetary and exchange arrangements.
This paper examines the consideration of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe’s debt relief at the completion point under the enhanced Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries and Debt Relief under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. Lower-than-projected export receipts largely owing to drought conditions and lower-than-expected tourism receipts, changes in cross-currency exchange rates, and variations in discount rates have been all unambiguously exogenous and outside the control of the authorities. There is need for continued fiscal prudence, policies to support broad-based growth and export diversification, continued donor support, and prudent debt management.
This paper discusses a request from the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe for a three-year arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). The economic outlook for 2009 is broadly favorable, but subject to significant risks. The program spans a period including major elections; the authorities’ ability to meet fiscal objectives and implement monetary policy will be key to the success of the program. IMF staff recommends approval of the new PRGF arrangement based on the country’s policy commitments.
This paper presents the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe’s first review under the Three Year Arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement. After averaging 6 percent a year over several years, real GDP growth in 2009 is estimated at 4 percent, reflecting a decline in foreign direct investment (FDI), which in part reflected the impact of the global crisis. Growth is expected to rebound in 2010, based on new FDI and increased official external financing.
This Selected Issues paper for the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) underlies the recent upward trend in inflation that was heavily influenced by external factors. The policy mix to achieve price stability requires effective control of money supply and fiscal restraint. As in other developing countries, operational targets for monetary policy need to be considered, taking into account STP’s specific circumstances. Weak financial intermediation limits the effectiveness of some monetary instruments such as short-term interest rates.
The paper reviews the background and the existing institutional framework for oil sector development in São Tomé and Príncipe and the challenges faced in implementing transparency rules in all oil-related transactions. It provides a quantitative analysis of the impact of oil sector development on government receipts, spending, and savings, and discusses the determinants of inflation from a statistical point of view. It also shows an analysis of the weak relationship between money growth and inflation.