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International Monetary Fund

This paper focuses on the Fourth Review for Burkina Faso under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility program. All quantitative performance criteria were met, notably the targets for the fiscal deficit, revenues, and social expenditure. The authorities reiterated their commitment to reforming tax policy. Despite progress on preparation, some delays have occurred because of delays in delivery of technical assistance, inadequate domestic capacity, and the challenging external context. The priority for 2009 is to sustain the reform momentum in a difficult environment.

Ms. Laura Wallace

In recent months, prices of oil, nickel, tin, corn, and wheat have hit record highs, building on dramatic increases since their lows of 2000. What does this mean for sub-Saharan Africa, a highly diverse region of net commodity importers and exporters?

International Monetary Fund

Structural reforms and strong macroeconomic policies of Burkina Faso have promoted economic growth and low inflation over the past decade. Executive Directors welcomed this development, and encouraged the authorities to reduce the fiscal deficit and maintain fiscal and external debt sustainability. They underscored the importance of a sound fiscal policy and a prudent policy framework to improve external competitiveness. They commended tax policy reform and adoption of the new cotton producer price mechanism. In view of this, grant financing is desirable to keep debt sustainable.

International Monetary Fund

This paper examines Niger’s sixth review under the three-year arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). A successor PRGF-supported program would support the authorities’ efforts to move toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) while preserving economic stability. Among the risks to the new program are adverse climatic shocks, higher food and international oil prices, and the insurgency in the North. IMF staff supports the requests for the waivers for nonobservance of two performance criteria, and the request for a new PRGF arrangement.

International Monetary Fund

The 2008 Article IV Consultation discusses the economic growth for Morocco, which has made major progress to strengthen the economy’s resilience to shocks. Sound macroeconomic policies combined with sustained structural reforms and the opportunities provided by globalization have resulted in a gradual improvement in living standards. Executive Directors considered that Morocco’s universal subsidy scheme is the most important policy issue facing the authorities. They shared the authorities’ assessment of the main upside risks to inflation, including possible second-round effects from higher imported prices and increased demand pressures.

International Monetary Fund

This 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights that against a backdrop of a highly uncertain global economic environment, Mozambique’s macroeconomic prospects remain positive, but have weakened. The scope for supportive macroeconomic policies to offset the impact of the global economic slowdown is curtailed by the large projected decline in external reserves. Executive Directors have welcomed Mozambique’s continued strong macroeconomic performance in 2008. Directors have also commended the authorities’ flexible policy response to higher fuel and food import prices, which has helped to mitigate the impact of these shocks.