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Abstract

This volume, edited by Michel A. Dessart and Roland E. Ubogu, records the presentations made and discussions held during the Inaugural Seminar of the Joint Africa Institute (JAI). The JAI was established in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, by the African Development Bank, the IMF, and the World Bank to meet the pressing training needs of the African continent. The participants discussed four main topics: the changing role of the state, governance, and new capacity requirements; the challenge of achieving macroeconomic stability in Africa; the requirement for capacity building in Africa; and the role of international financial institutions in capacity building in Africa. The seminar was held in November 1999, but the topics and recommendations of the seminar remain current and of particular importance today. The seminar was held in English and French, and both language versions are contained in this volume. 240 pp. 2001

Mr. Jeffrey M. Davis, Mr. Thomas J Richardson, Mr. Rolando Ossowski, and Mr. Steven A Barnett

Abstract

Privatization has been a key element of structural reform in many developing and transition economies during the last decade. This paper examines the fiscal and macroeconomic issues involved in the privatization of nonfinancial public enterprises in these economies. It considers issues such as the factors determining the proceeds from privatization and the amount accruing to the budget, the uses of proceeds, the impact of privatization on the budget and macroeconomic aggregates, and the privatization component of IMF-supported programs. The empirical evidence draws on case study countries that reflect geographical diversity and are representative of a range of privatization experience in developing and transition economies.

Mr. Joachim Harnack, Mr. Sérgio Pereira. Leite, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Ms. Luisa Zanforlin, Mr. Girma Begashaw, and Mr. Anthony J. Pellechio

Abstract

This chapter explores the key relationships between participatory democracy and successful economic development and reviews the early steps of participatory decision making in Ghana. More generally, it sets the stage for a discussion of Ghana's main achievements and failures since 1992 in raising the standard of living of its population and reducing poverty. The high-profile political process that launched constitutional democracy in the 1990s and generated Ghana—Vision 2020 placed poverty reduction at the center of economic policy. Based on a set of price and unit labor cost indicators, Ghana's competitiveness improved in the early 1990s through 1994. The evidence for 1995–98 is quite strong. The Bank of Ghana is suspected to have used administrative means and moral suasion to influence the exchange rate, resisting the cedi's depreciation. The terms-of-trade shock forced the Bank of Ghana to focus more clearly on maintaining adequate foreign reserves. The depreciation may then have helped make the foreign exchange market more active and the nominal exchange rate more representative of market conditions.

Mr. Jeffrey M. Davis, Mr. Thomas J Richardson, Mr. Rolando Ossowski, and Mr. Steven A Barnett

Abstract

Privatization has been a key element of structural reform in many developing and transition economies during the last decade. Governments undertaking privatization have pursued a variety of objectives: achieving gains in economic efficiency, given the extensive prevalence of poor economic performance of public enterprises in many countries and limited success with their reform; and improving the fiscal position, particularly in cases where governments have been unwilling or unable to continue to finance deficits in the public enterprise sector. In addition, liquidity-constrained governments facing fiscal pressures have sometimes privatized with a view to financing fiscal deficits with the proceeds. Other objectives have included the development of domestic capital markets.

Mr. Joachim Harnack, Mr. Sérgio Pereira. Leite, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Ms. Luisa Zanforlin, Mr. Girma Begashaw, and Mr. Anthony J. Pellechio

Abstract

In 1992 Ghana held its first elections in over a decade, taking a decisive step in the return to democratic rule. Although many countries in Africa moved to democracy in the 1990s, Ghana had reached that point only after a virtual meltdown in the early 1980s. What has been all the more laudable in Ghana’s case is therefore the steady progress since the return to democratic rule in enhancing a democratic environment.

Mr. Joachim Harnack, Mr. Sérgio Pereira. Leite, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Ms. Luisa Zanforlin, Mr. Girma Begashaw, and Mr. Anthony J. Pellechio

Abstract

The high-profile political process that launched constitutional democracy in the 1990s and generated Ghana– Vision 2020 placed poverty reduction at the center of economic policy. The main themes of Ghana– Vision 2020 were economic growth, investment in human capital, rural development, and an enabling environment for private entrepreneurship and investment. These themes were carried into the medium-term program for the first five-year period of the strategy, 1996–2000, with human development as the focus for efforts at poverty reduction (Government of Ghana, 1997a). The basic goals in this area were to improve health, life expectancy, and the capabilities of all persons; eliminate extreme deprivation; and ensure an equitable distribution of the benefits of development.

Mr. Jeffrey M. Davis, Mr. Thomas J Richardson, Mr. Rolando Ossowski, and Mr. Steven A Barnett

Abstract

This section presents data on the scale of gross privatization proceeds and the amounts accruing to the budget for the case study countries. It then considers the factors affecting budgetary proceeds and their treatment in the fiscal accounts.

Mr. Joachim Harnack, Mr. Sérgio Pereira. Leite, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Ms. Luisa Zanforlin, Mr. Girma Begashaw, and Mr. Anthony J. Pellechio

Abstract

In the period following the 1966 military coup that overthrew Ghana’s first president, political unrest and centralized, inward-looking development policies led to declining GDP per capita and soaring inflation. In the early 1980s, the difficult political situation was accompanied by a deterioration of the terms of trade, large fiscal imbalances, and rising inflation, which led the country to its worst economic crisis since independence. By 1983 real GDP per capita had fallen to close to half its level of the late 1960s.

Mr. Jeffrey M. Davis, Mr. Thomas J Richardson, Mr. Rolando Ossowski, and Mr. Steven A Barnett

Abstract

The appropriate size of the fiscal deficit is largely determined by the overall macroeconomic objectives and fiscal sustainability. Viewed as a source of financing, akin to a bond sale, the amount of privatization proceeds generally should not itself determine the size of the deficit, and, moreover, the macroeconomic consequences are also similar to conventional bond financing. Nonetheless, privatization proceeds are distinct in certain ways. First, privatization may impact government net worth, which in turn has consequences for fiscal sustainability. Second, the privatization program might pose specific risks to macroeconomic stability—partly due to the size, lumpiness, and uncertain timing of privatization receipts—that enhance the need for monetary and fiscal policy coordination. And third, the discrete nature of privatization proceeds leads to questions regarding their appropriate use.