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Mr. Paolo Dudine, Sibabrata Das, Ms. Pritha Mitra, Yongzheng Yang, Eteri Kvintradze, and Miss Nkunde Mwase
Low-income countries were hit especially hard by sharp increases in world food and fuel prices in 2007-08 and the global financial crisis that followed. In response, the International Monetary Fund scaled up its financial assistance to low-income countries and revamped its concessional lending facilities to make them more flexible in meeting the diverse needs of these countries. Creating Policy Space in Low-Income Countries during the Recent Crises assesses empirically the outcome of the IMF response, and provides insight into how IMF-supported programs in low-income countries have been adapted to the changing economic circumstances in these countries. The authors report that these programs have provided expanded policy space in the face of the global price shocks and financial crisis.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For many years, the IMF has tracked countries’ military spending. The IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department describes its most recent findings and also looks at patterns in military as well as poverty-reducing spending in countries with loans under the IMF’s concessional Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF).
Mr. Ian Lienert
This paper assesses the advantages and disadvantages of the French and British public expenditure management systems as used in Africa. The main differences are in budget execution and government accounting. In both francophone and anglophone Africa, there are common weaknesses in the application of the inherited systems, which appear to dominate any distinct features of the individual systems. Desirable reforms in both systems will only be successful if they are accompanied by measures that enhance the accountability of those who operate the systems, including enforcing the rules embodied in existing or reformed regulatory frameworks.
Ms. Christine Dieterich, Anni Huang, and Mr. Alun H. Thomas
As labor market data is scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), this paper uses household survey data to analyze the determinants of the gender gap in the labor market and its welfare implications for five SSA countries in multinomial logit models with propensity score matching method. The analysis confirms that education opens up opportunities for women to escape agricultural feminization and engage in formal wage employment, but these opportunities diminish when women marry—a disadvantage increasingly relevant when countries develop and urbanization progresses. Opening a household enterprise offers women an alternative avenue to escape low-paid jobs in agriculture, but the increase in per capita income is lower than male-owned household enterprises. These findings underline that improving women’s education needs to be supported by measures to allow married women to keep their jobs in the wage sector.
Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, and Mr. Kevin J Carey
Are improvements in growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since the mid-1990s sustainable? What types of growth strategies contribute the most to reducing poverty? This paper examines these questions in four stages. First, it explores the factors contributing to the post- 1995 improvement in growth. Second, to shed some light on factors associated with substantial jumps in growth rates that are sustained in the medium term, an analysis of the correlates of growth accelerations is presented. Third, the paper examines the consistency of the SSA data with some important predictions from the literature directly linking such areas as fiscal policy, financial development, or institutions and growth. Fourth, it reviews recent evidence regarding lessons on the type of growth process that is most effective at raising the incomes of the poor.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Le FMI publie deux fois par an des Perspectives économiques régionales pour cinq régions : Asie et Pacifique ; Europe ; Moyen-Orient et Asie centrale ; Afrique subsaharienne ; et hémisphère occidental. Chaque rapport aborde l'évolution économique récente et les perspectives de la région concernée, ainsi que pour certains pays. Les rapports comportent des données statistiques clés sur les pays de la région. Chaque rapport traite des politiques qui ont eu une incidence sur les résultats économiques régionaux et précise les enjeux auxquels les décideurs sont confrontés. Les perspectives à court terme, les principaux risques et les difficultés de politique économique afférentes sont analysés tout au long des rapports, qui examinent également l'actualité (par exemple, comment mettre fin progressivement à l'intervention publique tout en préservant une reprise économique mondiale qui reste fragile). Ces rapports précieux sont l'aboutissement d'études interdépartementales exhaustives, fondées pour l'essentiel sur les renseignements recueillis par les services du FMI dans le cadre de leurs consultations avec les pays membres.

International Monetary Fund
This report provides an update on the work and direction of the Fund since the 2005 Spring Meetings. Since that time, the global economy has enjoyed strong growth--albeit with significant regional differences--and an absence of major financial crises, even though growing imbalances and rising oil prices have clouded the outlook. Although some steps the Fund has been advocating for some time have been taken--for example, increased flexibility in exchange rate regimes in Asia—decisive action to reduce global imbalances has remained elusive. At the same time, progress toward the Millennium Development Goals MDGs) remains slow and uneven,1 highlighting the need for concerted action by all countries. Further impetus is also urgently needed to move the Doha Round of trade negotiations toward an ambitious conclusion.
International Monetary Fund
This report provides an update on the status of implementation, impact and costs of the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) since mid-2006. It also discusses the status of creditor participation in both initiatives and the issue of litigation of commercial creditors against HIPCs.