The COVID-19 pandemic and the August 2020 coup d’état have disrupted more than half a decade of strong economic performance, during which growth averaged 5 percent.1 Growth is projected to decline from 5 percent to -2 percent in 2020 both on account of the pandemic (reflecting a slowdown in external demand, travel, and FDI, as well as the impact of uncertainty and reduced mobility on domestic demand) and of post-coup disruptions in trade, transport, economic and financial flows following the sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Inflation accelerated slightly in recent months but is expected to remain below 2 percent, while the current account deficit is projected to narrow due to higher gold prices (main export) and lower oil prices (main import). Risks around the outlook are exceptionally high in light of the uncertainty surrounding the political transition, the impact of the sanctions on trade and overall activity, and continued deterioration in the security situation. Weak social safety nets amid high informality, food insecurity and a fragile healthcare system exacerbate challenges.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix examines some aspects of the civil service reform in Benin. It describes the main features of the promotion and compensation system currently in place; assesses the early efforts at reforming the civil service; and examines the main measures envisaged for 1998–2001. The paper assesses the impact of savings and loan associations on financial intermediation. It reviews the development of savings and loan associations in Benin, with particular focus on Federation of Rural Savings and Loan Cooperatives (FECECAM) because of its leading role in the system.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
IMF Deputy Managing Director Eduardo Aninat leaves the IMF on July 1 to return to Chile, where he was Finance Minister from 1994–1999. Aninat joined the IMF’s four-member management team in December 1999, with broad responsibilities in running the IMF—including overseeing the launching of a major technical assistance initiative in Africa. He talks with Laura Wallace about the late May opening of the West Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center (West AFRITAC) in Mali (see article below), seven months after the opening of a similar center in East Africa.