Cette étude analyse l’impact de la politique salariale de la fonction publique au Bénin sur la viabilité des finances publiques et de la dette à moyen et long terme. Elle aboutit principalement à la conclusion suivante : si la masse salariale continue d’augmenter au même rythme que par le passé récent, elle compromettra la viabilité des finances publiques et de la dette à moyen et long terme en générant des déficits excessifs ou en évinçant l’investissement public générateur de croissance. L’étude montre qu’une politique financière guidée par des objectifs de maintien de la viabilité de la dette, tenant compte de la croissance démographique et axée sur les Objectifs du Millénaire pour le Développement, ne laissera que peu d’espace pour une hausse des salaires dans la fonction publique. Maîtriser l’augmentation de la masse salariale pour préserver la viabilité budgétaire n’est qu’une première étape dans l’objectif plus large des autorités de réforme de la fonction publique.
In January 1994, seven sub-Saharan African countries—Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte dď lvoire, Mali. Niger, Senegal, and Togo—signed a treaty establishing the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). These countries, with the addition of Guinea-Bissau in 1997, form part of the CFA franc zone along with a second group of six African countries that participate in a similar monetary arrangement, the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CAEMC). The CAEMC countries are Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. Within eaeh subzone, monetary arrangements are managed by a separate central bank: the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) for the WAEMU and the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) for the CAEMC. The two subzones share a common currency, the CFA franc, which stands for the Communauté financiere africaine in the BCEAO area and for the Coopération financiere en Afrique in the BEAC area.
During the second half of the 1980s and in the early 1990s, a prolonged deterioration of the terms of trade, a steep increase in labor costs, and the nominal appreciation of the French franc against the U.S. dollar resulted in a considerable real effective appreciation of the CFA franc (Figure 1 and Figure 2 and Appendix II).3 These developments led to a serious decline in the competitive position of the CFA franc zone and a substantial weakening of the economic situation in the region. For the WAEMU as a whole during 1990–93, real GDP growth per capita was negative, and savings and investment ratios were very low (see Table 1 and Appendix IV, Tables 4–13). The deterioration in the terms of trade, together with the slow growth of export volume, resulted in a widening of the external current account deficit to an average of 11 percent of GDP in 1990–93. The shrinking of the tax base caused by the decline in real income as well as the financial difficulties of most corporate taxpayers were reflected in a drop in the ratio of government revenue to GDP, a deterioration in the overall fiscal balance, and severe constraints on government investment. Consequently, there was a significant accumulation of both domestic and external payments arrears, a large increase in the public debt, and a decline in the net foreign assets of the BCEAO.
The BCEAO conducts monetary policy in the WAEMU at the regional level. Its basic near-term objectives are (1) to maintain the fixed exchange rate relationship between the CFA franc and the French franc—which means that the trend rate of inflation in the area is fundamentally determined by French inflation (Box 2); and (2) to achieve a target level of foreign assets for the BCEAO. The fixed exchange rate system implies that the independence of regional monetary policy is constrained: money growth within the region is endogenously determined, and an appropriate differential must be maintained between market interest rates in the WAEMU and in France (Figure 3). Moreover, there is no scope for national monetary policies in the member countries of the WAEMU. For this reason, IMF-supported programs in these countries currently do not include targets for either base money or the central banksď net domestic assets because these variables cannot be meaningfully defined at the national level. Even if they could be defined, they would be beyond the control of the national authorities. Of course, fiscal policy—including public debt management—remains within the purview of individual countries in the WAEMU, and IMF-supported programs typically include targets for the fiscal deficit, external borrowing by the government, and net domestic bank credit to the government. Cumulative borrowing by national governments from the BCEAO is itself constrained to no more than 20 percent of their fiscal revenue in the previous year.
This report examines recent economic developments and regional policy issues in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Although progress has been achieved on the integration front since 1994, including the establishment of a customs union and the creation of the economic union, the momentum of integration appears to have slowed in recent years. Progress toward convergence of the WAEMU countries during 2001 and 2002 was below expectations, and difficulties were encountered in the effective implementation of various regional reforms.
This paper examines common policies supporting reform programs in member countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Economic activity in WAEMU has remained strong but vulnerabilities have increased. Real GDP growth is estimated to have reached 6.2 percent in 2016, underpinned by robust and resilient domestic demand. Inflation remained subdued, at about 0.4 percent on average in 2016 owing to continued solid agricultural production and low oil prices. Preliminary data suggest an overall fiscal deficit of 4.5 percent of GDP in 2016, higher than initially planned. The outlook remains positive provided there is continued macroeconomic stability and resolve to improve the business environment and promote private investment.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
This regional consultation IMF staff report for West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) highlights that growth remained strong in 2018, the fiscal deficit narrowed by 1/2 percentage point of GDP, external reserves increased, and important banking reforms were put in place, including the introduction of Basel II/III standards. The medium-term outlook remains positive despite somewhat less favorable global conditions, but critically hinges on planned fiscal consolidation and structural reforms to improve competitiveness and allow the private sector to become the main engine of growth. Other risks relate to terms-of-trade and weather shocks, and a difficult security situation in some countries. The report also discusses that collectively adhering to fiscal consolidation commitments, with a greater focus on domestic revenue mobilization and more effective control of below-the-line operations, is essential to lower risks of public debt distress, support international reserves, and preserve external viability. Structural policies aimed at improving competitiveness and growth inclusiveness are critical to reducing vulnerabilities to external shocks, building external buffers, stimulating private-sector-led growth, and making the growth momentum sustainable.
This report reviews the discussions between the IMF and the regional institutions of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). It highlights that the economic activity in the WAEMU remains strong but vulnerabilities persist. Despite lower terms of trade, social tensions, and security challenges within the region, real GDP growth is estimated to have exceeded 6 percent in 2017, underpinned by strong domestic demand. The outlook remains positive but hinges critically on the planned fiscal consolidation and implementation of structural reforms by member countries. Growth is projected to stay above 6 percent with continued low inflation over the medium term. Risks are tilted to the downside.
This study assesses the degree of financial integration in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The structure of the financial sector and its institutional arrangements indicate that financial integration is well advanced in some aspects. Common and foreign ownership of banks is very high and cross-border transactions are frequent in the government securities markets. Common institutions help achieve a high degree of similarity of rules. There is nonetheless scope for further financial integration as indicated by persistent deviations from the law of one price, limited cross-border bank transactions, and differences in treatment. Policy measures could therefore help achieve greater financial convergence.