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Ms. Nancy Louise Happe, Mr. Mumtaz Hussain, and Ms. Laure Redifer

This paper describes why the international community needs to act now to stand a chance of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The paper gives example of Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, with an estimated per capita income of about US$100. According to the World Bank, recent national household surveys find 44 percent of the people in Ethiopia cannot meet basic needs. The paper discusses that Ethiopia in many ways epitomizes why the MDGs are important and why more money is needed to achieve them.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Growth performance in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains buoyant in a wide range of countries despite a continued worsening of the terms of trade of the oil importers.1 Against a background of an easing of demand for imports in advanced countries, average real GDP growth is now expected to decline slightly in 2005 from its strong performance in 2004. The slowdown in 2005, however, is attributable primarily to lower growth in most of the oil-producing countries following the exceptional increases in oil-production capacity established during 2003 and 2004, especially in Nigeria; non-oil-producing countries are expecting average growth of about 4.5 percent, similar to that observed in 2004. Nonetheless, the number of countries anticipated to achieve growth in excess of 5 percent is expected to increase, while the number growing by less than 2 percent is expected to decline. Real GDP growth in SSA is projected to rebound to 5.3 percent in 2006. Growth in SSA, however, remains below the levels observed in other developing country regions and is still insufficient for most countries to achieve the income-poverty Millennium Development Goal (MDG).

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

An easing of output growth among some oil producers is expected to lower real GDP growth in SSA during 2005 from the eight-year high in 2004 (Table 2.1). After exceptionally strong increases in oil production in Chad and Equatorial Guinea during 2004, output growth rates in these countries have eased this year; output in Nigeria is expected to grow by only 3.9 percent in 2005, down from the 6.0 percent it registered in 2004. Nonetheless, performance continues to be encouraging across a broad range of SSA countries, with real GDP growth in non-oil-producing countries expected to remain at 4.5 percent in 2005. Excluding South Africa and Nigeria, average output is expected to increase by 5.0 percent in 2005, and average per capita real GDP in the region to rise by 2.6 percent.1 Real growth in SSA, however, does not yet match the levels witnessed in other developing country regions. Moreover, growth in five countries (Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, and Zimbabwe) has remained below 3 percent in each of the past four years, and GDP per capita is continuing to decline.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The average growth rate for SSA as a whole is projected to rebound to 5.3 percent in 2006 primarily because of rising petroleum output in oil-producing countries and some pickup in import growth in advanced countries. Output growth in oil-producing countries is forecast to increase significantly from 4.7 percent to 8.1 percent. This reflects stronger growth in Angola and Nigeria. In the latter, growth is expected to pick up to about 4.9 percent as a major offshore oil field comes onstream. Growth is also expected to be particularly strong in Chad.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that the first quarter of 1981 was marked by a number of notable accomplishments in meeting the challenges currently facing the IMF. In addition to the completion of the final loan disbursements from the Trust Fund, the simplification of the SDR basket, and the decision to continue enlarged access to the IMF’s resources, the IMF reached agreement in principle with Saudi Arabia on a quota increase and on an arrangement to borrow resources to permit the IMF to continue its lending operations without interruption and for the smooth functioning of the recycling process.
Willy H. Verheye

This paper describes the need to broaden the agenda for poverty reduction. The broadening of the agenda follows from a growing understanding that poverty is more than low income, a lack of education, and poor health. The poor are frequently powerless to influence the social and economic factors that determine their well being. The paper highlights that a broader definition of poverty requires a broader set of actions to fight it and increases the challenge of measuring poverty and comparing achievement across countries and over time.

Mr. David Coady, Valentina Flamini, and Matias Antonio

Technology is generating a global convergence. A "big bang" of information—and education as well—is improving human lives. And with global interconnectivity growing by leaps and bounds, we are all witness to a rapid spread of information and ideas. But, as we have seen from the prolonged global financial crisis, our interconnectedness carries grave risks as well as benefits. This issue of F&D looks at different aspects of interconnectedness, globally and in Asia. • Brookings VP Kemal Devis presents the three fundamental trends in the global economy affecting the balance between east and west in "World Economy: Convergence, Interdependence, and Divergence." • In "Financial Regionalism," Akihiro Kawai and Domenico Lombardi tell us how regional arrangements are helping global financial stability. • In "Migration Meets Slow Growth," Migration Policy Institute president Demetrios Papademetriou examines how the global movement of workers will change as the economic crisis continues in advanced economies. • "Caught in the Web" explains new ways of looking at financial interconnections in a globalized world. • IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde provides her take on the benefits of integration and the risks of fragmentation in "Straight Talk." Also in this issue, we take a closer look at interconnectedness across Asia as we explore how trade across the region is affected by China's falling trade surplus, how India and China might learn from each others' success, and what Myanmar's reintegration into the global economy means for its people. F&D's People in Economics series profiles Justin Yifu Lin, first developing country World Bank economist, and the Back to Basics series explains the origins and evolution of money.

Stephan Schmidheiny

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.