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Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have seen accelerated growth for an extended period of time since the mid-1990s, making a clear break with their long stagnant growth during the previous two decades. That said, the region faces significant challenges over the medium to long term, including reducing poverty, overcoming infrastructure bottlenecks, enhancing productivity and skill levels, and improving the business climate, among others. The banking sector remains underdeveloped in SSA, thus reducing its contribution to growth, although its limited integration with global financial markets helped countries weather adverse effects of the global financial crisis. It is imperative that the banking sector plays a more active role in SSA, in order to achieve sustainable growth led by the private sector. This paper, building on the recent literature on SSA, discusses the main features of the region’s growth and macroeconomic performance in recent years and the outlook for the coming years; it then reviews the main features of SSA banking systems and how they were affected by the global economic crisis, while flagging some factors that could influence financial sector developments in SSA in the period ahead.
Mr. Emanuele Baldacci, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, and Mr. Carlos Mulas-Granados
This issue of F&D looks at the growing role of emerging markets. Analysis by the IMF's Ayhan Kose and Eswar Prasad, professor of trade policy at Cornell University, argues that their economic ascendance will enable emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India, and Russia to play a more significant part in global economic governance and take on more responsibility for economic and financial stability. And Vivek Arora and Athanasios Vamvakidis measure how China's economy is increasingly affecting the rest of the world not just its neighbors and main trading partners. In addition, F&D examines a variety of topics that are particularly relevant as the world struggles to shake off the crisis. Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi look at the positive effects of stimulus in the United States. Without it, they say, the United States would still be in recession. IMF researchers look at how countries can get debt under control, and what happens when government debt is downgraded. Other articles examine the human costs of unemployment, how inequality can lead over time to financial crisis, and what changes in the way banks do business could mean for the financial system. Two articles look at Islamic banking, which was put to the test during the global crisis and proved its mettle, and in Faces of the Crisis Revisited, we continue to track how the recession affected several individuals around the world. This issue of F&D profiles Princeton economic theorist Avinash Dixit in the regular People in Economics feature, and Back to Basics looks at externalities.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
This Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) Annual Report 2012 presents an overview of overall developments in FY2012. In FY2012, the IEO expended approximately 97 percent of its total budgetary resources, including the approved budget amount and the resources carried forward from FY2011 as authorized. Vacancies amounted to about one and one-half staff years over the course of the financial year. This level of vacancies is within the range of what could be expected in a small organization with structural difficulties in recruitment and retention.
IMF Financial Operations 2014 provides a broad introduction to how the IMF fulfills its mission through its financial activities. It covers the financial structure and operations of the IMF and also provides background detail of the financial statements for the IMF’s activities during the most recent financial year. This publication updates a previous report entitled Financial Organization and Operations of the IMF, first published in 1986 and last issued in 2001 (the sixth edition). That 2001 report reflected the seismic shifts in the global economy and in the IMF’s structure and operations that occurred after the fall of the Soviet Union and the various currency and financial crises of the 1990s. This revised and updated report covers more recent developments, including measures taken in response to the global financial crisis of 2007-09 and the institutional reforms aimed at ensuring that the IMF’s governance structure evolves in line with developments in the global economy, as well as reforms to the IMF’s income model.
The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.
In the December 2013 IMF Research Bulletin, the Research Summaries look at “Reforming Dual Labor Markets in Advanced Economies” (Giovanni Ganelli) and “Rating Through-The-Cycle: What Does the Concept Imply for Rating Stability Accuracy” (John Kiff, Michael Kisser, and Liliana Schumacher). The Q&A discusses Seven Questions on Financial Crises (Stijn Claessens, M. Ayhan Kose, Luc Laeven, and Fabián Valencia). This issue also includes a listing of recent IMF Working Papers and IMF Staff Discussion Notes, as well as Recommended Readings from the IMF Bookstore. The top-viewed articles from recent of issues of “IMF Economic Review” are featured.
This paper provides detailed assessment of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community's (CEMAC’s) financial system. Over the past decade, primarily as a result of high oil prices, CEMAC achieved robust economic growth, although lower than the SSA average, but insufficient to significantly reduce poverty. A poor business climate and weak governance are hampering financial sector development and its contribution to financing investments. The weakness of regional integration also limits the growth potential. The drop in oil prices by about 60 percent between June 2014 and January 2015 has had a large impact on CEMAC countries’ macroeconomic performance.