This paper presents stylized facts on the quantitative and qualitative infrastructure gap in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), estimates the efficiency of public investment, and recommends how to improve it. The WAEMU countries face an important common challenge of creating sufficient fiscal space to finance ambitious growth, development, and poverty-reduction programs in individual countries. This paper also provides comparative evidence of the situation of WAEMU in several areas of financial development relative to groups of benchmark countries. The state of inclusion in the WAEMU along three dimensions—poverty, income inequality, and gender inequality—is also examined in this paper.
The Government of the Republic of Niger has implemented the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), which describes the country's macroeconomic, structural, and social policies in support of growth and poverty reduction. This strategy is based on the conviction that poverty can be reduced through strong and sustained economic growth that creates wealth and jobs. The study is the outcome of a concerted analysis. The first part outlines the diagnosis and key factors of poverty and the second part presents the major challenges, vision, overall goals, and strategic pillars.
This Selected Issues paper reviews West African Economic and Monetary Union’s (WAEMU) regional macroeconomic surveillance framework to control all sources of debt accumulation and ensure debt sustainability. WAEMU’s regional surveillance framework aims at ensuring the sustainability of national fiscal policies and their consistency with the common monetary policy. While fiscal deficits have been the main driver of public debt across WAEMU member countries, the size of residual factors has varied greatly among these countries. The WAEMU Macroeconomic Surveillance Framework would benefit from adjustments to more effectively set the region’s public debt on a sustainable path. In addition, beyond adhering to the WAEMU fiscal deficit rule, member countries must curb below-the-budget-line operations. This would require improved monitoring of fiscal risks and the building of adequate budget provisions to address such risks before they materialize. Improved Treasury practices would also help eliminate the recourse to pre-financing arrangements and tighten control over expenditure. Public dissemination of the WAEMU progress report and strengthened peer-to-peer learning among member countries could improve the momentum for reforms.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the external stability of Niger. Niger’s real effective exchange rate has been depreciating recently, echoing fluctuations of the euro against the US dollar. A model-based analysis of Niger’s external sector suggests that the real effective exchange rate is broadly in line with macroeconomic fundamentals, which is also consistent with the findings of the 2014 external sector assessment. However, broader competitiveness indicators are worrisome, despite some improvement noted in recent years. The recent depreciation of the naira also suggests some weakening in competitiveness, at least with Nigeria.
We examine the impact of gender equality on electoral violence in Africa using micro-level data from the sixth round of Afrobarometer surveys. The sample covers 30 countries. We find that gender equality is associated with lower electoral violence. Quantitatively, our estimates show that an increase in female-to-male labor force participation ratio by 1 percentage point is correlated with a reduction of the probability of electoral violence across the continent by around 4.2 percentage points. Our results are robust to alternative ways to measure electoral violence and gender equality, as well as to alternative specifications. The findings of this paper support the long-standing view that women empowerment contributes to the reduction of violence and underscore the urgency of addressing gender inequality in Africa.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
During his recent trip to four African countries for discussions with political and financial leaders, IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato also met with civil society organizations. In one case, in particular, the meeting was rather unusual. In a village on the outskirts of Niamey in Niger, de Rato visited the Women’s Dairy Cattle Project, a nongovernmental organization of women who raise cows for milk production.
Mali’s territorial integrity is threatened, questioning its internal capacity to face challenges and especially to ensure the physical safety of goods and individuals. The government is committed to implement all measures to overcome this situation. More specifically, it will increase political and diplomatic actions for a quick and successful crisis outcome, maintain peace and security, revive economic activity, maintain social gains and target the poorest populations, fight against corruption and financial crime, and improve revenue mobilization to reduce dependence on aid.