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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Central African Republic (C.A.R.) is a fragile state with an unstable security environment and widespread poverty. Macroeconomic conditions have stabilized following the 2013 crisis: growth has resumed, inflation has declined, domestic revenues have recovered, and debt ratios have decreased. The government’s economic strategy is supported by an arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF)—launched in July 2016—with total access of SDR 133.68 million (120 percent of quota). Program performance has been satisfactory. All end-June 2018 quantitative and continuous performance criteria were met. Discussions focused on the 2019 budget, policy responses to a higher global oil price, and reforms to improve public financial management and governance. The program is supported by union-level efforts to maintain an appropriate monetary policy stance, build up regional reserves, and promote financial sector stability.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents an assessment of the Central African Republic’s (C.A.R) qualifications for assistance under the Enhanced HIPC Initiative. Stronger policy implementation has helped the economic growth of the C.A.R. under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement. Directors stressed the need for fiscal consolidation supported by policies and implementation of more structural reforms to meet the challenges. A sensitivity analysis of the C.A.R.’s projected external debt burden highlights the need for economic reforms to diversify and enhance export performance and for sustained foreign assistance on favorable terms to avoid the risk of renewed debt distress.
International Monetary Fund
This paper focuses on Central African Republic’s (CAR) completion point under the Enhanced Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and debt relief under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). In the view of International Development Association (IDA) and IMF staff, CAR has made satisfactory progress in meeting the requirements to reach the completion point. All the floating triggers have been fully implemented. Upon reaching the completion point under the enhanced HIPC Initiative, CAR will also qualify for additional debt relief under the MDRI.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The economy of the Central African Republic (C.A.R.), a fragile state, is recovering gradually. Following the 2013 crisis, macroeconomic conditions have stabilized: growth has resumed, inflation has declined, domestic revenues have recovered, and debt ratios have decreased. The outlook, however, is clouded by persistent fragility amid repeated eruptions of violence. Half of the population depends on humanitarian assistance. Stronger and more inclusive growth is necessary to make a dent into widespread poverty. The government’s economic strategy is supported by a three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF)—launched in July 2016—with total access of SDR 133.68 million (120 percent of quota).
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on C.A.R.’s economy but appears now somewhat contained. The number of positive cases and related deaths has been very limited over the last few months, even though most containment measures have been progressively loosened. Despite some progress since the February 2019 peace agreement, the security situation remains precarious. Despite some delays in voter registration, the first round of the presidential and general elections is still scheduled on December 27.
International Monetary Fund
The staff report for the Use of Fund Resources—Request for Post-Conflict Emergency Assistance on the Central African Republic (CAR) focuses on the political situation and post-conflict economic recovery. The post-conflict economic recovery remains subdued. Fiscal reforms will focus on boosting revenue and containing expenditure. Revenue measures will center on tightening controls in tax administration and fighting fraud at customs. Reforms in the governance area are directed at fighting corruption mainly through enhanced transparency and strengthening the judiciary with a view to improving the management of public resources.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses Central African Republic’s Third Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement, Requests for Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criterion, Modification of PCs, Augmentation of Access, And Financing Assurances Review. Program performance through end-June has been satisfactory. All quantitative criteria and indicative targets were met, with the exception of the domestic revenue target for which the authorities are taking corrective actions and a waiver of nonobservance was granted. All structural reforms have been implemented, albeit with some delays. The IMF staff supports completion of the third review under the ECF arrangement and the waiver of nonobservance of PCs on domestic revenue, on the basis of the corrective actions taken.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
From the Foreword to the first issue: “Among the responsibilities of the International Monetary Fund, as set forth in the Articles of Agreement, is the obligation to ‘act as a center for the collection and exchange of information on monetary and financial problems,’ and thereby to facilitate ‘the preparation of studies designed to assist members in developing policies which further the purposes of the Fund.’ The publications of the Fund are one way in which this responsibility is discharged. “Through the publication of Staff Papers, the Fund is making available some of the work of members of its staff. The Fund believes that these papers will be found helpful by government officials, by professional economists, and by others concerned with monetary and financial problems. Much of what is now presented is quite provisional. On some international monetary problems, final and definitive views are scarcely to be expected in the near future, and several alternative, or even conflicting, approaches may profitably be explored. The views presented in these papers are not, therefore, to be interpreted as necessarily indicating the position of the Executive Board or of the officials of the Fund.” The authors of the papers in this issue have received considerable assistance from their colleagues on the staff of the Fund. This general statement of indebtedness may be accepted in place of a detailed list of acknowledgments. Subscription: US$6.00 a volume or the approximate equivalent in the currencies of most countries. Three numbers constitute a volume. Single copies may be purchased at $2.50. Special rate to university libraries, faculty members, and students: $3.00 a volume; $1.00 a single copy. Subscriptions and orders should be sent to: THE SECRETARY International Monetary Fund 19th and H Streets, N.W. Washington, D. C. 20431
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper shows how to utilize the data on trade structure to achieve the best possible estimates of the effects of price changes, given any reasonable array of elasticity estimates. The credibility of estimates of price effects depends on thorough and systematic use of these data, as well as on the statistical credentials of the elasticities assumed. The observations show that the impact of a given price change on a country's exports will be greater, the more that country's exports are concentrated in markets in which substitution elasticities are high, and vice versa, but for most countries strong correlations of this kind are not probable. The general conclusion to be drawn from the paper would seem to be that the information implicit in the base-period matrix is not enough to yield results in which a high degree of confidence can be placed. It remains essential to employ substitution elasticities that are supported by the historical record. Nevertheless, the role of trade structure is vitally important.
Mr. James M. Boughton
The CFA franc zone comprises a group of countries in central and west Africa whose currencies have been firmly linked to the French franc since 1948. It combines the features of a currency union with those of an exchange rate peg, and an analysis of its effectiveness must examine both dimensions. Viewed from the perspective of a currency union among the African countries, it would appear that the zone would not constitute an optimum currency area. But when France is viewed as an integral part of the system, the benefits—including discipline, credibility, and stability in international competitiveness—become clearer.