Africa > Guinea-Bissau

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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Guinea Bissau is a fragile state with a long history of political instability. Poverty is high with about 67 percent of the population living below the poverty line of US$1.90 per day. The economy relies heavily on the production and exports of unprocessed cashew nuts, making most households highly vulnerable to cashew nut price shocks and climate change risks.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Guinea Bissau is a fragile state with a long history of political instability. Poverty is high with about 67 percent of the population living below the poverty line of US$1.90 per day. The economy relies heavily on the production and exports of unprocessed cashew nuts, making most households highly vulnerable to cashew nut price shocks and climate change risks.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A technical assistance (TA) mission on external sector statistics (ESS) visited Guinea-Bissau during February 3 to 7, 2020. The mission was conducted in Bissau at the request of the National Directorate for Guinea-Bissau of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO-DNGB). The mission assisted in improving the quality of ESS. This was the fourth and final mission under the JSA-AFR project for improving ESS in 17 francophone countries of Central and West Africa, financed by the government of Japan and administered by the IMF.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
Political instability has limited the development of Guinea-Bissau’s institutional capacity. For example, tensions between the President and the leadership of the country’s largest political party led to six changes of government between the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections. Previous IMF capacity development reports, ECF program reviews staff reports, and other diagnosis undertaken by the World Bank and the European Union have pointed to structural governance weaknesses and proposed corrective measures, in some cases, similar to those highlighted in this report. Regrettably, traction has been limited.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
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.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses Guinea–Bissau’s Fifth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement, Requests for Extension and Augmentation of Access, and Financing Assurances Review. Program implementation for the fifth review has been good. All performance criteria and indicative targets were met, as were six of eight structural benchmarks, with one of the remaining two benchmarks subsequently completed and the other under way. Economic activity has remained robust. Real GDP grew by an estimated 5.9 percent in 2017, with consumer price inflation of 1.1 percent and an external current account deficit of 0.5 percent of GDP. The IMF staff supports completion of the fifth review under the ECF arrangement, extension of the arrangement, and augmentation of access.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
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.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper explains the cashew economy and the unfolding of the 2017 campaign. At least half of all households are thought to be engaged in production, commercialization, or exportation of cashew nuts. The activity has at least four macroeconomic impacts: one, it injects liquidity to producers; two, owing to producers’ high propensity to consume, it impacts the price level; third, it is the main provider of foreign exchange via exports; and fourth, it is an important source of fiscal revenues. Despite streamlining of marketing arrangements over the years, cashew production is still subject to significant government intervention. Vested interests have traditionally permeated public policies, with nontransparent issuance of licenses and permits used in some instances to block competition. Cashew production started to expand during the 1980s and yearly output has over the years increased to currently about 200,000 tons. Native of north Brazil, cashew trees were introduced by the Portuguese during the colonial period but output remained negligible through to the country’s independence in 1973.
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