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Diogo Miguel Salgado Baptista, Mrs. Mai Farid, Dominique Fayad, Laurent Kemoe, Loic S Lanci, Ms. Pritha Mitra, Tara S Muehlschlegel, Cedric Okou, John A Spray, Kevin Tuitoek, and Ms. Filiz D Unsal
Climate change is intensifying food insecurity across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with lasting adverse macroeconomic effects, especially on economic growth and poverty. Successive shocks from the war in Ukraine and COVID-19 pandemic have increased food prices and depressed incomes, raising the number of people suffering from high malnutrition and unable to meet basic food consumption needs by at least 30 percent to 123 million in 2022 or 12 percent of SSA’s population. Addressing the lack of resilience to climate change—that critically underlies food insecurity in SSA—will require careful policy prioritization against a backdrop of financing and capacity constraints. This paper presents some key considerations and examples of tradeoffs and complementarities across policies to address food insecurity. Key findings include (1) Fiscal policies focused on social assistance and efficient public infrastructure investment can improve poorer households’ access to affordable food, facilitate expansion of climate-resilient and green agricultural production, and support quicker recovery from adverse climate events; (2) Improving access to finance is key to stepping up private investment in agricultural resilience and productivity as well as improving the earning capacity and food purchasing power of poorer rural and urban households; and (3) Greater regional trade integration, complemented with resilient transport infrastructure, enables sales of one country’s bumper harvests to its neighbors’ facing shortages. The international community can help with financial assistance—especially for the above-mentioned social assistance and key infrastructure areas—capacity development, and facilitating transfers of technology and know-how.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
Over the course of the pandemic, the Fund has made several modifications to the access limits on the use of Fund’s resources to increase the borrowing space under the hard caps on emergency financing and under the annual limits that trigger exceptional access (EA) safeguards under GRA and PRGT. The current temporarily-increased access limits expire at end-December 2021, and absent policy changes, the limits would return to the lower pre-pandemic levels or to the new PRGT annual access limit. Staff proposes to let all access limits return to pre-pandemic levels (or the new PRGT annual access limit), with the exception of the cumulative access limits for emergency financing instruments, which would be extended at the current level for another 18 months.
Luc Eyraud, Irina Bunda, Jehann Jack, Rasmané Ouedraogo, Zhangrui Wang, and Torsten Wezel
Luc Eyraud, Irina Bunda, Jehann Jack, Rasmané Ouedraogo, Zhangrui Wang, and Torsten Wezel

Sub-Saharan African countries are facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis that is likely to severely hurt credit quality and raise non-performing loans from already high levels. Banks have a critical role to play not only during the crisis by providing temporarily relief to businesses and households, but also during the recovery by supporting economic activity and facilitating the structural transformations engaged by the pandemic.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that growth in Tanzania has remained strong and inflation moderate during the past two years. Real GDP grew by 7 percent in 2015, with activity particularly buoyant in the construction, communication, finance, and transportation sectors. Inflation remained in single digits throughout 2015, averaging 5.6 percent, despite the significant exchange rate depreciation in the first half of 2015. Inflation in April 2016 was 5.1 percent, close to the authorities' target of 5 percent. The banking system appears sound overall, but there is wide variation within the system. The level of financial development has improved in recent years, though at a gradual pace.

Mr. Paulo Drummond, Mr. Ari Aisen, Mr. Emre Alper, Ms. Ejona Fuli, and Mr. Sébastien Walker
This paper examines how susceptible East African Community (EAC) economies are to asymmetric shocks, assesses the value of the exchange rate as a shock absorber for these countries, and reviews adjustment mechanisms that would help ensure a successful experience under a common currency. The report draws on analysis of recent experiences and examines likely future changes in the EAC economies.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

KEY ISSUESBackground, outlook, and risks. Economic growth is projected to remain strong at 7 percent next year and in the medium term. Inflation is at 6 percent, gradually converging to the authorities’ 5 percent medium term objective. The external current account deficit remains among the largest in the region, at 14 percent of GDP this year. Fiscal revenue shortfalls and overruns in domestically-financed spending led the deficit to rise to 6.8 percent of GDP in 2012/13. Revenue shortfalls in 2013/14 compared to the budget approved by parliament have prompted the authorities to undertake expenditure cuts during the fiscal year in an effort to meet their 5 percent of GDP target. Based on the debt sustainability analysis, Tanzania remains at low risk of debt distress. A major upside risk for the long term, not yet incorporated in the baseline projections, relates to sizable finds of offshore natural gas that, if confirmed as commercially viable, could bring in large revenues during the next decade.Program implementation. All performance criteria under the program were met, except a sizable breach of the performance criterion on net domestic financing at end-June 2013. The structural benchmark on submission to parliament of the VAT reform for November 2013 was missed. The authorities have taken corrective measures.Macroeconomic and structural policies. Preparations for the draft 2014/15 budget are under way. A VAT reform aimed at improving efficiency and reducing exemptions is ready for submission to parliament prior to the beginning of the new fiscal year. A priority in the next few years is to establish the institutional and policy framework to ensure that, if natural gas revenues materialize, they will bring benefits to all Tanzanians.Staff recommends completion of the third (and final) review under the SCF arrangement and approval of the authorities’ requests for a waiver for nonobservance of a performance criterionand for completion of the financing assurances review.