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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

take good note of staff additional recommendations to increase competition and reduce intermediation costs, facilitate mobile financial services, improving financial literacy, simplify regulations and improve the judicial system to reduce risks for banks. Likewise, they will step up actions to revamp the microfinance sector which has proved effective in increasing access for populations living in rural areas or involved in the informal sector. It is our authoritiesbelief that the development of the financial sector and access will go hand in hand with the overall

International Monetary Fund

stability, strong economic growth, and improved debt sustainability. These outcomes would have hardly materialized without the sound macroeconomic and structural policies put forward by the authorities. Despite these commendable achievements, significant challenges still remain that continue to constrain the authorities’ efforts to accelerate growth and improve social welfare, thus necessitating perseverance in the implementation of prudent macroeconomic policies. 3. In addressing these challenges, it is the authoritiesbelief that continuous Fund support of their

International Monetary Fund
Côte d’Ivoire’s request for a Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility is discussed. Côte d’Ivoire is making progress toward reunification, peace, and elections. Côte d’Ivoire’s economy has been resilient to the global downturn, but there are indications of a slowdown in certain economic activities, such as mining investment and nontraditional exports. The authorities took remedial measures to partly offset the extrabudgetary spending and put in place safeguards against such spending while ensuring full transparency of investment spending and oil revenue.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Beninese government embarked, five years ago, on an ambitious reform agenda (“Revealing Benin”) to revive the economy and improve the wellbeing of the people. Economic activity accelerated prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, with sound macroeconomic management and enhanced budget transparency culminating in access to international capital markets in 2019 and issuance of the first-ever SDG bond by an African sovereign last year. However, today, Benin faces significant headwinds from a deteriorating security situation at its northern borders, pandemic-induced scars, and higher cost of living amidst the war in Ukraine, which could impact hard-won macroeconomic gains and cause hardship. The authorities have requested a Fund-supported program to meet pressing financing needs, preserve macroeconomic stability, and anchor the country’s National Development Plan centered on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Beninese government embarked, five years ago, on an ambitious reform agenda (“Revealing Benin”) to revive the economy and improve the wellbeing of the people. Economic activity accelerated prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, with sound macroeconomic management and enhanced budget transparency culminating in access to international capital markets in 2019 and issuance of the first-ever SDG bond by an African sovereign last year. However, today, Benin faces significant headwinds from a deteriorating security situation at its northern borders, pandemic-induced scars, and higher cost of living amidst the war in Ukraine, which could impact hard-won macroeconomic gains and cause hardship. The authorities have requested a Fund-supported program to meet pressing financing needs, preserve macroeconomic stability, and anchor the country’s National Development Plan centered on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
KEY ISSUES Context. The region continued to experience strong growth in 2014, led by the continued economic expansion in Cote d’Ivoire. The outlook is for further strong growth, subject to a range of downward risks, in particular political instability ahead of upcoming elections in several countries, and security issues in Mali and Niger. With an elevated fiscal deficit exerting pressure on the balance of payments and the regional financial market, delays in fiscal consolidation or structural reforms pose the main medium-term risks. Policy recommendations: • Fiscal consolidation. Safeguarding external stability in the region will require governments to adhere to their budget deficit reduction plans while maintaining public investment efforts, which will require increasing tax revenue and controlling current expenditure. • Monetary policy. Macroeconomic conditions do not warrant a tightening of monetary policy at this juncture. However, if fiscal deficits do not decline as envisaged, the BCEAO should consider increasing its policy rates. In the mean time, the BCEAO should very closely follow the evolution of the macro-prudential risks flowing from its sharp increase in commercial bank refinancing. • Financial stability. The WAEMU authorities should enforce existing prudential rules and raise standards to international best practice. Ongoing reforms go in the right direction but need to be accelerated. • Structural transformation and regional integration. Policies to promote structural transformation should focus on addressing weaknesses, such as the lack of education and training, finance, and supportive regulatory environments. Countries should refrain from using the possibility to deviate from the common external tariff of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in force since January 1, 2015, in order to protect the gains from regional integration in WAEMU.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that Guinea’s economic performance over the past four years fell significantly short of the authorities’ ambitious projections. Economic growth averaged 1.8 percent during 2012–15, significantly below the performance of peers, and GDP per capita is estimated to have fallen, likely inducing an increase in poverty. The economy is recovering from the effects of the Ebola epidemic. Growth is projected to rebound to 3.7 percent in 2016, on the back of higher electricity provision from the Kaleta hydroelectric dam and a strong increase in bauxite production. The medium-term outlook is favorable, but continues to be clouded by downside risks.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.