Ghana has been hit hard by the pandemic. The government’s proactive response helped contain the spread of COVID-19, protecting lives and limiting the impact on economic activity. However, partly because of the pandemic, the fiscal position worsened considerably last year, with a sharp increase in public sector debt.
The contents of this report constitute technical advice provided by the staff of the IMF to the authorities of Nigeria in response to their request for technical assistance. Unlocking the potential of a rapidly growing population requires substantial improvements in human and physical capital. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and its largest economy. Recognizing challenges, Nigeria has embraced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda. The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017–2020 gives prominence to economic, social and environmental issues. This report assesses additional spending associated with making substantial progress along the SDGs. The report focuses on critical areas of human and physical capital. For each sector, the report documents progress to date, assesses Nigeria relative to peers, highlights challenges, and estimates the spending to make substantial SDG progress. Nigeria has shown gradual improvements in education. A gradual and strategic approach should be considered given the relatively large additional spending.
This paper discusses Ghana’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). Growth is slowing down, financial conditions have tightened, and the exchange rate is under pressure. This has resulted in large government and external financing needs. The authorities have timely and proactively responded to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in Ghana and support affected households and firms. The IMF continues to monitor Ghana’s situation closely and stands ready to provide policy advice and further support as needed. The uncertain dynamics of the pandemic creates significant risks to the macroeconomic outlook. Ghana continues to be classified at high risk of debt distress. The authorities remain committed to policies consistent with strong growth, rapid poverty reduction, and macroeconomic stability over the medium term. Additional support from other development partners will be required and critical to close the remaining external financing gap and ease budget constraints.
This paper discusses Cote d’Ivoire’s Sixth Review Under the Arrangement of the Extended Credit Facility and the Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility, and Request for Extension and Augmentation of Access. Côte d’Ivoire has been pursuing a development-oriented policy agenda, and the IMF-supported program in place since 2016 has supported that focus, paving the way for the private sector to become the main driver of growth. The performance under the program has been strong. The medium-term growth prospects remain robust, predicated on continuing prudent macroeconomic policy, furthering financial sector reforms and sustaining structural reforms to bolster private sector-led inclusive growth. Côte d’Ivoire’s reform efforts have resulted in improvements in its business climate in recent years. It will be imperative to continue the reform agenda to further stimulate private sector activity and support inclusive growth, including by improving the energy sector, human capital and financial inclusion, accelerating digitalization, enhancing trade connectivity and governance, expanding the coverage of social safety nets, and reinforcing the statistical apparatus to help better inform economic policy.