Africa > Burkina Faso

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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.
Ahmat Jidoud
This paper investigates the channels through which remittances affect macroeconomic volatility in African countries using a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model augmented with financial frictions. Empirical results indicate that remittances—as a share of GDP—have a significant smoothing impact on output volatility but their impact on consumption volatility is somewhat small. Furthermore, remittances are found to absorb a substantial amount of GDP shocks in these countries. An investigation of the theoretical channels shows that the stabilization impact of remittances essentially hinges on two channels: (i) the size of the negative wealth effect on labor supply induced by remittances and, (ii) the strength of financial frictions and the ability of remittances to alleviate these frictions.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses Burkina Faso’s Seventh Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement and Request for a new Three-Year ECF Arrangement. Economic activity in Burkina Faso continued to grow at a brisk pace in 2013. Program performance remains strong. Revenue performance remains on target, but is no longer overshooting targets as in recent years, while spending execution is below target. Almost all program targets were met, including on net domestic financing and the fiscal balance. All structural benchmarks slated for completion in June and September were also met. The IMF staff supports completion of the seventh review of the current ECF arrangement and the authorities’ request for a new three-year ECF arrangement with access equivalent to 45 percent of quota.
Ms. Christina Kolerus, Ms. Aleksandra Zdzienicka, Mr. Ermal Hitaj, and Mr. Douglas J Shapiro
The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), like other monetary unions, faces a number of challenges in dealing with macroeconomic shocks. The region experiences a large number of exogenous shocks: climate-related (e.g., droughts, floods), with a heavy toll on populations and agriculture, but also economic (e.g., terms of trade), with a large impact on key sectors and the cost of living. More generally business cycle synchronization within the WAEMU seems low. Addressing these shocks, while preserving the stability of the union, is therefore a critical issue in the WAEMU.This paper discusses these issues and suggests possible reforms.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses Burkina Faso’s Sixth Review Under the Three-Year Arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility and Requests for Extension of the Arrangement, Modification of Continuous Performance Criterion, and Rephasing of Disbursement. Domestic revenue collection over performed by a significant margin in 2012, and program performance remains good. In 2012, domestic revenues were higher than targeted by 1.7 percentage points of revised GDP. Lower financing needs resulted in government savings in the banking system. The authorities are prioritizing improvements in public investment planning, spending capacity to meet infrastructure, and training needs that constrain growth.
Mr. Kevin J Carey, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, and Ms. Catherine A Pattillo


Growth in sub-Saharan Africa has recently shown signs of improvement, but is still short of levels needed to attain the Millennium Development Goals. Economists have placed increasing emphasis on understanding the policies that promote sustained jumps in medium-term growth, and the paper applies this approach to African countries. The evidence presented finds an important growth-supporting role for particular kinds of institutions and policies, but also highlights aspects of growth that are still not well understood. The paper includes policy guidance for ensuring that the poor benefit from growth.

Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, and Mr. Kevin J Carey
Are improvements in growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since the mid-1990s sustainable? What types of growth strategies contribute the most to reducing poverty? This paper examines these questions in four stages. First, it explores the factors contributing to the post- 1995 improvement in growth. Second, to shed some light on factors associated with substantial jumps in growth rates that are sustained in the medium term, an analysis of the correlates of growth accelerations is presented. Third, the paper examines the consistency of the SSA data with some important predictions from the literature directly linking such areas as fiscal policy, financial development, or institutions and growth. Fourth, it reviews recent evidence regarding lessons on the type of growth process that is most effective at raising the incomes of the poor.
Mr. Abdoul A Wane
This paper investigates convergence and dynamic effects of human and physical capital on growth, in WAEMU countries. Using recently developed models for panel data and a growth accounting model, the study finds that growth is largely explained by changes in literacy rates and factor accumulation, but not by growth of total factor productivity (TFP). Nevertheless, the panel estimation identifies aid, government spending, credit to the private sector, and openness as positive determinants of TFP growth, and government deficits as a negative determinant. The study also finds that per capita income in lower-income WAEMU countries converge to per capita income in higher-income ones when economic policies are similar. These results suggest opportunities for policymakers to enhance growth and convergence.