Ms. Catherine McAuliffe, Ms. Sweta Chaman Saxena, and Mr. Masafumi Yabara
The East African Community (EAC) has been among the fastest growing regions in sub-Saharan Africa in the past decade or so. Nonetheless, the recent growth path will not be enough to achieve middle-income status and substantial poverty reduction by the end of the decade—the ambition of most countries in the region. This paper builds on methodologies established in the growth literature to identify a group of countries that achieved growth accelerations and sustained growth to use as benchmarks to evaluate the prospects, and potential constraints, for EAC countries to translate their recent growth upturn into sustained high growth. We find that EAC countries compare favorably to the group of sustained growth countries—macroeconomic and government stability, favorable business climate, and strong institutions—but important differences remain. EAC countries have a smaller share of exports, lower degree of financial deepening, lower levels of domestic savings, higher reliance on donor aid, and limited physical infrastructure and human capital. Policy choices to address some of these shortcomings could make a difference in whether the EAC follows the path of sustained growth or follows other countries where growth upturns later fizzled out.
Le Burundi est l’un des pays les plus pauvres au monde. Le PIB par habitant est d’environ 255 dollars et plus de deux tiers de la population vit en-dessous du seuil de la pauvreté. Le pays progresse vers les objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement (OMD) mais les probabilités de les atteindre d’ici 2015 restent limitées.
Mr. Rabah Arezki, Mr. Marc G Quintyn, and Mr. Frederik G Toscani
This paper investigates the role that International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs and capacity building play in fostering structural reforms. To do so, we exploit two novel datasets on IMF capacity building and structural reforms available for over one hundred IMF member countries over the period 1980 - 2010. The main results are threefold. First, there is a general association between IMF programs and structural reforms but this relationship is not very robust. Second, IMF training leads to an increase in structural reforms but only through IMF programs and only when a significant share of public servants is trained. Third, IMF technical assistance does not significantly lead to more structural reforms but raises the likelihood of completion of ongoing IMF programs. Our results are robust to a large number of checks, estimators and correcting for endogeneity.
The Joint Staff Advisory Note gives positive feedback on the elaborations made in Burundi’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Report (PRSR-II), and commends the measures taken to eliminate the implementation weaknesses and pitfalls of PRSR-I. The note puts forth guidelines to be followed by the government in implementation of the strategies for achieving the desired results, and emphasizes the need for ensuring a broad social consensus. The Executive Board also emphasizes the need for prioritizing the areas for further development.
This 2012 Article IV Consultation highlights that despite a difficult economic and social context, Burundi has made steady, though uneven, progress in implementing its Extended Credit Facility (ECF)-supported economic reforms. Real GDP growth is estimated to have increased to 4.2 percent in 2011. The medium-term macroeconomic outlook is challenging. Risks emanate from a delicate social situation given persistent shocks and the high cost of living. Executive Directors have emphasized the importance of pursuing public financial management reforms to foster greater transparency and accountability, and to strengthen institutional capacity.