Xiangming Fang, Siddharth Kothari, Mr. Cameron McLoughlin, and Mustafa Yenice
Sub-Saharan Africa has been marred by conflicts during the past several decades. While the intensity of conflicts in recent years is lower than that observed in the 1990s, the region remains prone to conflicts, with around 30 percent of the countries affected in 2019. In addition to immeasurable human suffering, conflicts impose large economic costs. On average, annual growth in countries in intense conflicts is about 2.5 percentage points lower, and the cumulative impact on per capita GDP increases over time. Furthermore, conflicts pose significant strains on countries’ public finances, lowering revenue, raising military spending, and shifting resources away from development and social spending.
The overall fiscal position improved and the reduction in domestic arrears was triple the program target. The direct impact of the global financial crisis on Djibouti has been limited. The financial system has not been affected by the global crisis, and capital adequacy has improved slightly despite increased competition. GDP growth remained strong in 2008, and inflation decelerated during the fourth quarter. The risk of external debt distress remains high. Banks remain profitable and have not been affected by the global financial crisis.
This paper presents an Ex Post Assessment of Long-Term IMF Engagement in Ethiopia. IMF involvement since 1992 helped underpin the authorities’ gradualist policies. Initially, IMF-supported programs aimed at stabilizing the economy and breaking with the legacy of central planning. Later programs emphasized structural reform to support sustainable high growth and poverty reduction. Although macroeconomic stability has been largely achieved, structural reform was gradual and piecemeal, especially under the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility. Many of the most immediate and distortionary policies of the centrally planned past have also been overhauled.
The paper examines fiscal sustainability issues for the case of Eritrea but has wider implications for addressing fiscal and debt sustainability. It begins with a formal definition and explanation of analytical sustainability indicators, followed by an assessment of the causes of fiscal deficits and their impact on the usual indicators of fiscal and external debt sustainability. The paper then goes beyond the usual analytical indicators by attempting to identify how and through which channels fiscal and other economic policies have affected the behavior of endogenous variables that in one way or another influence sustainability.
The Eritrean economy continues to be adversely affected by the effects of the border conflict with Ethiopia. In other structural reform areas, the government seems to have further increased state control over the economy. The authorities confirmed their commitment to strengthen the role of the private sector, but they believed that the sector was not yet ready to take the lead in a number of critical areas. The preparation of a medium-term macroeconomic outlook was beset by a number of difficulties, including, in particular, the lack of timely and reliable data.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix examines the sustainability of the public finances in Eritrea. The paper analyzes monetary policy and management. It points out that the period since gaining independence in 1993 has not been long enough for the authorities in Eritrea to gain a full understanding of the functioning of the economy and develop the necessary skills and expertise to successfully implement the complex mix of economic, financial, and development policies needed to strengthen growth and reduce poverty. The paper also analyzes the determinants of inflation in Eritrea.
This paper assesses Ethiopia’s 2002 Article IV Consultation and Third Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) Arrangement. Performance under the first annual PRGF-supported program was good, and the second annual program remains on track. All the quantitative and structural performance criteria and benchmarks for December 2001 and March 2002 were met, with the exception of the revised regulation for the provisioning by banks for nonperforming loans, which was adopted, but was not fully in line with international best practice, as had been envisaged.
This paper assesses Ethiopia’s Second Review Under the Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and Requests for Augmentation of Access and for Waiver of Performance Criterion, and Second Annual Program. Performance under the first annual PRGF-supported program was satisfactory in the context of Ethiopia’s steady progress toward peace with Eritrea. All quantitative and structural performance criteria through October 2001 were observed, with the exception of the adjusted performance criterion on the net domestic assets of the National Bank of Ethiopia, for which the authorities request a waiver.
This Selected Issues paper examines the impact of relief and reconstruction expenditures in Eritrea on the fiscal profile. The paper discusses the principle categories of extraordinary expenditures, which the authorities have undertaken during 1993–96 for relief and reconstruction purposes. It analyzes developments and reforms in the financial system. The paper highlights that Eritrea’s financial system has undergone considerable reform through the mid-1990s, but remains rudimentary and concentrated, and is still largely owned and controlled by the state.
International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department
The speeches made by officials attending the IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings are published in this volume, along with the press communiqués issued by the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee at the conclusion of the meetings.