The world remains in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic and a seemingly accelerating pace of climate change, both of which underscore the need for increased global cooperation and dialogue. Solutions to these global problems must involve all countries and all regions, especially sub-Saharan Africa, with the world’s least vaccinated population, most promising renewable energy potential, and critical ecosystems. Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is set to expand by 3.7 percent in 2021 and 3.8 percent in 2022. This follows the sharp contraction in 2020 and is much welcome, but still represents the slowest recovery relative to other regions. In particular, the economic outlook points to divergences at three levels: between sub-Saharan Africa and other regions, within sub-Saharan Africa, and within countries. These divergences reflect the region’s slower vaccines rollout, more limited fiscal space, and regional disparities in resilience. The outlook remains extremely uncertain, and risks are tilted to the downside. In particular, the recovery depends on the path of the global pandemic and the regional vaccination effort, food price inflation, and is also vulnerable to disruptions in global activity and financial markets. Looking ahead, sub-Saharan Africa’s potential remains undiminished. The region is at a critical juncture to implement bold transformative reforms to capitalize on this potential.
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.
Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia, Mr. Ermal Hitaj, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, Arina Viseth, and Mustafa Yenice
Amid rapid population growth, migration in sub-Saharan Africa has been increasing briskly over the last 20 years. Up to the 1990s, the stock of migrants—citizens of one country living in another country—was dominated by intraregional migration, but over the last 15 years, migration outside the region has picked up sharply. In the coming decades, sub-Saharan African migration will be shaped by an ongoing demographic transition involving an enlargement of the working-age population, and migration outside the region, in particular to advanced economies, is set to continue expanding. This note explores the main drivers of sub-Saharan African migration, focusing on migration outside the region, as this has greater global spillovers. It finds that the economic impact of migration for the region occurs mainly through two channels. First, the migration of young and educated workers—brain drain—takes a toll as human capital is already scarce in the region, although some recent studies suggest that migration may have also a positive effect—brain gain. Second, remittances represent an important source of foreign exchange and income in a number of sub-Saharan African countries, contribute to the alleviation of poverty, and help smooth business cycles.
This Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper on the Democratic Republic of Congo discusses economic policies and development. The macroeconomic and budget framework has been developed to take into account the effects of sectoral policies to maintain macroeconomic stability, a necessary condition for laying the foundation of economic growth and poverty reduction. It is based on the profile of public spending, the assessment of costs for achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2020, and the sector-based economic growth theories taking into account the uncertainties of the international environment and the real potential of the Congolese economy. It is found that it allows for a realistic programming of public spending while highlighting the main budgetary choices proposed by the government.
This note reviews the Republic of Congo’s Poverty Reduction, Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (PRSP). PRSP outlines a comprehensive framework for the reduction of poverty and emphasizes diversifying the economy to generate employment, provide social services and reduce the vulnerability of its citizens, and strengthen good governance. It can be further strengthened by setting clear, realistic targets, prioritizing and sequencing goals and plans to achieve those goals, and creating systems for monitoring and evaluating the specific projects undertaken.
The government of the Republic of Congo launched a program aimed at consolidating peace and promoting economic and social development. The objectives included improvement of governance and consolidation of peace and security, promotion of growth and macroeconomic stability, improvement of public access to basic social services, improvement of the social environment, integration of disadvantaged groups, and combating HIV/AIDS. The review shows that much remains to be accomplished, and building on the significant gains of recent years, the decision to expand and strengthen the strategic poverty reduction framework was made.
The Cameroonian authorities found irregularities while implementing the first Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). The process of revising the strategy of PRSP I has resulted in the growth and employment strategy paper (GESP), designed for achieving the MDGs and realizing the vision with multiyear development programs. The GESP deals with a review of development policies, its vision and goals, a growth and employment strategy, state governance and strategic management, macroeconomic and budgetary guidelines, and an institutional framework. The GESP programming and monitoring system thus will help in formulating better policies.
This paper presents an overview of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Paper (PRGSP) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The process of preparing the final PRGSP was complicated and laborious, but the government insisted that it be carried out rigorously and systematically. The objective pursued was to have a high-quality PRGSP, the contents of which were assimilated, internalized, and legitimized by all stakeholders working in a responsible partnership. Implementation of the PRGSP is subject to both endogenous and exogenous constraints.
This paper examines Congo’s Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP). Congo’s I-PRSP explains the features and causes of poverty in Congo. It provides a short- and medium-term vision of development as well as a strategic orientation for a return to sustainable and equitable growth. The main objective is steady poverty reduction. The choice and implementation of strategic orientations and priority actions in the I-PRSP are consistent with the government’s commitment to rebuilding the economy and in line with the Millennium Development Goals, the New Partnership for Development, and the government’s “nouvelle espérance” program.