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International Monetary Fund
This paper proposes a comprehensive Strategy to strengthen IMF support to FCS in accordance with the Fund’s mandate and comparative advantage. The Strategy is a response to the Board-endorsed recommendations of the 2018 Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) Report on The IMF and Fragile States. To achieve these goals, the Strategy will benefit from additional resources reflected in the FY23-25 Medium-Term Budget, as per the budget augmentation framework discussed by the Board in December 2021. The Strategy also provides measures to better support staff working on FCS. Given the inherent risks in FCS engagement, the Strategy will be phased in starting in FY22, with implementation gradually accelerating between FY23-FY25.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

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.

Lukas Boer, Mr. Andrea Pescatori, and Martin Stuermer
The energy transition requires substantial amounts of metals such as copper, nickel, cobalt and lithium. Are these metals a key bottleneck? We identify metal-specific demand shocks, estimate supply elasticities and pin down the price impact of the energy transition in a structural scenario analysis. Metal prices would reach historical peaks for an unprecedented, sustained period in a net-zero emissions scenario. The total value of metals production would rise more than four-fold for the period 2021 to 2040, rivaling the total value of crude oil production. Metals are a potentially important input into integrated assessments models of climate change.
Johannes Emmerling, Davide Furceri, Francisco Líbano Monteiro, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Pietro Pizzuto, and Massimo Tavoni
COVID-19 has had a disruptive economic impact in 2020, but how long its impact will persist remains unclear. We offer a prognosis based on an analysis of the effects of five previous major epidemics in this century. We find that these pandemics led to significant and persistent reductions in disposable income, along with increases in unemployment, income inequality and public debt-to-GDP ratios. Energy use and CO2 emissions dropped, but mostly because of the persistent decline in the level of economic activity rather than structural changes in the energy sector. Applying our empirical estimates to project the impact of COVID-19, we foresee significant scarring in economic performance and income distribution through 2025, which be associated with an increase in poverty of about 75 million people. Policy responses more effective than those in the past would be required to forestall these outcomes.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Le taux de croissance économique de l’Afrique subsaharienne devrait descendre cette année à son plus bas niveau depuis plus de vingt ans, en raison d’un environnement extérieur moins porteur et d’une réaction insuffisante de la part des pouvoirs publics. Globalement, la région connaît en fait une croissance économique à deux vitesses : tandis que la plupart des pays peu tributaires des exportations de ressources naturelles — la moitié des pays de la région — continuent d’enregistrer de bons résultats, car ils bénéficient de la diminution de leur facture pétrolière, de l’amélioration du climat des affaires et de la poursuite des investissements d’infrastructure, la plupart des pays exportateurs de produits de base subissent de graves tensions économiques. C’est le cas en particulier des pays exportateurs de pétrole, dont les perspectives à court terme se sont nettement dégradées ces derniers mois. L’Afrique subsaharienne reste néanmoins une région dont le potentiel économique est immense, mais un ajustement des politiques publiques s’impose d’urgence dans les pays les plus touchés pour permettre un rebond de la croissance.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year is set to drop to its lowest level in more than 20 years, reflecting the adverse external environment, and a lackluster policy response in many countries. However, the aggregate picture is one of multispeed growth: while most of non-resource-intensive countries—half of the countries in the region—continue to perform well, as they benefit from lower oil prices, an improved business environment, and continued strong infrastructure investment, most commodity exporters are under severe economic strains. This is particularly the case for oil exporters whose near-term prospects have worsened significantly in recent months. Sub-Saharan Africa remains a region of immense economic potential, but policy adjustment in the hardest-hit countries needs to be enacted promptly to allow for a growth rebound.