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Rasmané Ouedraogo and Mr. David Stenzel
The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have led to a rise in gender-based violence. In this paper, we explore the economic consequences of violence against women in sub-Saharan Africa using large demographic and health survey data collected pre-pandemic. Relying on a two-stage least square method to address endogeneity, we find that an increase in the share of women subject to violence by 1 percentage point can reduce economic activities (as proxied by nightlights) by up to 8 percent. This economic cost results from a significant drop in female employment. Our results also show that violence against women is more detrimental to economic development in countries without protective laws against domestic violence, in natural resource rich countries, in countries where women are deprived of decision-making power and during economic downturns. Beyond the moral imperative, the findings highlight the importance of combating violence against women from an economic standpoint, particularly by reinforcing laws against domestic violence and strengthening women’s decision-making power.
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.

International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
At the request of His Excellency the President of the Republic and Head of State, the Legal (LEG) and Fiscal Affairs (FAD) Departments of the IMF conducted an assessment of governance and corruption mission in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from December 9 to 20, 2019 (the “mission”).1 The objectives of the mission were to discuss with the authorities (i) a diagnostic of governance issues in the DRC; and (ii) to articulate measures to help improve governance and the fight against corruption.