Drawing on the Fund’s analytical and capacity development work, including Public Investment Management Assessments (PIMAs) carried out in more than 60 countries, the new book Well Spent: How Strong Infrastructure Governance Can End Waste in Public Investment will address how countries can attain quality infrastructure outcomes through better infrastructure governance—an issue becoming increasingly important in the context of the Great Lockdown and its economic consequences. It covers critical issues such as infrastructure investment and Sustainable Development Goals, controlling corruption, managing fiscal risks, integrating planning and budgeting, and identifying best practices in project appraisal and selection. It also covers emerging areas in infrastructure governance, such as maintaining and managing public infrastructure assets and building resilience against climate change.
This Selected Issues paper discusses reforms that could generate higher revenues from the non-oil sector through measures to rationalize the tax code, broaden the tax base, and increase administrative efficiency. These efforts should be complemented by economic diversification policies that support non-oil growth and thereby expand the potential tax base. The paper also reflects on lessons learned from other country experiences that could be relevant for the Republic of Congo. The authorities should step up revenue mobilization as a key component of their medium-term fiscal strategy. This will require a well-sequenced structure of reforms that includes three key elements. First, the newly created Tax Policy Unit in the Ministry of Finance should reduce institutional fragmentation and facilitate the design, coordination and implementation of a medium-term revenue strategy. Second, the government should urgently address the erosion of the tax base generated by an excessive and discretionary use of tax exemptions that do not comply with existing laws and regulations. Finally, the government should continue to focus on rationalizing the tax code, and increasing administrative efficiency to recover tax arrears, including through the modernization of existing income tax systems.
Mr. Giovanni Melina, Hoda Selim, and Ms. Concha Verdugo Yepes
This paper argues that oil revenue management and public investment in Congo are vulnerable to corruption as a result of limited transparency and accountability. Corruption has potentially contributed to poor macro-fiscal outcomes. The paper acknowledges the authorities’ anti-corruption efforts made so far and proposes further critical reforms to reduce remaining vulnerabilities. Using a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model results show that, depending on the reforms adopted, the potential additional growth can range between 0.8 to 1.8 percent per year over the next 10 years, and debt can decline by 2.25 to 3 percent of GDP per year over the same period. These results suggest that macrofiscal gains from anti-corruption reforms could be substantial even under conservative reform scenarios.
The Background Notes in this Supplement provide essential context and analysis needed to understand the problem of governance and corruption, its impact on the economies of Fund members, and the history and nature of Fund engagement on these issues. They also seek to support the assessment of the Fund’s overall approach to promoting good governance and reducing corruption—including through the lenses of key stakeholders—with a view to identifying strength and closing any remaining gaps.
This Selected Issues paper takes stock of poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Poverty has receded in the DRC over the last decade on the back of gradual stabilization in the security and political situation, strong economic growth, and sharp decline in inflationary pressures. Most social indicators also improved during the period. However, poverty remains pervasive with a level still among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, and DRC will likely not achieve any of the Millennium Developments Goals by 2015. Policy actions should focus on fostering the development of labor-intensive sector, increasing social spending, and redirecting public resources to the poorest regions of the country.
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.
This Joint Staff Advisory Note reviews the first annual progress report (APR) on implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) in the Republic of Congo. The adoption of Congo’s first full Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper was an important step toward consolidating macroeconomic stability and improved political and economic governance. The APR takes stock of the first year of PRS monitoring and implementation, and provides an update on the poverty diagnosis, and elaborates on the central aspects of the strategy.
This paper discusses the Republic of Congo’s enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. If the Republic of Congo is to effectively use the resources generated by the oil windfall to reduce poverty and ensure sustainable and equitable growth, improved prioritization of public investment resources and improved project management practices are required. The establishment of institutional structures to monitor reforms is a key test of the resolve of the government to meet the HIPC triggers.