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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The CEMAC’s economy lost some momentum in 2023 and the external position deteriorated somewhat, while inflation cooled but remained high. Updated statistics revealed a much more deteriorated fiscal situation than originally estimated. The near-term outlook is one of continued recovery, with growth projected at 3.6 percent in 2024, reflecting still-high oil prices and a strong rebound in oil output. In the medium term, however, sustained growth projected at the regional level masks divergences across the region, with weaker economic performance in countries with no program or off-track Fund-supported programs. In the absence of decisive corrective actions, and with current policies unchanged, fiscal and external imbalances are set to widen in the medium term, threatening to reverse reserve accumulation and add to financial stability risks.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
In August 2023, Gabon underwent a major political transition after a coup d’état had overthrown a decades-long regime. Despite multiple reform attempts, years of poorly managed oil wealth, weak inclusion, and stagnant incomes fragilized the political and socio-economic environment in the runup to the coup. The transition authorities now face a historic opportunity to pivot towards a more transparent and inclusive model of governance, but overcoming decades of entrenched institutional practice will require sustained reform efforts to achieve a point of no return. Meanwhile, the Fund-supported EFF program veered off-track soon after the completion of the first two reviews in 2022 and will expire soon.