Prudent macroeconomic policies, supported by the Extended Arrangement, have contributed to Gabon’s economic recovery. Growth is picking up, the fiscal and external positions have improved, public debt has started to decline, and Gabon has contributed to the rebuilding of regional international reserves. Challenges remain, though, as buffers are still insufficient and deep-rooted institutional and structural weaknesses continue to constraint growth and poverty reduction. Almost one-third of the population still lives below the poverty line.
This paper presents 2019 Article IV Consultation with Gabon and its Fourth and Fifth Reviews Under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), and Request for Waiver for NonObservance of Performance Criteria, and Rephasing of the Remaining Purchases. Gabon’s performance under the program supported by the IMF’s EFF Arrangement has been broadly satisfactory. Macroeconomic conditions have continued to improve, with growth slowly picking-up, fiscal and external positions improving, and public debt declining. Going forward, bold and ambitious reforms are needed to generate higher, more inclusive, and resilient growth. Sustained implementation of structural reforms is critical. Efforts to close infrastructure gaps, improve human capital, deepen financial intermediation, clear domestic arrears, and enhance governance and anticorruption measures are necessary to improve the business climate and achieve higher and inclusive growth. Efforts should continue to further boost domestic revenue and contain nonpriority spending, while protecting investment and enhancing social protection. Improving public finance management and the efficiency of public investment is also important for growth prospects.
This paper presents a description of the IMF and its activities, focusing in particular on its technical assistance (TA) activities. The report then describes in greater detail the Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities (JSA)—including its objectives, size, scope, and use, as well as assessments of its activities, with a focus on fiscal year (FY) 2007—and the TA activities and scholarship programs that it finances. The IMF’s technical assistance is delivered mainly by its Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD), Monetary and Capital Markets Department (MCM), and Statistics Department (STA). Japan provides grant contributions for two scholarship programs. In 1996, the Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies, which is administered by the IMF Institute, was established. JSA resources can be used to cover the cost of short- and long-term TA experts and other costs associated with conducting seminars and workshops, such as room rental fees. Although TA activities financed by the JSA can take place in all areas of the world, the Japanese authorities place high priority on funding TA activities in Asia and the Pacific, Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and countries of the former Soviet Union.
This paper examines how military spending has been affected by Fund-supported programs. It looks at the changes in military expenditure as a share of gross domestic product (MIL/GDP) and of total expenditure (MIL/EX) for two subsamples of Fund-supported programs, broadly divided into fiscal tightening and fiscal accommodating. Under fiscal tightening, the evidence suggests that MIL/GDP decreases during Fund-supported programs, but that MIL/EX increases, revealing resilience to budgetary adjustments. Under fiscal accommodation, as total government expenditure tends to increase, so does military expenditure; however, the ratio MIL/EX declines, as fewer additional resources are allocated to the military.