Africa > Equatorial Guinea, Republic of

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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a severe impact on São Tomé and Príncipe’s economy, exacerbating fiscal and external imbalances. Tourism activities and external remittances dropped sharply, while lockdown measures further deepened the recession. The authorities’ swift actions and unprecedented international financial support are helping the country weather the emergency. The economy began to reopen in the fall, but the outlook for 2021 remains challenging and subject to significant uncertainty.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The pandemic is taking a heavy toll on the fragile island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe. Tourist arrivals came to an abrupt halt in mid-March, externally financed projects are being delayed, and supply shipments are disrupted. In response to the local outbreak, emergency confinement measures have been in place since March to contain infection. The authorities began phasing out these measures in late June, aiming for a full reopening of the economy by end-July. A disbursement supported by the Rapid Credit Facility (SDR 9.028 million) was approved in April 2020. The authorities request an augmentation of the ECF program by 10 percent of quota (SDR 1.48 million).
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The pandemic is taking a heavy toll on the fragile island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe. Tourist arrivals came to an abrupt halt in mid-March, externally financed projects are being delayed, and supply shipments are disrupted. In response to the local outbreak, emergency confinement measures have been in place since March to contain infection. The authorities began phasing out these measures in late June, aiming for a full reopening of the economy by end-July. A disbursement supported by the Rapid Credit Facility (SDR 9.028 million) was approved in April 2020. The authorities request an augmentation of the ECF program by 10 percent of quota (SDR 1.48 million).
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
São Tomé and Príncipe is a fragile, small island-state, with limited resources and capacity. The last Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement expired at end-2018 having gone off-track amid parliamentary elections, power outages, internal and external imbalances, and high debt vulnerability. Growth slowed, inflation rose, the fiscal position deteriorated, and foreign reserves declined sharply in 2018, while some critical structural reforms were delayed. Higher and more inclusive growth is needed to reduce poverty and unemployment, particularly among the large youth population.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe’s Request for a 40-Month Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The ECF aims to support São Tomé and Príncipe’s economic and structural reforms. The program aims to reduce debt vulnerability, alleviate balance of payment pressures, restore fiscal and external sustainability over the medium term, promote sustainable and inclusive growth, and provide positive signals to stakeholders. Structural reforms should help mobilize revenue, enhance control over public spending, reduce contingent liabilities from state owned enterprises, improve financial stability, and promote sustainable and inclusive growth to reduce poverty, including through empowering women economically. The government plans to undertake sustained fiscal consolidation and reforms to reduce debt vulnerability. A floor on pro-poor spending, along with a World Bank social protection program, will protect the most vulnerable. The Fund-supported program will also play a catalytic role and provide positive signals to stakeholders.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses São Tomé and Príncipe’s 2018 Article IV Consultation, Fifth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility, Request for Waivers for Nonobservance of Performance Criteria, and Financing Assurances Review. São Tomé and Príncipe’s GDP growth in 2017 is estimated at about 4 percent, similar to the previous two years. Inflation spiked to 7.7 percent at end 2017, caused by unfavorable weather conditions and an increase in import taxes on selective goods. Fiscal consolidation continued albeit at a slower pace than expected. The macroeconomic outlook is positive. Growth is expected to remain at 4 percent in 2018 and to accelerate to 5 percent in the medium term as new externally-financed projects get under way.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Equatorial Guinea’s recent economic performance has been weak, notwithstanding the high-quality infrastructure that has been built. The current account deficit has progressively increased to about 10 percent of GDP by 2014 as a result of lower exports from maturing hydrocarbon fields combined with high import levels associated with the public infrastructure program, although there is considerable uncertainty about this figure given very weak external sector statistics. The main near-term risk to the economic outlook is a slower-than-expected fiscal adjustment that could result in the depletion of fiscal buffers and accumulation of public debt. Moreover, an insufficient effort to address a weak business climate and attract foreign investment would impede diversification and potential nonhydrocarbon growth.
Mr. Christian H Ebeke and Mr. Constant A Lonkeng Ngouana
This paper shows that high energy subsidies and low public social spending can emerge as an equilibrium outcome of a political game between the elite and the middle-class when the provision of public goods is subject to bottlenecks, reflecting weak domestic institutions. We test this and other predictions of our model using a large cross-section of emerging markets and low-income countries. The main empirical challenge is that subsidies and social spending could be jointly determined (e.g., at the time of the budget), leading to a simultaneity bias in OLS estimates. To address this concern, we adopt an identification strategy whereby subsidies in a given country are instrumented by the level of subsidies in neighboring countries. Our Instrumental Variable (IV) estimations suggest that public expenditures in education and health were on average lower by 0.6 percentage point of GDP in countries where energy subsidies were 1 percentage point of GDP higher. Moreover, we find that the crowding-out was stronger in the presence of weak domestic institutions, narrow fiscal space, and among the net oil importers.