Africa > Lesotho, Kingdom of

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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This article presents an overview of the life of Richard Layard, who believes that the basic purpose of economics is the maximization of happiness and well-being. As director of the Wellbeing Programme at the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance, Layard focuses on the study of happiness. Layard was a distinguished labor economist long before he turned his attention to happiness. He is best known for his research in the 1980s on unemployment and for his advocacy of policies to support unemployed people on the condition that they try to find work. This “welfare to work” approach became popular in parts of continental Europe and was a mainstay of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s economic program. Layard’s other current preoccupation is climate change. He is one of the drivers of the Global Apollo Program, a project to make renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels within 10 years through publicly funded, internationally coordinated research and innovation.
International Monetary Fund
The challenge of achieving broad-based growth in Lesotho is discussed. Economic growth is inconsistent. Lesotho is highly dependent on trade with South Africa. The sources of growth in Lesotho using a social accounting matrix model and a growth-accounting framework are outlined. The main constraints to growth and private investment and current policy initiative to promote broad-based growth and private investment are analyzed. The various methods employed suggest that there is neither external stability nor significant evidence of exchange rate misalignment.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes unemployment and education in Namibia. Using the Afrobarometer Project survey data, the paper develops some stylized facts about the Namibian labor market, focusing on the link between education, earnings, and unemployment. The paper finds that unemployment probabilities depend on the level of education. The paper also describes the main features of poverty in Namibia and assesses the appropriateness of current as well as potential policies to alleviate poverty and reduce income inequality over time.
International Monetary Fund
Economic growth in Swaziland has weakened over the past decade. This 2005 Article IV Consultation highlights that real GDP growth decelerated to 2.1 percent in 2004 and an estimated 1.8 percent in 2005. A prolonged drought affected agricultural output, particularly maize, the main staple crop, and cotton. The authorities completed a “Poverty Reduction Strategy and Action Plan” in October 2004. The document spells out policies with the overall objective of halving the 1995 poverty rate by 2015. However, little progress has been made toward this and other Millennium Development Goals.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper on the Kingdom of Lesotho reviews the broad objectives and key institutional features of the Common Monetary Area (CMA) relating to currency arrangements. The CMA Agreement provides for the three small member countries to have access to South African capital and money markets, but only through prescribed investments or approved securities that can be held by financial institutions in South Africa. Lesotho’s exchange rate arrangement under the CMA shares certain characteristics of a currency board.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix paper analyzes the macroeconomic impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, as well as its repercussions on fiscal policy of Namibia. The paper seeks to assess the macroeconomic impact of HIV/AIDS under a successful implementation of Medium-Term Plan III (MTP III) that would lower the prevalence rate to below its 2004 level. The paper also identifies the effect of HIV/AIDS on the real GDP growth rate over the medium term through a source of growth model that estimates the impact of HIV/AIDS on the factors of production.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents Ex Post Assessment of Longer-Term Program Engagement for Lesotho. The paper reviews the experience of the IMF’s engagement in Lesotho during the period 1991–2004, and briefly presents economic developments prior to these arrangements. It reviews performance under IMF-supported programs and analyzes the main factors accounting for that performance. The paper draws lessons from these program experiences and considers the main challenges facing Lesotho. The role that the IMF can play in helping the authorities to meet those challenges is also examined.
International Monetary Fund
This paper examines Lesotho’s Sixth Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and Request for Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria. Real GDP growth slowed to 3¼ percent in 2003/04 (April-March) owing to the adverse impact of drought on agricultural output and slower-than-envisaged growth in the construction sector. Fiscal performance in 2003/04 was stronger than envisaged in the program, partly reflecting temporary factors. All quantitative performance criteria for December 2003 and indicative targets for March 2004 were met. The IMF staff supports the key macroeconomic objectives of the authorities’ budget for 2004/05.
International Monetary Fund
The Selected Issues paper provides an overview of trends, performance export growth, value added, and employment, account of the structure and evolution of Lesotho's textiles during the decade through 2002, and discusses future prospects and key issues. It analyzes the implications of the phasing-out of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and also reviews the HIV/AIDS situation in Lesotho. It discusses the current situation, the measures to enhance financial intermediation, and the Southern African Customs Union Arrangement and its effects on revenues. The paper also includes the summary of tax systems, July 2003, and the exchange trade system.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper describes recent economic developments in Swaziland and discusses some of the key issues that have a bearing on the economic outlook and policy debate. The paper examines developments with regard to output and inflation, fiscal policy, monetary policy and financial markets, and the external sector. It elaborates the economic impact of HIV/AIDS. The sources of GDP growth and the outlook are analyzed. The paper also examines the issue of external competitiveness, and describes the finances of the Public Service Pensions Fund.