Olivier Basdevant, Mr. Andrew W Jonelis, Miss Borislava Mircheva, and Mr. Slavi T Slavov
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the economies of South Africa and its neighbors (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe) are tightly integrated with each other. There are important institutional linkages. Across the region there are also large flows of goods and capital, significant financial sector interconnections, as well as sizeable labor movements and associated remittance flows. These interconnections suggest that South Africa’s GDP growth rate should affect positively its neighbors’, a point we illustrate formally with the help of numerical simulations of the IMF’s GIMF model. However, our review and update of the available econometric evidence suggest that there is no strong evidence of real spillovers in the region after 1994, once global shocks are controlled for. More generally, we find no evidence of real spillovers from South Africa to the rest of the continent post-1994. We investigate the possible reasons for this lack of spillovers. Most importantly, the economies of South Africa and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa might have de-coupled in the mid-1990s. That is when international sanctions on South Africa ended and the country re-integrated with the global economy, while growth in the rest of the continent accelerated due to a combination of domestic and external factors.
Mr. Joannes Mongardini, Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Olivier Basdevant, Mr. Alfredo Cuevas, Mr. Xavier Debrun, Lars Holger Engstrom, Imelda M. Flores Vazquez, Mr. Vitaliy Kramarenko, Mr. Lamin Y Leigh, Mr. Paul R Masson, and Ms. Genevieve Verdier
The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is the oldest customs union in the world, with significant opportunities ahead for creating higher economic growth and increased welfare benefits to the people of the region, by fulfilling its vision to become an economic community with a common market and monetary union. This volume describes policy options to address the barriers to equitable and sustainable development in the region and outlines a plan for deeper regional integration.
This report reviews economic development of Namibia in the recent years after the global crisis. The country bounced back very well after the crisis. Namibia exhibited strong performance in the primary sectors, which has led to remarkable growth in the second half of 2012. The government has launched a three-year fiscal initiative to enhance job opportunities and preserve fiscal and external sustainability. Plans have been identified to strengthen banks, control mortgages, and improve the education system. The Executive Board has appreciated Namibia’s strong macroeconomic performance.
Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, Ms. Farayi Gwenhamo, and Mr. Saji Thomas
Spillovers from South Africa into the other members of the Souther Africa Customs Union (known as the BLNS for Botstwana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland) are substantial reflecting sizeable real and financial interlinkages. However, shocks to real GDP growth in South Africa do not seem to systematically affect growth developments in BLNS countries as a group. Nevertheless, vector autoregressions, which allow country-specific parameters, suggest some strong spillovers onto the smaller economies.
IMF research summaries on foreign direct investment (by Yuko Kinoshita) and on trade linkages and business cycles (by Julian di Giovanni and Andrei Levchenko); country study on Mexico (by Roberto Garcia-Saltos); listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during February-June 2008; listing of contents of Vol. 55, Issue No. 1 of IMF Staff Papers; listing of recent IMF Working Papers; and a listing of recent external publications by IMF staff.
The paper combines various methodologies to assessing the level of the exchange rate in Botswana, explicitly taking into account the implications of its dependency on diamond exports. Real exchange rate estimation indicates that, after a period of overvaluation, Botswana's real effective exchange rate is now broadly in line with economic fundamentals. The projected current account path is also consistent with external sustainability, defined to ensure sufficient savings of diamond wealth in order to maintain a stable import and consumption path through 2050. Sustaining consumption over the longer term will however require to address obstacles to non-diamond exports' competitiveness.
This paper evaluates Namibia's competitiveness using several traditional indicators; it concludes that, while the real effective exchange rate (REER) is in equilibrium at present?suggesting no imminent need for concern?the country may wish to improve its competitiveness by increasing educational attainment, reducing the skills mismatch, and diversifying its exports. Moreover, although Namibia scores relatively well on survey-based major indicators of structural competitiveness, the business environment can be made more conducive to private sector activity.
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.
This paper provides an overview of diamond mining in sub-Saharan African countries, and explores the reasons for substantial differences in their tax rates and fiscal revenues from the sector, which mainly arise from differences in the incentives for smuggling. In a theoretical model, we show that optimal diamond tax rates increase with the degree of competition among diamond buyers, as well as with the corporate share of diamond production, which is confirmed by the data. We then discuss policies to increase revenue, including by enhancing mining productivity, stimulating the exploration of new areas, reducing barriers to entry, and attracting investment into value-adding downstream operations.