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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper presents an external stability assessment on Niger. Niger’s current account balance deteriorated in 2013, mostly on account of higher food and capital goods imports. The deficit is expected to widen further in 2014–15, mainly driven by large investment in the extractive industry and basic infrastructure. The current account is projected to gradually improve from 2016 as important projects in infrastructure will come to end, the oil and mining sectors come on stream and public and private savings increase. Although aid and foreign direct investments are the main sources of external financing, external borrowing–mainly on concessional terms–has increased significantly.
Mario Mansour and Mr. Gregoire Rota Graziosi
We review the current state of the West African Economic and Monetary Union’s tax coordination framework, against the main objectives of the WAEMU Treaty of 1994: reduce distortions to intra-community trade, and mobilize domestic tax revenue. The process of tax coordination in WAEMU is one of the most advanced in the world—de jure at least—, but remains in many areas ineffective de facto. Nevertheless, the framework has, to some extent, succeeded in converging tax systems, particularly statutory tax rates, and may have contributed to improving revenue mobilisation. Important lessons can be drawn from the WAEMU experience, particularly in terms of whether coordination should take the form of harmonization through a top-down approach, or a softer approach of sharing best practice and limiting certain types of tax competition.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Niger’s new Poverty Reduction Strategy (PDES) represents its overarching reference framework for the government’s development agenda. It also proposes changes in policy orientation and institutional arrangements to respond to recent developments in Niger and in the subregion. The PDES was developed in an inclusive participatory process. Overall, it provides a comprehensive analysis of development challenges and a plan to achieve accelerated sustainable growth, identifies key risks to the achievements of the objectives as well as mitigating measures.
Mohamed El Harrak, Mr. Antonio David, Ms. Lorraine Ocampos, and Marshall Mills
This paper addresses a number of issues regarding petroleum product pricing in Western Africaemphasizing international spillovers. We use panel unit root rests and long-run modeling based on vector error correction models to assess links and convergence in petroleum product prices across countries. Our results indicate that in general over the long-run there is convergence in prices across the countries. The estimation results for gasoline and diesel prices suggest the presence of long-run links between retail prices among the different country groupings with long-run multipliers ranging from 11 to -6.66. The speed of Adjustment to equilibrium varies significantly according to the countrygroupings considered. In contrast, the econometric results for kerosene prices not only indicate a weaker link between prices across countries, but also a much slower adjustment to equilibrium. Inlight of these important spillovers, the need to better coordinate pricing s and tax policies towards petroleum products at the regional level becomes apparent.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx