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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The world remains in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic and a seemingly accelerating pace of climate change, both of which underscore the need for increased global cooperation and dialogue. Solutions to these global problems must involve all countries and all regions, especially sub-Saharan Africa, with the world’s least vaccinated population, most promising renewable energy potential, and critical ecosystems. Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is set to expand by 3.7 percent in 2021 and 3.8 percent in 2022. This follows the sharp contraction in 2020 and is much welcome, but still represents the slowest recovery relative to other regions. In particular, the economic outlook points to divergences at three levels: between sub-Saharan Africa and other regions, within sub-Saharan Africa, and within countries. These divergences reflect the region’s slower vaccines rollout, more limited fiscal space, and regional disparities in resilience. The outlook remains extremely uncertain, and risks are tilted to the downside. In particular, the recovery depends on the path of the global pandemic and the regional vaccination effort, food price inflation, and is also vulnerable to disruptions in global activity and financial markets. Looking ahead, sub-Saharan Africa’s potential remains undiminished. The region is at a critical juncture to implement bold transformative reforms to capitalize on this potential.

International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
The coverage of risks has become more systematic since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC): staff reports now regularly identify major risks and provide an assessment of their likelihood and economic impact, summarized in Risk Assessment Matrices (RAM). But still limited attention is paid to the range of possible outcomes. Also, risk identification is useful only so much as to inform policy design to preemptively respond to relevant risks and/or better prepare for them. In this regard, policy recommendations in surveillance could be richer in considering various risk management approaches. To this end, progress is needed on two dimensions: • Increasing emphasis on the range of potential outcomes to improve policy design. • Encouraging more proactive policy advice on how to manage risks. Efforts should continue to leverage internal and external resources to support risk analysis and advice in surveillance.
Jiaxiong Yao
Past studies on the relationship between electricity consumption and temperature have primarily focused on individual countries. Many regions are understudied as a result of data constraint. This paper studies the relationship on a global scale, overcoming the data constraint by using grid-level night light and temperature data. Mostly generated by electricity and recorded by satellites, night light has a strong linear relationship with electricity consumption and is correlated with both its extensive and intensive margins. Using night light as a proxy for electricity consumption at the grid level, we find: (1) there is a U-shaped relationship between electricity consumption and temperature; (2) the critical point of temperature for minimum electricity consumption is around 14.6°C for the world and it is higher in urban and more industrial areas; and (3) the impact of temperature on electricity consumption is persistent. Sub-Saharan African countries, while facing a large electricity deficit already, are particularly vulnerable to climate change: a 1°C increase in temperature is estimated to increase their electricity demand by 6.7% on average.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The Methodology review identified three broad areas for improving the EBA-Lite methodology: (1) expanding the fundamentals and policy determinants in the CA and REER regressions to better capture the external balance of EBA-Lite countries; (2) identifying alternatives to regression models for external assessments of large exporters of exhaustible commodities; and (3) a revised approach for the assessment of external sustainability in highly indebted economies. Accordingly, the revised methodology consists of three modules: 1) Regression Module 2) Module for External Assessments of Exporters of Exhaustible Commodities 3) Module for the Assessment of External Sustainability
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the external stability of Niger. Niger’s real effective exchange rate has been depreciating recently, echoing fluctuations of the euro against the US dollar. A model-based analysis of Niger’s external sector suggests that the real effective exchange rate is broadly in line with macroeconomic fundamentals, which is also consistent with the findings of the 2014 external sector assessment. However, broader competitiveness indicators are worrisome, despite some improvement noted in recent years. The recent depreciation of the naira also suggests some weakening in competitiveness, at least with Nigeria.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Le taux de croissance économique de l’Afrique subsaharienne devrait descendre cette année à son plus bas niveau depuis plus de vingt ans, en raison d’un environnement extérieur moins porteur et d’une réaction insuffisante de la part des pouvoirs publics. Globalement, la région connaît en fait une croissance économique à deux vitesses : tandis que la plupart des pays peu tributaires des exportations de ressources naturelles — la moitié des pays de la région — continuent d’enregistrer de bons résultats, car ils bénéficient de la diminution de leur facture pétrolière, de l’amélioration du climat des affaires et de la poursuite des investissements d’infrastructure, la plupart des pays exportateurs de produits de base subissent de graves tensions économiques. C’est le cas en particulier des pays exportateurs de pétrole, dont les perspectives à court terme se sont nettement dégradées ces derniers mois. L’Afrique subsaharienne reste néanmoins une région dont le potentiel économique est immense, mais un ajustement des politiques publiques s’impose d’urgence dans les pays les plus touchés pour permettre un rebond de la croissance.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year is set to drop to its lowest level in more than 20 years, reflecting the adverse external environment, and a lackluster policy response in many countries. However, the aggregate picture is one of multispeed growth: while most of non-resource-intensive countries—half of the countries in the region—continue to perform well, as they benefit from lower oil prices, an improved business environment, and continued strong infrastructure investment, most commodity exporters are under severe economic strains. This is particularly the case for oil exporters whose near-term prospects have worsened significantly in recent months. Sub-Saharan Africa remains a region of immense economic potential, but policy adjustment in the hardest-hit countries needs to be enacted promptly to allow for a growth rebound.

International Monetary Fund
This paper examines macroeconomic developments and prospects in low-income developing countries (LIDCs) against the back-drop of a sharp fall in international commodity prices. The focus here—by contrast with IMF (2014a)—is on recent developments and the near-term outlook, recognizing that the new price environment is likely to remain in place for several years to come. The paper also includes a section examining the experience of LIDCs with capital inflows over the past decade.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Calls for stronger IMF, World Growth Outlook, Strauss-Kahn Takes Over as New IMF Head, IMFC Communique, Globalization, Global Business Cycle, Capital Flows, Annual Meetings Seminars, Asian Economic Outlook, African Economic Outlook, News Briefs.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The five Regional Economic Outlooks published biannually by the IMF cover Asia and Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Western Hemisphere. In each volume, recent economic developments and prospects for the region are discussed as a whole, as well as for specific countries. The reports include key data for countries in the region. Each report focuses on policy developments that have affected economic performance in the region, and discusses key challenges faced by policymakers. The near-term outlook, key risks, and their related policy challenges are analyzed throughout the reports, and current issues are explored, such as when and how to withdraw public interventions in financial systems globally while maintaining a still-fragile economic recovery.These indispensable surveys are the product of comprehensive intradepartmental reviews of economic developments that draw primarily on information the IMF staff gathers through consultation with member countries.