International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This report provides an overview of recent developments in the implementation of the Fund’s Transparency Policy, as required by the Executive Board. It covers documents considered by the Board in 2020 and their respective publication status up to June 2021. To provide some perspective on trends, it compares the implementation of the Fund’s Transparency Policy on the 2020 documents with preceding years.
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on São Tomé and Príncipe. Tourist arrivals came to an abrupt halt in mid-March, externally financed projects are being delayed, and international supply-chains are disrupted. The challenging circumstances are further affected by the fragility of the economy and a weak health care system.
This paper presents São Tomé and Príncipe’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). The authorities of São Tomé and Príncipe have moved swiftly to develop a plan to address the major challenges posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. The authorities plan to increase well-targeted health and social spending to assist the most vulnerable, support the unemployed, incentivize private businesses to retain workers, and enhance fiscal transparency and good governance. These steps would help cushion the economic impact while ensuring that public funds are spent appropriately. Prudent loan restructuring while maintaining prudential standards will help alleviate liquidity pressures and safeguard financial stability. The authorities’ policies focus on immediate measures to protect against the virus, assistance to the most vulnerable, and countercyclical measures during this crisis. Public financial management will be reinforced to ensure the disbursement is used appropriately and steps will be taken to speed up the recovery next year. The IMF staff assesses that the eligibility requirements for the RCF are met and supports the authorities’ request. While the country is in debt distress due to long-standing external arrears, the debt level is deemed sustainable, and there is adequate capacity to repay the IMF. The financing would help prevent a much more severe and prolonged contraction, with a substantial social impact.
La croissance économique en Afrique subsaharienne est tombée en 2015 à son plus bas niveau depuis quinze ans, avec toutefois une grande disparité entre les pays de la région. La chute des cours des produits de base de ces dernières années a ébranlé beaucoup des plus grands pays d’Afrique subsaharienne, dont des pays exportateurs de pétrole tels que l'Angola et le Nigéria, et d'autres produits exportateurs de produits de base, tels que le Ghana, l'Afrique du Sud et la Zambie. La baisse des cours pétroliers a toutefois permis à d'autres pays de maintenir une croissance vigoureuse, dont le Kenya et le Sénégal. Dans de nombreux pays, il est urgent et essentiel de prendre des mesures robustes face aux chocs sur les termes de l'échange. Le rapport aborde également la vulnérabilité de l'Afrique subsaharienne face aux chocs sur les prix de base et note les avancées spectaculaires en matière de développement du secteur financier, et plus particulièrement dans le domaine des services financiers mobiles.
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole has fallen to its lowest level in 15 years, though with large variation among countries in the region. The sharp decline in commodity prices has severely strained many of the largest economies, including oil exporters Angola and Nigeria, and other commodity exporters, such as Ghana, South Africa, and Zambia. At the same time, the decline in oil prices has helped other countries continue to show robust growth, including Kenya and Senegal. A strong policy response to the terms-of-trade shocks is critical and urgent in many countries. This report also examines sub-Saharan Africa’s vulnerability to commodity price shocks, and documents the substantial progress made in financial develop, especially financial services based on mobile technologies.
The HIPC Initiative and MDRI are nearly complete with 35 countries having already reached the completion point under the HIPC Initiative. One country, Chad, remains in the interim phase. Debt relief under the Initiatives has substantially alleviated debt burdens in recipient countries and has enabled them to increase their poverty-reducing expenditure by two and a half percentage points between 2001 and 2013. Creditor participation in the Initiative has been strong amongst the multilateral and Paris Club creditors; however participation from the other creditor groups still needs to be strengthened. The total cost of debt relief to creditors under the HIPC Initiative is currently estimated to be US$75.0 billion, while the costs to the four multilateral creditors providing relief under the MDRI is estimated to be US$41.1 billion in end-2013 present value terms.
This report provides an update on the status of implementation of the HIPC Initiative and the MDRI over the past year. Given that most HIPCs have reached the completion point, in November 2011, the IMF and IDA Boards2 endorsed staff’s proposal to further streamline reporting of progress under the HIPC Initiative and MDRI. It was agreed that the annual HIPC Initiative/MDRI status of implementation report will be discontinued, while the core information—on debt service and poverty reducing expenditure, the cost of debt relief, creditor participation rates, and litigation against HIPCs—should continue to be made available and updated regularly on the IMF and World Bank websites.
This paper discusses the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe’s First Review under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement. The economy remains vulnerable to external and domestic shocks. Growth decelerated to 4 percent in 2012, reflecting persistent global uncertainties, particularly in Europe, which contributed to a slowdown in foreign direct investment, and in the execution of the foreign-financed public investment program. Commercial banks profitability and capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio declined in 2012, reflecting more challenging lending conditions. The central bank continues to strengthen its banking supervision function through on-site inspections and enforcement of banking regulation.
This paper develops a new index which provides early warning signals of a growth crisis in the event of large external shocks in low-income countries. Multivariate regression analysis and a univariate signaling approach are used to map information from a parsimonious set of underlying policy, structural, and institutional indicators into a composite vulnerability index. The results show that vulnerabilities to a growth crisis in low-income countries declined significantly from their peaks in the early 1990s, but have risen in recent years as fiscal policy buffers were expended in the wake of the global financial crisis.