International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) was conducted amid an economic rebound two years into the COVID-19 pandemic that had a limited impact on the financial sector. Several member states have experienced political instability, with coups in Burkina Faso and Mali leading to economic sanctions for the latter, and an attempted coup in Guinea-Bissau. Yet, short of further political deterioration, economic recovery is expected to persist. The last FSAP was conducted in 2008.
The WAEMU has, so far, demonstrated strong resilience to the Covid crisis. The economic rebound that started in the second half of 2020 firmed up in 2021, while fiscal and monetary policies remained supportive. External reserves have risen to comfortable levels and the financial system appears to be broadly sound. However, the region faces significant challenges to ensure the sustainability of macroeconomic policies, while supporting the economic recovery and navigating the uncertain outlook.
Rapid technological innovation is ushering in a new era of public and private digital money, bringing about major benefits in terms of efficiency and inclusion. To reap the full benefits and manage risks, authorities around the world will have to address new policy challenges. These are widespread, complex, rapidly evolving, and have profound implications. This paper identifies the main challenges currently arising regarding consumer protection and financial integrity, domestic financial and economic stability, as well as the stability and efficiency of the international monetary system. The paper argues that many of these challenges intersect the Fund’s mandate. The Fund must therefore monitor, and advise on, this rapid and complex transition for all members. The paper ends with a broad vision of how to deliver on this mandate and serve its members, including by enhancing resources, and collaborating closely with other institutions. This is the first of two papers, the second of which lays out a more detailed operational strategy.