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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses growth strategy for Ghana. Ghana has achieved impressive development gains over the last decades, with rising incomes, lower poverty, and better health, education, and gender outcomes. However, growth has recently become less inclusive, with high inequality and slower poverty reduction. In order to address these challenges, the authorities are pursuing a “Ghana beyond Aid” development strategy centered around agricultural modernization and export-led industrialization. Accelerating productivity growth calls for fostering competition, improving the business environment, strengthening human capital, taking advantage of growing regional markets and industrial policies that prioritize sectors that can export and innovate and where Ghana could achieve economies of scale. Consistent and predictable government policies can help increase long-term investment and improve public spending effectiveness. A key lesson from growth accelerations in other countries is that it is crucial to achieve economies of scale. In most cases, rapid economic growth required achieving export success in specific sectors.

Abstract

This volume, edited by Michel A. Dessart and Roland E. Ubogu, records the presentations made and discussions held during the Inaugural Seminar of the Joint Africa Institute (JAI). The JAI was established in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, by the African Development Bank, the IMF, and the World Bank to meet the pressing training needs of the African continent. The participants discussed four main topics: the changing role of the state, governance, and new capacity requirements; the challenge of achieving macroeconomic stability in Africa; the requirement for capacity building in Africa; and the role of international financial institutions in capacity building in Africa. The seminar was held in November 1999, but the topics and recommendations of the seminar remain current and of particular importance today. The seminar was held in English and French, and both language versions are contained in this volume. 240 pp. 2001

Mr. Jeffrey M. Davis, Mr. Thomas J Richardson, Mr. Rolando Ossowski, and Mr. Steven A Barnett

Abstract

Privatization has been a key element of structural reform in many developing and transition economies during the last decade. This paper examines the fiscal and macroeconomic issues involved in the privatization of nonfinancial public enterprises in these economies. It considers issues such as the factors determining the proceeds from privatization and the amount accruing to the budget, the uses of proceeds, the impact of privatization on the budget and macroeconomic aggregates, and the privatization component of IMF-supported programs. The empirical evidence draws on case study countries that reflect geographical diversity and are representative of a range of privatization experience in developing and transition economies.

Mr. George A Mackenzie and Mr. Peter Stella

Abstract

Central banks and other public financial institutions act as agents of fiscal policy in many countries. Their "quasi-fiscal" operations and activities can affect the overall public sector balance without affecting the budget deficit as conventionally measured, may also have important allocative effects, and increase the effective size of the public sector. This paper analyzes the macroeconomic and financial effects of such quasi-fiscal activities, as well as the taxes, subsidies, and other expenditures that such activities introduce outside the budget. Measurement and accounting issues are addressed, and policy recommendations are offered.

Mr. Amor Tahari, Mr. M. Nowak, Mr. Michael T. Hadjimichael, and Mr. Robert L. Sharer

Abstract

Over the past two decades, sub-Saharan Africa has lagged behind other regions in economic performance. The important overall indicators of performance, however, mask wide differences among countries. On the whole, countries that effectively implemented comprehensive adjustment and reform programs showed better results. Their experiences demonstrate that an expansion in private saving and investment is key to achieving gains in real per capita GDP. The four papers included in this publication provide a cross country analysis that assesses empirically the role of publlic policies in stimulating private saving and investment in the region in 1986-92 and describe the adjustment experiences of Ghana (1983-91), Senegal (1978-1993), and Uganda (1987-94).