The latest Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa published by the IMF reveals that despite a recent extended period of strong economic boost, many sub-Saharan African countries have borne the brunt of multiple economic shocks and are experiencing a sharp fall in growth.
This report points to the decline in commodity prices, tighter financing conditions...Read more...
DFI participated in a joint IMF/World Bank mission to Niamey aimed at assisting the Interministerial Debt Committee’s technical commission to devise a medium-term debt strategy (MTDS) for 2016-2020. Assistance was also provided in developing an annual borrowing plan in accordance with the national commitment made with the IMF.
The key conclusion was that there is a real capacity to formulate and, above all, to evaluate the implementation of the MTDS, whose results are systematically annexed to Niger’s budget bills. The MTDS was conducted in an inclusive and participatory manner and should soon be approved and validated by the Interministerial Debt Committee which is chaired by Niger’s Prime Minister.
Kinshasa welcomed the last mission of the technical assistance project supporting DRC in reforming its debt management laws and design a national debt strategy. Held on 4-29 April, this mission closed an extensive African Development Bank-funded programme of activities started in September 2015.
Launched with a first mission to evaluate the country’s institutional framework and agree on a work plan, the technical support stretched over 8 missions and over 8 months to produce the following results:Read more...
The Network of Finance Ministers and Experts from Francophone LICs met in Washington, DC in the margins of the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. Convened by Senegal, the Network's chair country, the meetings were twofold: finance experts and country focal points met on Thursday 14 April to discuss their priorities in terms of fiscal policies in favour of the mobilisation of domestic resources to finance the SDGs. On the agenda were the presentation of the results of the technical workshop held in Dakar, Senegal, in December 2015 on fiscal policies and preliminary outcomes of the revenue study. DFI also introduced the terms of reference of a new study on public-private partnerships (PPP) to be launched in 2016-2017 which will draw on countries' experiences to determine how PPPs can best fit in in their financing strategies.Read more...
DFI, together with UNCTAD, conducted a technical assistance mission in debt management for the World Bank. Held in the capital Lomé, this capacity-building event aimed at identifying key strengths and weaknesses which characterise the country’s debt structure. The mission found that Togo achieved considerable progress in terms of formulating debt management strategies and in debt sustainability analysis. However, significant weaknesses were identified at the front and back office level, which calls for strong support from the country’s technical and financial partners.
The world’s poorest countries are robbed of billions of dollars in vital revenue due to tax avoidance strategies used by some multinational corporations.
ActionAid’s new "Mistreated" report is based on a dataset of 500 tax treaties signed by low- and lower-middle income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. This extensive research sheds lights on the tax agreements between LICs and wealthier countries and reveals the use of tax treaty networks to limit tax payments in LICs, therefore reducing the amount of crucial revenue as a vital source of public finance.
The report urges for the urgent review of these treaties, more transparency in the negotiation and ratification process as well as better impact assessment on revenue collection and development.
The final activities in the Seco-funded support to Sudanese debt policy and strategy concluded during February.
They began with a high-level seminar, at which the Ethiopian Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister shared Ethiopia’s experiences of HIPC and MDRI debt relief, and Sudanese policymakers discussed the draft national debt policy.This was followed by a training event on Debt Pro©, the software used by the IMF to assess debt relief needs and impact.
Finally, two senior Sudanese officials conducted a study tour to Addis Ababa to examine Ethiopian experiences in more detail. The project has been assessed by the Government of Sudan as having achieved its capacity-building aims, and the national debt policy is expected to be approved shortly.
DFI participated in a roundtable meeting organised in London by the UK Department for International Development on the forthcoming review of the LIC-Debt Sustainability Framework by the BWIs, and presented the findings of its paper on priorities for the review of the DSF. Another study completed in 2015 on priorities for debt issues in the FfD process has also been cleared by DFID for release.
A new paper by the IMF examines the role of fiscal policies and institutions in building resilience in sub-Saharan African countries. Based on the analysis of a sample of 26 countries from the region over the 1990-2013 period, the report finds that raising tax revenues and a higher spending in social sectors create conditions favourable to economic resilience.
This correlation is further examined through case studies of 7 fragile countries (Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda) with a history of conflict or civil unrest, illustrating how they were able to build resilience and exit fragility.
DFI facilitated a regional capacity-building workshop for Oxfam International Asia, training around 30 staff on analyzing fiscal justice to combat inequality. The training covered anti-inequality government spending (using the GSW database) and anti-inequality tax policy (using a new GSW tax database), and helped participants to define priorities for regional and country strategies to campaign for fiscal justice.
DFI participated in a British Academy International Forum with the secretariat of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (chaired by Gordon Brown). Based on its work for GSW, GCE and UNESCO, DFI presented its views for priorities in mobilizing financing for education during the SDG period, and will be continuing to work with the secretariat over the next few months, making inputs on spending patterns and debt issues.