Press Release: Statement at the Conclusion of an IMF Staff Mission to Côte d'Ivoire

May 16, 2007

Press Release No. 07/100

The following statement was issued on May 15, 2007 in Abidjan by the International Monetary Fund mission:

"Following initial discussions with the Ivorian authorities in Washington in mid-April, an IMF staff mission—joint with World Bank and African Development Bank missions— visited Abidjan from April 30 to May 15, 2007. The mission continued discussions with the Ivorian authorities on Emergency Post-Conflict Assistance (EPCA). The mission also conducted the IMF's annual consultations on the Côte d'Ivoire economy under Article IV of the IMF Articles of Agreement. Within this framework, the mission also met with representatives of civil society, the private sector, and other donors.

"The mission was encouraged by the progress made on the political front, particularly on the implementation of the Ouagadougou Agreement. It noted that despite the negative impact of more than four years of political, economic and social crisis, the economy has shown a measure of resilience that augurs well for economic and social recovery in the medium term. That said, the immediate challenges are large: to relaunch growth, which is essential for reducing poverty ; implement a fiscal policy that protects social spending; and improve transparency in public resource management, particularly in budget execution and in the energy and coffee/cocoa sectors.

"In the context of the discussions on EPCA, the mission reviewed with the government the budget framework for 2007, including efforts to mobilize revenue, and the financing needs of crisis-related programs, such as for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), redeployment of government services, the identification of the population, and the organization of elections. The mission discussed options for covering the financing gap of about US$ 400 million in 2007 with the help of external partners. Fiscal rigor and transparency in public resource management were at the center of these discussions, with emphasis on short- and medium-term measures. For examples the regular publication of data relating to budget execution, the reorientation of expenditure toward reunification and rehabilitation needs (by reducing non-essential spending), and the enhancement of transparency in the mobilization and use of revenue from the oil and coffee/cocoa sectors.

"The negotiations resulted in an agreement, in principle, on the main features of an economic program for 2007 that could be supported by EPCA provided certain preconditions are met, including in particular, significant progress with disarmament, redeployment of government services, and the resumption of the identification process. Also, the EPCA would depend on the presence of a concerted international effort to help Côte d'Ivoire finance its crisis-related programs. The mission was encouraged by the measures already taken by the government to start these programs, as well as by the agreements in principle to clear arrears to the World Bank and the AfDB.

"The mission reiterates that the IMF stands ready to support Côte d'Ivoire in its efforts."


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