IMF Executive Board Discusses the Ex Post Assessment of Longer Program Engagement with Benin

Public Information Notice (PIN) No. 11/27
February 25, 2011

Public Information Notices (PINs) form part of the IMF's efforts to promote transparency of the IMF's views and analysis of economic developments and policies. With the consent of the country (or countries) concerned, PINs are issued after Executive Board discussions of Article IV consultations with member countries, of its surveillance of developments at the regional level, of post-program monitoring, and of ex post assessments of member countries with longer-term program engagements. PINs are also issued after Executive Board discussions of general policy matters, unless otherwise decided by the Executive Board in a particular case.

On February 16, 2011, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) discussed an update of the ex post assessment (EPA) of longer program engagement with Benin.

Background

An EPA is required for all members having longer-term program engagement with the Fund. EPAs are intended to provide an opportunity to step back from continuing program relations to consider an analysis of the economic problems facing the country, review progress under Fund-supported programs, and draw forward-looking lessons for future Fund engagement.

Since 1993, Benin has almost continuously had a program supported by the Fund under its various concessional lending facilities. In 2004, a first ex post assessment concluded that past program design had been broadly appropriate and implementation mostly successful. Overall, program engagement contributed to major progress in macroeconomic stabilization and fiscal consolidation. However, results in implementing the structural reform agenda were mixed.

This update reviews Benin’s economic performance since late 2004, focusing on the implementation of the 2005–09 program supported by the then-existing Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility.

Executive Board Assessment

Directors agreed that, overall, during this period Benin had maintained macroeconomic stability, despite a challenging environment. However, Directors noted GDP growth had fallen below historical and regional averages because of the slow implementation of structural reforms.

Directors noted that the current Fund-supported program adequately incorporates recommendations of the EPA and that risks are correctly identified. A strong commitment to fiscal discipline and the reform agenda will be key to achieving the program’s objectives.



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