IMF Staff Concludes Visit to The Republic of Congo

December 20, 2017

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, led by Mr. Abdoul Aziz Wane, visited Brazzaville from December 5 to December 20, 2017, to discuss the authorities’ economic and financial program and possible financial support by the IMF. 

Mr. Wane made the following statement at the end of the visit:

“The authorities and the mission made progress toward the formulation of medium-term macroeconomic and structural policies that could be supported by the IMF. The mission welcomes the draft 2018 budget, which will help restore fiscal sustainability and contribute to regional external stability, while increasing support to vulnerable groups, including women. The mission took also note of the authorities’ planned measures to restore medium-term debt sustainability. It encouraged the authorities to finalize the hiring of legal and financial advisors in that regard.

 “Congo’s economy continues to suffer from the effects of low oil prices, unsustainable debt, and significant governance weaknesses. A deeper recession of the nonoil economy in 2017—with growth estimated at - 9.2 percent—is hurting the most vulnerable segments of the population. The sustained fiscal adjustment undertaken since 2015 has reduced macroeconomic imbalances, but they remain large as government buffers are almost depleted. The accumulation of government arrears is jeopardizing private sector activity, contributing to bank liquidity shortages, and undermining social services. Weak anti-corruption bodies and poor statistics create enforcement gaps and heighten economic vulnerabilities.

“The authorities will need to take bold and immediate governance reforms to anchor expectations of a positive change in the management of public resources. In that regard, the IMF team welcomed the government’s intention to approve in early 2018 a governance study that will guide future reforms. These reforms should include the establishment of a set of independent anti-corruption bodies, declaration of assets for high-level officials, and the establishment and reinforcement of oversight bodies over state owned enterprises, notably the public oil companies and large investment projects. A significant improvement of the production and dissemination of economic statistics should also be part and parcel of these reforms.

“The IMF team will continue to support the authorities as they work in the coming weeks in several areas, including on restoring debt sustainability, strengthening governance, and ensuring adequate program financing. Once this work is completed, a financial arrangement to support Congo’s economic program would be discussed at staff level before being proposed for the IMF Executive Board's consideration.”

The IMF team met Prime Minister Clément Mouamba, Finance Minister Calixte Nganongo; and other senior officials. The team also met with representatives of the diplomatic community, private sector, banks, civil society, and development partners.

IMF Communications Department


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