IMF Staff Completes Visit to Central African Republic

September 14, 2018

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. This mission will not result in a Board discussion.
  • Economic recovery continues; growth projected to reach 4.3 percent in 2018.
  • Strengthening government revenue mobilization remains a priority.

A staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Norbert Toé, visited Bangui during September 7–14, 2018 to review recent developments and program implementation. The IMF supports the economic and financial program of the Central African Republic by an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) [1] arrangement since 2016. On July 2, 2018, the IMF Executive Board approved the fourth review under the ECF, bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 88 million (about US$ 123.7 million). Discussions covered the draft 2019 budget, structural reforms including the revision of the petroleum price structure, and the government’s strategy to improve public financial management and governance.

At the end of the visit, Mr. Toé issued the following statement:

“The economic recovery continues with growth still projected to reach 4.3 percent in 2018 and accelerate in the medium term. The projections are predicated on the restoration of peace, the extension of public services throughout the country, and a steadfast implementation of reforms. Strong and sustained growth is necessary to create jobs and reduce poverty.

“Based on preliminary data and information collected during the mission, the economic program remains on track. Quantitative monitoring indicators for end-June 2018 agreed with the authorities have been met, but social spending underperformed. Structural reforms are advancing, although with some delays. The team emphasized the need to step up social spending to broaden public support for the reform program.

“The team and the authorities discussed broad outlines of the 2019 draft budget with a focus on accelerating domestic revenue mobilization, consolidating the single treasury account, strengthening public financial management, and increasing social spending to tackle poverty. Given the impact of higher international oil prices on public finances the team urged the authorities to streamline the complex oil price structure. Strengthening government revenue mobilization remains a priority, including by taking decisive steps against fraud.

“Going forward, the team and the authorities agreed on the need to accelerate the efforts to strengthen governance and transparency and sustain structural reforms aimed at improving the business environment.

“The team met with President Touadéra, Prime Minister Sarandji, President of the National Assembly Meckassoua, Minister of Finance Dondra, Minister of Economy Moloua, the National Director of BEAC Mr. Chaibou, senior government officials, as well as donor representatives. The team thanks the authorities for their hospitality, strong cooperation and constructive discussions. The team is expected to return later this year to conduct discussions for the fifth review under the ECF arrangement and the Article IV consultation.”

[1] Central African Republic’s ECF-supported program was approved by the IMF Executive Board in July 2016. The ECF is a lending arrangement that provides sustained program engagement over the medium to long term in case of protracted balance of payments problems.

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