IMF Staff Completes Review Mission to Benin

November 6, 2019

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. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF's Executive Board for discussion and decision.
  • The authorities and the IMF mission have reached a staff-level agreement on the fifth review of the implementation of Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement.
  • Performance under the program was very satisfactory in the first half of 2019.
  • The authorities and the IMF mission agreed on fiscal policy measures for the 2020 budget to secure key program objectives and maintain the deficit below the WAEMU regional norm of 3.0 percent of GDP.

A staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Luc Eyraud, visited Cotonou during October 24-November 5, 2019 to hold discussions on the fifth review of the three-year economic and financial program supported by the IMF under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement with the Republic of Benin. [1]

At the end of the mission, Mr. Eyraud issued the following statement:

“Benin’s recent economic performance remains strong despite a less supportive external environment and the closure of the border with Nigeria. Real GDP is expected to grow by 6.4 percent in 2019, mostly driven by the agriculture and transport sectors. Growth should accelerate in 2020 and remain sustained over the medium term, buttressed by vigorous cotton production, construction, and port activities. Consumer price inflation, affected by the high agriculture production, has been on a declining trend, falling by 1.4 percent in the first nine months of 2019, relative to the same period one year earlier. It is expected to remain well below the 3.0 percent regional ceiling in 2019 and 2020. The fiscal deficit for 2019 is estimated at 2.3 percent of the recently rebased GDP.

“Performance under the IMF-supported program has been very satisfactory so far this year. All end-June 2019 quantitative performance criteria and the end-September structural benchmark program were met.

“The Beninese authorities and the IMF mission agreed on fiscal policy measures for the 2020 draft budget to secure key program objectives. These measures should enable the projected fiscal deficit to remain well below 3.0 percent of GDP next year, in compliance with the regional criterion. The IMF commended the efforts included in the budget to mobilize domestic revenues, which will help allocate more resources to development programs and promote inclusive growth.

“IMF staff was pleased to note that the public debt ratio would stabilize this year and decline in 2020, as a result of continued fiscal discipline and strong economic growth. The 2018 debt reprofiling and the 2019 Eurobond issuance have helped lower borrowing costs, diversify the financing structure, and extend debt maturity. However, these operations can also create new vulnerabilities that have to be addressed. Staff encouraged the authorities to continue strengthening their debt management framework and welcomed their decision to update the medium-term debt strategy.

“The IMF team would like to thank the authorities, various stakeholders, and technical staff for their support and constructive discussions.”

The mission met with Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, Minister of State for Planning and Development; Romuald Wadagni, Minister of Economy and Finance; Alain Komaclo, National Director of the regional central bank, BCEAO; and other senior government officials.

[1] The Benin’s ECF-supported program was approved by the IMF Executive Board in April 2017. 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.

IMF Communications Department

PRESS OFFICER: Gediminas Vilkas

Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email: