IMF approves further funds for Cote d’Ivoire

12 Dec 17

The International Monetary Fund has approved a $136.5m payment to Cote d’Ivoire following a review.

It said performance under the extended credit and extended fund facilities-supported programme was strong in the first half of 2017, with all performance criteria and indicative targets observed and structural benchmarks met.

Cote d’Ivoire had implemented sound policies, which helped secure the confidence of the international financial markets, enabling a successful Eurobond issue in June.

The IMF noted that economic activity remained strong in 2017, with real GDP growth expected in excess of 7% in 2017-19. Inflation was expected to remain subdued.

Cote d’Ivoire’s fiscal budget deficit was expected to be contained to 4.5% of GDP in 2017 and fall to the West African Economic and Monetary Union norm of 3% by 2019.

The IMF said the country’s authorities were advancing structural reforms, including on programme budgeting, streamlining the expenditure chain, strengthening public investment management and monitoring fiscal risks stemming from public enterprises and public-private partnerships.

It said Cote d’Ivoire must maintain debt sustainability, while making space to finance its National Development Programme for 2016-2020 by stepping up revenue mobilisation, rationalising tax exemptions, and strengthening the evaluation of new investment projects.

There should also be more rapid structural reforms critical to sustaining private sector-led economic development, the IMF noted.

Meanwhile, Côte d’Ivoire is to boost its electricity production through a 44-megawatt hydroelectric power project supported with a €50m loan from the African Development Bank.

The Singrobo-Ahouaty hydropower plant project is due to be commissioned in 2021, as part of the country’s bid to increase its share of power production from renewable energy from 15% to 42% by 2021.

This forms part of the bank’s policy to support projects that contribute to its ambition to ‘light up and power Africa’.

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