News & Analysis: IMF

Memo to Leaders: Three ‘no regret’ decisions for financing Africa’s post-COVID-19 future

To contain the economic damage of the pandemic and capitalize on the region’s underlying strengths, national and international leaders need to pursue urgent action.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Managing COVID-19’s Impact on Africa’s Sovereign Debt: An Interview with Danny Leipziger

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Danny Leipziger, Professor of International Business at the George Washington University, about debt and debt relief amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Huge borrowing, COVID-19 shocks, leave region in a funding dilemma

“Excessive borrowing prior to the pandemic pushed countries closer to the debt ceiling with debt-to-GDP ratios now exceeding 50 percent. This leaves little room for external borrowing as the year starts.”

via The East African

Gordon Brown: G20 nations must devise a global plan for growth post-COVID-19

“It would be a historic act of collective statesmanship if G20 countries agreed that the bulk of the new SDR allocations should fund Africa. And if the IMF and the multilateral development banks match the first SDR allocation with funds from their own considerable resources and make good their commitments on debt relief, we have the makings of a $2tn 21st-century Marshall Plan for the developing world.”

via Financial Times

IMF Board Approves US$49 Million Disbursement for Guinea

“The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the Fifth and Sixth reviews of Guinea’s economic performance under the program supported by an Extended Credit Facility (ECF). Completion of these last two reviews of the ECF-supported program enables the immediate disbursement of the equivalent of SDR 34.43 million (about US$49.47 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to the equivalent of SDR 120.49 million (about US$166.60 million).”

via IMF

Central banks tackle COVID-19 with monetary policy measures

“Policymakers and central bankers in the West African Monetary Zone are tackling COVID-19-induced difficulties in the maintenance of price, financial system stability and sustainable growth in their economies. The central bank governors met in Lagos to discuss diverse and tailored measures deployed by them to meet the peculiar shocks the pandemic had exposed their individual economies. “

via The Nation (Nigeria)

Interview: Dr. Youssef Boutros-Ghali on COVID-19, Debt Sustainability, and Macroeconomic Policy in Africa

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Dr. Youssef Boutros-Ghali, former Finance Minister of Egypt and former chairman of the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee, about the economic impact of the pandemic, the policy response, SDRs, and more.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Four Things to Know About How Fragile States Like South Sudan Are Coping With COVID-19

“The International Monetary Fund granted the Republic of South Sudan a $52 million emergency disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility to help its economy weather the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first time this new and still fragile country has received financial support from the IMF.”

via IMF

Why the developing world needs a bigger pandemic response

“The appeal of SDRs for developing countries is that they fill a gap in the toolkit available to advanced economies: money creation. While advanced economies have been able effectively to print money by buying their own bonds in a world of low or negative interest rates, most developing countries cannot do that without risking instability.”

via Financial Times

Zambia’s default shows new approach needed for Chinese debt

“Zambia’s debt default shows that Western lenders need to develop new ways of factoring existing Chinese loans into their decisions. In essence, the long-term consequence of Zambia’s default may be to deter Western lending to countries where China is already a creditor.”

via The Africa Report