CAR leaders set for better governance, business environment

Bangui, Central African Republic (PANA) - The authorities in Central African Republic (CAR) have agreed on the need to accelerate the efforts to strengthen governance and transparency and sustain structural reforms aimed at improving the business environment, according to a statement released on Saturday by the Communications Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

CAR’s economic recovery, according to the statement, “continues with growth still projected to reach 4.3 percent in 2018 and accelerate in the medium term”.

These projections are predicated on the restoration of peace, the extension of public services throughout the country, and a steadfast implementation of reforms.

An IMF staff mission led by Mr. Norbert Toé on Friday concluded a weeklong visit Bangui, CAR’s capital, observing that strong and sustained growth is necessary to create jobs and reduce poverty in the country.

Based on preliminary data and information collected during the mission, the IMF team said the economic programme which is supported by an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of the Fund remains on track. Quantitative monitoring indicators for end-June 2018 agreed with the authorities have been met, but social spending underperformed.

Mr. Toé noted that structural reforms were advancing, although with some delays. The team emphasised the need to step up social spending to broaden public support for the reform programme.

“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,” said the IMF statement

The IMF supports the economic and financial programme of the Central African Republic by an ECF arrangement since 2016. On 2 July 2018, the IMF Executive Board approved the fourth review under the ECF, bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to about US$ 123.7 million.

Discussions between the IMF staff and the CAR authorities this week 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.

Among other senior government officials, the IMF team met with President Faustin-Archange Touadéra and Prime Minister Simplice Sarandji.
-0- PANA AR/MA 15Sept2018

15 september 2018 11:35:14

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