IMF Staff Completes 2022 Article IV Mission to Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s economy has remained resilient in the face of the pandemic due to the Ivorian authorities’ swift and well-designed policy responses
IMF staff forecast growth to slow down to 6 percent this year due to a subdued global demand, the deterioration of the terms of trade, and increased uncertainty
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, led by Mr. Luca Antonio Ricci, conducted the 2022 Article IV consultation discussions with the authorities during April 5 ‒15.
At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Ricci made the following statement:
“Côte d’Ivoire’s economy has remained resilient in the face of the pandemic due to the Ivorian authorities’ swift and well-designed policy responses. COVID-related fatalities have been low by international standards while vaccination efforts continue with about half of the target population having received a first dose so far.
“After slowing to 2 percent in 2020, economic growth is expected to have recovered strongly to an estimated 7 percent in 2021, driven by a rebound in consumption and investment. Price inflation reached 5.6 percent in December 2021, reflecting mainly a surge in global prices, before declining somewhat to 4.5 percent in March. The overall fiscal deficit reached 5.1 percent of GDP in 2021—½ percent of GDP lower than anticipated in the budget—mainly owing to gains from strengthened tax administration and ongoing digitalization efforts, which in turn offset higher security spending.
“The deterioration in the external environment linked to the war in Ukraine is expected to weigh on the macroeconomic outlook in 2022. IMF staff forecast growth to slow down to 6 percent this year due to a subdued global demand, the deterioration of the terms of trade, and increased uncertainty. The authorities have taken a set of temporary measures to contain the effects of the war in Ukraine and preserve food security, including price ceilings on several food items, subsidies on petroleum products, and permit requirements for exporting some staple foods.
“The macroeconomic outlook is favorable, but Côte d’Ivoire still faces downside external risks. These risks stem mainly from the global repercussions of the war in Ukraine, tighter monetary policy in advanced countries and the associated increase in borrowing cost, as well as continued instability in some neighboring countries. The country also faces upside risks, notably the recent substantial oil and gas discovery and a resolute implementation of reforms under the 2021-25 National Development Plan (NDP) could help provide a boost to the medium-term outlook.
“Staff encouraged the authorities to evaluate closely the impact of measures that have been adopted so far to mitigate the effects of the war in Ukraine and to ensure that such measures do not generate market distortions, remain temporary and well-targeted towards the most vulnerable, and are kept in line with medium-term fiscal sustainability targets.
“Staff emphasized the importance of preserving macroeconomic and debt sustainability, by adequately anchoring expectations. Staff envisages that, to the extent the external situation improves, reaching the WAEMU convergence criterion of a 3 percent fiscal deficit target by 2024 remains feasible. Over time it will also be essential to rebuild buffers.
“The Ivorian authorities and IMF staff agreed that continuing to strengthen domestic revenue mobilization is crucial for financing critical spending and enhancing macroeconomic resilience. Despite recent efforts, tax revenues remain relatively low by international standards. Staff pointed to the need to continue to mobilize additional domestic resources for priority spending to promote social convergence as well as to finance critical public infrastructure and services.
“IMF staff welcomed the 2021-25 National Development Plan (NDP) approved in December 2021 which aims to accelerate economic and social transformation. It emphasizes enhancing the role of the private sector, industrialization, human capital, productivity, and governance. The authorities should continue improving the business environment and infrastructure, safeguarding property rights, promoting access to credit, and boosting export diversification. It is also crucial to continue developing sustainable policies for adaptation to climate change and mitigation of the associated risks.
“Continuing to enhance the provision of public services and deepen social convergence remain essential to support more inclusive and sustainable growth. The authorities made significant efforts under the 2019-20 government social program PSGouv, notably expanding access to electricity, clean water, and education nationwide. However, efforts to enhance both spending efficiency and access to more efficient public services need to continue. In this regard, ongoing efforts to enhance access to healthcare, broaden training of healthcare practitioners, and strengthen vocational training programs are all welcome.
“The IMF team would like to express its gratitude to the authorities and other stakeholders for the open and constructive discussions.”
The IMF team met with Prime Minister Patrick Achi; Minister and Secretary General of the Presidency Abdourahmane Cissé; State Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, Minister of Economy and Finance Adama Coulibaly; Minister of Budget and State Holdings Moussa Sanogo; Minister of Planning and Development Nialé Kaba; Minister of Public Service and Modernization of the Administration Anne Désirée Ouloto; Minister of Public Health, Sanitation and Universal Health Coverage Pierre Dimba; Minister of Mining, Petroleum and Energy Thomas Camara; Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development Jean-Luc Assi, Minister of Commerce and Industry Souleymane Diarrassouba, Minister of Technical and Professional Training Koffi N’Guessan, BCEAO National Director Chalouho Coulibaly; and other senior government and BCEAO officials, as well as representatives of the business and donor communities.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).