The Ivorian authorities and IMF staff have reached broad agreement on the authorities’ economic reform program that could be supported by an IMF financial arrangement; the authorities are advancing their agenda for deeper economic transformation under the 2021-25 National Development Plan. They have taken measures to strengthen macroeconomic stability and reverse widening fiscal and external imbalances as the economic has been hit hard by the triple shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, global financial tightening, and adverse spillovers from Russia’s war in Ukraine; Staff welcomes the very constructive engagement with the authorities and strongly supports their deep commitment to fiscal and debt sustainability and to building a more prosperous and inclusive society amid rapid demographic change and significant external challenges.
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, led by Mr. Olaf Unteroberdoerster, visited Abidjan during March 1-14 to discuss potential IMF financial support for the authorities’ program of economic policies and reforms. At the end of the mission, Mr. Unteroberdoerster issued the following statement:
“Discussions on a new blended financial arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF)/ Extended Credit Facility (ECF) to support the authorities’ economic program have been very productive, and I am pleased to announce that a broad agreement has been reached on all policy objectives and reform measures. We expect to finalize a staff-level agreement, including on the level of access to Fund resources of at least 300 percent of quota (equivalent to about US$2.6 billion), in the coming days. The final program arrangement would then be subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board.
“The Ivorian economy proved resilient to the pandemic, but the economic rebound has softened in the face of adverse spillovers from the war in Ukraine and global monetary tightening. Indirect and direct subsidies to curb price pressures, higher security spending, and worsening terms-of-trade amid robust domestic demand have led to a widening of macroeconomic imbalances in 2022.
“Against this challenging backdrop, the authorities have requested Fund support under a blended ECF/EFF arrangement for their economic program. It aims to preserve fiscal and debt sustainability and anchor the 2021-25 National Development Plan (NDP) in key structural priorities to promote more inclusive growth led by the private sector and facilitate Côte d’Ivoire’s transition towards a middle-income country.
”The IMF staff supports the priorities of the authorities’ program. Discussions focused on boosting revenue mobilization to preserve macroeconomic stability and create fiscal space for critical social spending, security and investment needs. Key structural reforms include strengthening social protection for vulnerable households, improving public financial management and investment efficiency, and promoting private-sector led and more inclusive growth by creating new employment opportunities, including for Côte d’Ivoire’s large young population.”
The IMF team met with Vice President Tiémoko Koné; Prime Minister Patrick Achi; Minister of State and Agriculture Kobenan Adjoumani; Minister of Planning and Development Nialé Kaba; Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy Sangafowa Coulibaly; Minister of Economy and Finance Adama Coulibaly; Minister of Budget and State Holdings Moussa Sanogo; Minister of Commerce and Industry Souleymane Diarrassouba; Minister and Secretary General of the Presidency Abdourahmane Cissé; 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).