Sector/Thematic Studies

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Economic and Sectoral Work are original analytic reports authored by the World Bank and intended to influence programs and policy in client countries. They convey Bank-endorsed recommendations and represent the formal opinion of a World Bank unit on the topic. This set includes the sectoral and thematic studies which are not Core Diagnostic Studies. Other analytic and advisory activities (AAA), including technical assistance studies, are included in these sectoral/thematic collections.
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Now showing 1 - 10 of 21
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    Togo Jobs Diagnostic: Confronting Challenges and Creating Opportunities for More Good Quality Jobs for All
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-08-04) Karlen, Raphaela ; Rother, Friederike ; editors
    Togo, a small country with a young and growing population, must look to the development of more and better jobs to recover from recent shocks, accelerate poverty reduction and enhance social cohesion. While Togo’s employment rate is high, many are working low productive jobs with meager earnings and no access to social protection. Demographic pressures imply that Togo’s economy will need to absorb an additional one million labor market entrants between now and 2030. To create more, and better jobs, especially for young workers, substantive reforms are required to accelerate a structural transformation towards higher productivity activities. Besides improving the competitiveness of and access to finance for the private sector, improving conditions in the agricultural sector needs to be at the core of these reforms, as that sector will remain the main source of jobs and livelihoods for Togolese in the foreseeable future.
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    Tunisia Economic Monitor, Winter 2021: Economic Reforms to Navigate Out of the Crisis
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-01-20) World Bank
    The Economic Monitor examines four possible factors behind Tunisia’s slow recovery. First, the drop in mobility related to the pandemic may have been more harmful in Tunisia. However, mobility in Tunisia has dropped to a similar extent as other countries and it has now returned to pre-pandemic levels following the acceleration in the vaccination campaign since July. If anything, the mobility drop in Tunisia has resulted in a lower reduction in economic activity than in comparator countries as Algeria and Egypt. Second, it could be that the level of public support to the ailing firms and households may have been particularly low. However, at 2.3 percent of GDP, the Covid-19 stimulus package in 2020 was in the same ballpark as other comparators in the region. Third, the structure of the Tunisian economy, particularly its reliance on tourism, may have exposed it to the negative demand shock more than other countries. Indeed hotels, cafe and restaurant and transport are the sectors which have contracted the most since the start of the pandemic. The losses of these sectors explain a significant portion of the negative effects of the crisis in Tunisia, although they do not fully account for such slow recovery.
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    Algeria Economic Update - Fall 2021: Restoring the Algerian Economy after the Pandemic
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-12-23)
    Algeria is enjoying temporarily breathing space, as hydrocarbon prices reach new highs and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic eases. After peaking during the summer, the number of daily Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases plummeted in the Fall, while the vaccination campaign accelerated. Meanwhile, global oil and gas prices are reaching levels unseen since before the 2014 oil crisis, allowing for a gradual recovery in crude oil production quotas, and a surge in natural gas production and exports. Surging hydrocarbon exports revenues are contributing to a marked decline in external financing needs and to the short-term stabilization in growing domestic financing needs. Meanwhile, the economic recovery in non-hydrocarbon sectors lost steam, remaining largely incomplete, while inflationary risks are materializing. Absent decisive implementation of the reform agenda, the economic outlook points to a fragile recovery, and to deteriorating fiscal and external balances in the medium-term. Algeria’s intact dependance on hydrocarbon revenues, the spread of new Coronavirus (COVID-19) variants and the pace of the announced reform effort remain the key sources of risks to the outlook.
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    Niger Spring 2021 Economic Update: Maximizing Public Expenditure Efficiency for Rebuilding Better
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-07-14) World Bank
    The ongoing health and security crisis have partly undermined the benefits from past years of strengthening economic growth. Sustaining an upward trend over the recent years, real growth stood at 5.9 percent in 2019. However, it fell to 3.6 percent in 2020, because of the pandemic and increasingly violent terrorist attacks. Inflation increased to 3.4 percent in 2020, triggered by supply disruptions and speculative behaviors, combined with food shortages. The economy is projected to rebound in 2021, growing at 5.5 percent, with the reopening of the border with Nigeria and the resumption of large investment projects and a normalization of other supply chains. The large import content of these projects will cause the current account deficit to widen further while completion of the main oil pipeline by 2023 should boost revenue and exports over the medium term. However, GDP per capita in 2021 will be only 1 percent higher than in 2019. Addressing inefficient management of a universal fertilizer subsidy program could generate fiscal savings of 0.15 percent of GDP. Until September 2020 fertilizers were sold by Central Agricultural Input and Equipment Supply Agency (CAIMA) and were on average half universally subsidized without targeting specific farmers or crops. The system was characterized by large inefficiencies, including inefficient fertilizer acquisition cost, incapacity to meet the demand and rising operating expenses. After having removed the management of fertilizers from Caima’s mandate, it is important that the Government finalize the ongoing work with development partners for a fertilizers reform that allows a better targeting the subsidies and gives a greater role for the private sector in the fertilizers supply and distribution.
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    Central African Republic Economic Update, July 2021: Investing in Human Capital to Protect the Future
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-07) World Bank
    The economy of the Central African Republic (CAR) decelerated in 2020 compared to 2019. Despite a relatively contained health impact, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant impact on the country’s economy, with the disruption in global value chains, low external demand, and domestic containment measures that significantly affected trade, transport, and tourism. Nevertheless, CAR’s GDP growth of 0.8 percent has outpaced the average of regional peers (−2.9 percent) and countries affected by fragility, conflict and violence (FCV) (−1.7 percent). On the supply side, the positive dynamic of the agriculture sector prevented the economy from entering a recession, and the forestry and telecommunications sectors were more resilient than expected. On the demand side, private consumption contracted in 2020, reflecting a decline in household income owing to the pandemic. As a result, the extreme poverty rate increased from 70.7 percent in 2019 to 71.4 percent, affecting a total of more than 3.4 million people, in 2020. CAR’s current account balance (CAD) deteriorated in 2020. The current account deficit widened from 4.8 percent of GDP in 2019 to 8.7 percent of GDP in 2020, driven by weak external demand and private transfers as well as an increased deficit of the balance on goods. With the COVID-19 pandemic, goods exports declined while non-oil imports were boosted by donor-funded investments. CAR’s current account deficit is not expected to be as severe as that of comparator FCV, CEMAC, and Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. The capital account balance improved significantly in 2020 due to the rise in external grants, while the financial account surplus shifted into a deficit. The improvement in the capital account has helped narrow the balance of payments deficit and increasing foreign reserves, which reached a level equivalent to about 3.5 months imports at end-2020.
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    Women's Economic Empowerment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Obstacles and Opportunities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06-29) World Bank
    The aim of this report is to identify binding constraints to women’s economic empowerment in the DRC and identify promising entry points to unbind these constraints. This report makes three core contributions. It provides: i) a comprehensive picture of gender gaps across the country, ii) an in-depth analysis of underlying drivers of the observed gender gaps, and iii) concrete policy and programmatic guidance on how to close the gender gaps.
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    Mali Economic Update, Spring 2021: Protecting the Vulnerable during the Recovery
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06-10) World Bank
    The twin shocks of the pandemic and the coup pushed the economy into a recession in 2020. Real GDP is estimated to contract by 2.0 percent (4.9 percent in per capita terms) in 2020. The containment measures from mid-March to early May 2020 hampered economic activity in the sectors that source critical imports from abroad, depend on international traveling and those more reliant on face-to-face interactions for service delivery. On the demand side, private consumption declined, due to lower remittance inflows, households’ response to the health hazard, and containment measures. Non-priority public investment was curtailed to accommodate COVID-related expenditures, and donor disengagement after the military coup. Inflation picked up in May and continued to rise due to low cereal output and supply chain disruptions. The fiscal deficit increased to 5.5 percent of GDP in 2020. The pandemic’s economic toll and the slowdown in international trade slowed domestic revenues. Authorities responded with an ambitious COVID-19 emergency response plan (2.3 percent of GDP). Therefore, both the spending increases, and revenue shortfalls contributed to a higher fiscal deficit. Meanwhile, external support from international communities were delayed after the military coup. Public debt subsequently increased to 44.1 percent of GDP. Notwithstanding this increase, Mali remained at moderate risk of debt stress with some space toabsorb shocks (joint IMF/World Bank Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA), February 2020). The crisis offers an opportunity to build back educational systems stronger and more equitable than before. As rules around social distancing are gradually relaxed, systems need to ensure that schools reopen safely, student dropout is minimized, and learning recovery starts. An immediate policy option to focus on is the development and implementation of remedial education, accelerated learning programs, and revision of the academic calendar and examination schedules to allow effective school continuity particularly in poor and conflict areas. Medium-term policies in the aftermath of the pandemic will be the: (i) enhancement of the immediately established remote learning platforms within the ministry of national education and (ii) development of digital teaching content for each education level in full alignment with the existing curricula. Longer term policies would be to establish a virtual library with an inventory of national and international teaching resources to be used for remote learning programs to be delivered through existing channels (radio, television, mobile phone, and internet). These policies would make the country resilient to future disruptions. Given limited resources, policy prioritization, effective implementation should be emphasized and in line with a general framework of medium-term fiscal consolidation. A COVID-19 response plan was put in place in April 2020, with an uneven level of implementation. Lessons should be learnt with improved oversight of COVID-19 fund execution. Meanwhile, the enduring structural deficit and increasing resort to domestic short-term financing add to the risks on fiscal sustainability, which is further aggravated by the 2020 twin crises. The broad direction for fiscal policy changes points to the need to mobilize more domestic revenue and reform public spending to increase the fiscal space for higher quality services and investments, while reducing the overall deficit.
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    Burkina Faso, 2021 April Economic Update: Protecting the Poor During the Recovery and Beyond
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-04) World Bank
    According to latest estimates, the economy grew by 2.0 percent in 2020, 4 percentage points less than projected before the onset of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The primary sector grew by 5.2 percent, supported by strong performances of subsistence crops and cotton.. The tertiary sector, the largest component of the economy, contracted by 4.9 percent on account of COVID-19 social distancing measures. Inflation returned to positive territory in 2020 and closed the year above 4 percent. The pandemic had a positive impact on the external sector and a negative impact on the fiscal accounts. In 2020, the trade balance improved by 1.0 percentage point of GDP supported by historically high gold prices and low oil prices. The structurally negative services balance improved by 0.3 percentage points of GDP on account of cheaper electricity imports from neighboring countries. The fiscal deficit as a share of GDP reached 5.2 percent in 2020, an increase from 3.2 percent in 2019. Public debt stood at 47.6 percent of GDP by end-2020. Although many impacts of the COVID-19 shock persist, the economy is projected to continue its recovery in 2021. On the demand side, the recovery is supported by consumption and private investment. With security, humanitarian, health, and social challenges persistingthroughout the year, the fiscal deficit is projected to remain elevated at 5.2 percent of GDP. As concessional funding is finite and no other funding options are available, the Government will have to resort to more expensive borrowing in the regional market, which will shift the composition of the public debt stock towards a majority share of domestic debt.
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    Algeria Economic Monitor, Spring 2021: Accelerating Reforms to Protect the Algerian Economy
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-03-31) World Bank
    This Algeria Economic Monitor provides an update on key recent economic developments and policies. It places them in a longer-term and global context and assesses the implications these developments and changes in policies have on the outlook for Algeria. This Monitor’s coverageranges from the macro-economy to financial markets to indicators of human welfare and development. It is intended for a wide audience, including policy makers, business leaders, financial market participants, and the community of analysts and professionals engaged in Algeria. The report is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 presents the country’s macroeconomic developments in 2020 and early 2021. Chapter 2 presents the short- to medium-term outlook for the Algerian economy. Chapter 3 details the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on inequality in Algeria based on evidence across the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. Finally, Chapter 4 looks at the key challenges in the country’s health sector as the COVID-19 pandemic eases. The cut-off date for data and forecasting is June 11, 2021.
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    Loud and Clear: Effective Language of Instruction Policies for Learning
    (Washington, DC, 2021) World Bank
    Part 1 addresses why we should care about LoI (Language of Instruction) issues and the major challenges involved. Its four sections are entitled: (i) why should we care (ii) how big is the problem (iii) the role of political economy; and (iv) diverse LoI contexts. Part 2 presents existing solutions (in section 5) and proposes a detailed way forward for the WB Education Global Practice (section 6). It should be noted that the paper does not claim to possess or propose a complete set of technical solutions for the myriad of difficult policy issues involved. By enhancing engagement and devoting adequate resources to the problem, existing solutions will be deployed, and new solutions devised. Increased partnership and knowledge sharing will be part of this, as will be the testing of innovative approaches. The new approach will involve learning at the individual and institutional level, with an intensity of engagement commensurate with the urgency of the issue.