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Republic of Congo: Staff–Monitored Program—Informational Annex

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International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
June 2008
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Annex I—Republic of Congo: Relations with the Fund

(As of January 31, 2008)

I. Membership Status: Joined: 07/10/1963; Article VIII

II. General Resources Account:

SDR MillionPercent Quota
Quota84.60100.00
Fund holdings of currency84.0399.33
Reserve tranche position0.580.68

III. SDR Department:

SDR MillionPercent Allocation
Net cumulative allocation9.72100.00
Holdings0.171.72

IV. Outstanding Purchases and Loans:

SDR MillionPercent Quota
PRGF arrangements23.5827.87

V. Latest Financial Arrangements:

TypeApproval

Date
Expiration

Date
Amount Approved

(SDR Million)
Amount Drawn

(SDR Million)
PRGF12/06/200406/05/200854.9923.58
PRGF06/28/199606/27/199969.4813.90
Stand-by arrangement05/27/199405/26/199523.1612.50

VI. Projected Payments to Fund: (SDR million; based on existing use of resources and present holdings of SDRs):

Forthcoming
20082009201020112012
Principal0.000.001.573.144.72
Charges/interest0.430.420.410.400.41
Total0.430.421.983.545.10

VII. Implementation of HIPC Initiative:

The Republic of Congo reached the decision point under the enhanced HIPC Initiative in March 2006.

I.Commitment of HIPC assistanceEnhanced Framework
Decision point dateMarch 2006
Assistance committed by all creditors (US$ million) 101,679.00
Of which: IMF assistance (US$ million)8.08
(SDR equivalent in millions)5.64
Completion point dateFloating
II.Disbursement of IMF assistance (SDR million)
Assistance disbursed to the member--
Interim assistance--
Completion point balance--
Additional disbursement of interest income 11--

VIII. Safeguards Assessments:

The Bank of the Central African States (BEAC) is the regional central bank of Central African States, of which Republic of Congo is a member. A safeguard assessment of the BEAC completed on August 30, 2004 found that BEAC has implemented a number of measures to strengthen its safeguards framework since the 2001 safeguards assessment, but further progress needs to be made in key areas (see IMF Country Report No. 06/262; June 30, 2006).

IX. Exchange Rate Arrangement:

Congo’s currency is the CFA franc, which is pegged to the Euro at a fixed rate of CFAF 655.957 = Euro 1. On December 31, 2006, the rate of the CFA franc was CFAF 749.30 per SDR. Congo does not impose any restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions.

X. Article IV Consultations:

Consultations with Congo are on a 24-month cycle, based on the Board decision on consultation cycles in program countries. The 2007 consultation discussions took place in Brazzaville in October 2006. The staff report (www.imf.org) was considered by the Executive Board on April 25, 2007.

XI. FSAP Participation: N/A.

XII. Technical Assistance:

SubjectDepartmentStaff MemberDate
Poverty and Social Impact AnalysisFADMr. Gillingham, Ms. LacocheNovember 2007
Budget functional classificationAFRITAC CMMrs Lokpe and NguenangJuly 2007
Public expenditure managementFADMr. BouleyAugust 2006
Resident advisor on real sectorSTAMr. GbossaSince November 2005
Modernization of tax and customs administrationsFADMessrs. Montagnat- Rentier, Lesprit and BoililFebruary 2004
Follow-up missionFADMr. Lepage Messrs. Bouley,November 2003
Budget functional classificationFADHelis, and LepageOctober 2003
Multisector statisticsSTAMessrs. Marie, Maiga, and Mmes. Fisher, Matei, Razin, and BalvaniMay 2002
Resident expert on statisticsSTAMr. SinSince October 2001
Balance of paymentsSTAMr. FiévetJune 2001
Messrs. Bouley, Moussa,April–May 2001
Budget, tax, and customsFADBrik, and Mrs. Tricoire
Resident tax expertFADMr. Laurent1995–97
Tax administrationFADMr. GrandcolasNov. 1995–Apr. 1996
Tax administrationFADMessrs. Grandcolas and CastroNovember 1994

XIII. Resident Representative:

The resident representative, Mr. Yaya Moussa, took up his assignment in September 2005.

Annex II—Republic of Congo: Relations with the World Bank Group

(As of February 29, 2008)

A. Partnership in the Republic of Congo’s development strategy

1. After four successive conflicts 1993, 1997, 1998/99 and 2001/03, civil peace has been gradually restored since the ceasefire was signed in 2000 and a peace agreement with the last active rebel group in March 2003. Since the ceasefire and adoption of the new Constitution in 2002, the country has been largely at peace, to the great benefit of the Congolese people. Congo has now completed a five-year transition period, including ratification of the presidency of Denis Sassou-Nguesso, and election of a parliament and a senate, in 2002. The international community re-engaged in Congo in 2001 following the clearance of arrears to the Bank and the Fund. The PRGF arrangement approved by the IMF Board in December 2004 paved the way for financing from more donors including the AfDB, and the debt rescheduling by the Paris Club. More recently the HIPC Decision point approval in March 2006 has led to the strengthening of dialogue as well as the international community engagement in Congo. The HIPC floating completion point triggers focus on the following issues: (i) the preparation of a full PRSP, (ii) the maintenance of macroeconomic stability, (iii) the alignment of public spending with priorities identified in the PRSP, (iv) the strengthening of public finance management, (v) the improvement of governance in the natural resource management, (vi) improved regulation in the telecom sector, (vii) improved services in education, health and the prevention of HIV/AIDS; and (viii) the transparent management of external debt.

2. The main external development partners in Congo include: the European Union, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the French Agency for Development (AFD), the UNDP, the World Bank and the IMF. The main areas of intervention are on governance, urban, transport, health, education, environment, and public finance. The AFD and the AfDB issued their assistance strategies in 2005 for 2005-07 while the World Bank is preparing an Interim Strategy Note for the next FY08-09.

B. World Bank Group (IDA, IFC and MIGA) assistance strategy

3. In 2001, the Bank reengaged in Congo in the context of a Transitional Support Strategy (TSS). The first TSS (Report 21328-COB) for the Republic of Congo, to guide operation for the period 2000-2002, was endorsed by the Board on January 16, 2001. It focused on the consolidation of the peace process and the physical reconstruction of the country. The second TSS for FY03-05, endorsed by the Board in September 2003 (Report 26566-COB), aimed at helping Congo to break out of the conflict trap. It was anchored on four interrelated pillars: (i) creating jobs through economic growth and diversification, (ii) repositioning the public sector and enhancing its capacity, (iii) mitigating short- and medium-term risks to the social environment, and (iv) providing resources to support socio-economic development and stability through enhanced external assistance and debt relief. The Bank provided financial support and policy advice in these areas through lending and non-lending instruments.

4. As of June 1, 2007, The World Bank portfolio in the Republic of Congo consisted of 4 IDA operations with a total commitment of US$ [87] million, out of which US$ [58] were disbursed. Table 1 below shows the status of the Bank’s portfolio in Congo. Operations have focused on: (i) supporting the implementation of reforms aimed at transparency and efficiency of public resource management (Transparency and Governance Capacity Building Project); (ii) supporting socio-economic infrastructure rehabilitation and rural development (Emergency Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Living Conditions Improvement, Emergency Recovery and community Support, and the Basic Education Support); and (iii) supporting national policies and programs in the area of HIV-AIDS (HIV-AIDS and Health Project). Two projects were closed recently, the Economic Recovery Credit at end December 2006 and the Emergency Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Living Conditions Improvement at end January 2007. A supplemental to the Transparency and Governance Capacity Building Project was approved in May 2007 (US$15 million; grant). One project is currently under preparation, the Agriculture and Rural Roads Rehabilitation Project (US$20 million).

Table 1.Republic of Congo: Status of World Bank Portfolio (all IDA)(Millions of US$, unless otherwise specified)
OperationBoard ApprovalEffectiveClosingAmountDisbursed
Basic Education Support09/23/200403/25/200512/31/200820.09.1
MAP/HIV-AIDS and Health04/20/200410/28/200406/30/200919.011.0
Emergency Recovery & Community
Support06/24/200309/16/200312/31/200741.032.7
Transparency and Governance02/07/200202/28/200312/31/20077.04.8
Total87.057.6

5. The lending program is complemented by a number of grants, including a US$ 17 million Multi-country Demobilization and Reintegration Program grant that became effective in August 2006.

6. The analytical work program carried out under the TSS FY03-05 consisted of a Public Expenditure Review (PER), a Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA), a combined Country Procurement Assessment Report (CPAR) and Country Financial Accountability Assessment (CFAR), an Education sector review, and an Agriculture Policy Note.

Interim Strategy Note

7. An update of the Bank’s assistance strategy in the form of an Interim Strategy Note (ISN), is currently under preparation. The proposed ISN covers the period FY08-09 and includes an IDA grant envelope of SDR62 million (or US$80 million equivalent). It is expected to be presented to the Board in August 2007. This would be followed by a full Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), once the full PRSP is in place. On the basis of large broad consultations carried out on in the country as well as during the HIPC Decision Point discussions, the proposed ISN focus on the following two pillars:

  • Scaling up the governance focus, especially with regard to oil sector governance, public financial management, with an emphasis on budgeting and public investment management, and reducing corruption. This ISN is strategically timed to support the HIPC floating completion point triggers, which will serve as interim benchmarks for the governance reform. This scaled-up reform effort will continue to complement other ongoing donor initiatives, such as the Bank-supported Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.
  • Creating the foundation for equitable growth, through improved implementation of poverty alleviation programs, with special emphasis on health, underserved communities in urban areas; and the rural sector to foster economic diversification and address poverty issues.

IFC

8. IFC has no current investments in Congo, but is closely following developments in railway line privatization process. In addition, it is also exploring opportunities in the financial sector restructuring, SME development, infrastructure rebuilding, and development of the oil sector and mining.

MIGA

9. Congo has contributed to the General Capital Increase in March 2003. MIGA has no exposure in the Republic of Congo, and there is no active application.

C. Bank-Fund collaboration in specific areas

10. The IMF and World Bank staffs maintain a close collaborative relationship in supporting policies to help the Congo strengthen civil peace, sustain macro-economic stability, improve governance, consolidate the social recovery, and promote sustainable development. Exchange of information and discussion on progress in the implementation of the reform program under the PRGF Program and the HIPC initiative take place on a regular basis between the Bank and the Fund. Joint missions will be carried out to review progress.

C.1. Areas in which the Bank leads

  • Social sector reforms;
  • Rural development;
  • Privatization and regulatory reform and private sector development;
  • and infrastructure sector;
  • Transparency in the use of public funds, notably through the reform of public procurement and public investment management; and
  • Corruption issues and analysis

I.

C.2. Areas where the Bank and the Fund share the lead

  • Assistance to PRSP preparation;
  • Debt sustainability;
  • Governance issues;
  • Governance in natural resource management in particular the oil sector and forestry sector;
  • Public Finance management;
  • Financial sector;
  • Statistics and measurement issues.

C.3. Areas in which the Fund leads

  • Macroeconomic stability;
  • Fiscal policy including tax policy and administration; customs/tariffs policy, and non-oil revenue mobilization;
  • Monetary policy;
  • Competitiveness/exchange rate/trade policy issues;
  • External payments regime;

Annex III—Statistical Issues

Data provision to the Fund is generally adequate for surveillance purposes, despite weaknesses in national accounts and balance of payments statistics. The statistical infrastructure is being slowly rebuilt after the civil strife of 1997 and December 1998–October 1999, during which administrative infrastructure suffered severe damage and many records were lost. Since October 2001, a STA resident statistical expert has been assisting the authorities with the macroeconomic statistics.

A STA multisector mission visited Brazzaville in May 2002 to conduct an assessment of the statistical system. The mission’s general finding was that macroeconomic statistics are weak and suffer from the absence of a national statistical program and shortages of financial, physical, and human resources. It recommended measures for improvement, which are being followed up by the statistical advisor.

The Republic of Congo has participated in the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) since November 5, 2003; however, the metadata posted on the Fund’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) has not been updated or certified since 2003.

Real sector statistics

National accounts data are weak, with inconsistencies, both internally and with the balance of payments. Estimates for the informal sector are based on information that dates back to 1978. The Directorate General of Statistics (DGS) of the Ministry of Finance provides Fund missions with a breakdown of GDP by expenditures and sectors, both in nominal and real terms. Historically, data on oil sector transactions have been weak, raising questions about transparency in the inter-play of the oil companies operating in the country and the government agencies dealing with them.

Annual data on employment in the central government are available from the Ministry of Finance, but they are not consistent with data from the civil service roster of the Ministry of the Civil Service. As part of the structural reforms undertaken in the context of the post-conflict program, the government completed an audit of public service employees and established a new civil service payroll roster. Data on employment in the private sector are not available.

Movements in the prices of commodities consumed by households are recorded for the capital city of Brazzaville (weights for 1977 and price reference period of December 1977) and the second-largest city of Pointe Noire (price reference period of January 1996 and weights for 1989). Weights no longer reflect current household consumption patterns. Data are compiled on a monthly basis. The authorities intend to compile a CPI that is harmonized with other CEMAC countries.

Government finance statistics

Compilation of government finance statistics (GFS) is neither comprehensive nor systematic. The Tableau des Opérations Financières de l’État (TOFE) is based on several disparate sources rather than a comprehensive set of accounting statements. Financing data are currently obtained from monetary statistics instead of the government accounts. As a result, the consistency between government finance and monetary and financial statistics cannot be ascertained.

At the time of the May 2002 multisector mission, the Balance des comptes du Trésor, a basic and essential treasury source document, as well as other sources, were not made available to the producers of the TOFE.12 The mission recommended that systematic procedures be established for the compilation of government finance statistics, based, to the extent possible, on a unified set of accounting and administrative records.

TOFE compilers do not have access to relevant financial statements of the Société Nationale des Pétroles Congolais (SNPC), which carries out several operations on behalf of the government (notably in the oil sector).

In 2003, the Congo reported GFS data to STA for publication in the GFS Yearbook using the GFSM 2001 template but, no data has been reported since and no fiscal data has been reported for publication in IFS since 2001. The compilation of GFS statistics to be reported to the Fund should be carried out in close cooperation with the compilers of the TOFE.

Progress is underway to address these shortcomings. In February/March 2003, a FAD follow-up mission found that most of the recommendations of the 2001 FAD mission on expenditure management, in particular with regard to the centralization of all government revenue and execution of public expenditure through the budget, are being implemented, and steps have been taken to computerize the expenditure chain.

The Caisse Congolaise d’Amortissement (CCA) produces comprehensive data on the outstanding stock of external public debt, including arrears and its composition, together with detailed projections on debt service due. These data are provided to Fund missions. However, the debt-stock data cannot be reconciled with flow data in the balance of payments. The CCA also produces domestic debt data.

There is no centralized, comprehensive database on the operations of public enterprises. However, some information has been made available to Fund missions by individual enterprises.

Monetary and financial statistics

Monthly data on monetary statistics for the Congo, as well as for the other members of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), are regularly reported to the Fund in electronic form by the regional central bank (BEAC). Accuracy of monetary data may be hampered by large cross-border movements of currency among CEMAC member countries. However, the Congo is moderately affected by such movements: 5.7 percent of banknotes issued in the Congo by the BEAC national directorate circulate in Cameroon and about one percent in Gabon, while currency in circulation in the Congo includes about 2.6 percent of banknotes from Cameroon and about 3.4 percent from Gabon.

The monetary and financial statistics mission that visited the BEAC headquarters in May 2001 provided technical assistance on the compilation and timeliness of monetary statistics. The mission discussed an action plan for the implementation of the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM) and for the introduction of an area-wide page in IFS for the CEMAC. Following the 2001 mission, a regional workshop on monetary and financial statistics was organized by the BEAC in Libreville (Gabon) in May 2002 to support the implementation of the MFSM in the CEMAC countries. The new page for CEMAC was published in the January 2003 issue of IFS.

The May 2002 multisector mission found that the institutional coverage of government and of non-financial public sector in monetary statistics are outdated and need to be revised.

External sector statistics

As in other CEMAC countries, the national agency of the BEAC is responsible for the collection and the dissemination of balance of payments data. The balance of payments statistics are prepared on an annual basis while the compilation system has been specifically designed to produce quarterly data. Through 1994, balance of payments data were compiled in the framework of the Balance of Payments Manual, Fourth Edition. The BEAC provides annual data on exports of goods and services and on capital flows other than public debt. Since 1995, data are being prepared using the Balance of Payments Manual, Fifth Edition. In 2006, balance of payments data for 1995 through 2005 were reported to the Fund for publication in International Financial Statistics.

In May 2002, the technical assistance mission found the compilation system and procedures to be conceptually sound but flawed in their application due to the absence of documented sources and methods, understaffing, and insufficient training. This situation has resulted in significant delays in the production of balance of payments statistics and, in general, poor monitoring of the quality of the input data provided by the statistical respondents. Furthermore, the opacity surrounding certain transactions in the oil sector introduces an important element of imprecision. In addition, net investment flows are overestimated by significant unrecorded disinvestment operations that are part of the tax regime arrangements obtained by oil-drilling nonresident companies.

In February 2007, an expert reporting to the IMF’s Statistics Department outlined a number of recommendations aimed at improving institutional arrangements for balance of payments statistics compilation.

Republic of Congo: Table of Common Indicators Required for SurveillanceAs of March […], 2008
Date of latest observationDate receivedFrequency of Data 6Frequency of Reporting 6Frequency of publication 6
Exchange RatesCurrentCurrentDDD
International Reserve Assets and Reserve Liabilities of the Monetary Authorities 1Dec–07Feb–08MMM
Reserve/Base MoneyDec–07Feb–08MMM
Broad MoneyDec–07Feb–08MMM
Central Bank Balance SheetDec–07Feb–08MMM
Consolidated Balance Sheet of the Banking SystemDec–07Feb–08MMM
Interest Rates 2Dec–07Feb–08MMM
Consumer Price IndexDec–07Feb–08MMM
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance and Composition of Financing 3 – General Government 4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance and Composition of Financing 3 – Central GovernmentDec–07Feb–08MQQ
Stocks of Central Government and Central Government-Guaranteed Debt 5Dec–07Feb–08QQQ
External Current Account BalanceDec–07Feb–08AAA
Exports and Imports of Goods and ServicesDec–07Feb–08AAA
GDP/GNP2007Feb–08AAA
Gross External DebtDec–07Feb–08QQQ

Includes reserve assets pledged or otherwise encumbered as well as net derivative positions.

Both market-based and officially-determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes and bonds.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic non-bank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra budgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

Including currency and maturity composition.

Daily (D), Weekly (W), Monthly (M), Quarterly (Q), Annually (A); Irregular (I); Not Available (NA).

Includes reserve assets pledged or otherwise encumbered as well as net derivative positions.

Both market-based and officially-determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes and bonds.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic non-bank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra budgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

Including currency and maturity composition.

Daily (D), Weekly (W), Monthly (M), Quarterly (Q), Annually (A); Irregular (I); Not Available (NA).

10Assistance committed under the original framework is expressed in net present value (NPV) terms at the completion point, and assistance committed under the enhanced framework is expressed in NPV terms at the decision point. Hence these two amounts can not be added.
11Under the enhanced framework, an additional disbursement is made at the completion point corresponding to interest income earned on the amount committed at the decision point but not disbursed during the interim period.
12This compilation is not undertaken on the basis of treasury accounting records, to which the compilers themselves do not have access. The mission examined the Excel worksheet used for the compilation of the TOFE and made recommendations for improvements, although it could not establish the links between that worksheet and the primary data sources.

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