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World Bank Warns CBN, Ethiopian, Ugandan Central Banks Against Risky Monetary Policies

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The World Bank has cautioned three African Central Banks; the Central Banks of Nigeria (CBN), Ethiopia, and Uganda against taking risky monetary initiatives.

These initiatives, according to the World Bank, include: “monetizing the fiscal deficit, direct lending interventions, untargeted subsidy programs, and foreign exchange controls.”

The World Bank highlighted the significant problem of inflation that monetary authorities in the area confront, especially in nations that are experiencing “underdeveloped financial systems, a substantial informal sector, and a lack of coordination between monetary and fiscal policies.”

The organization emphasized the possible repercussions and indicated “If monetary and fiscal actions are not adequately coordinated to bring down inflation, the risk of de-anchoring inflation expectations would fuel further inflation, accelerate interest rate increases, and exacerbate the deceleration of economic activity.”

The World Bank emphasized the ongoing inflationary concerns most of the region’s nations confront in its Africa’s Pulse report.

The World Bank Africa Region’s Office of the Chief Economist publishes Africa’s Pulse every two years. It examines the short-term economic prospects for the continent, the present development issues, and a particular development issue.

The report’s 2023 version ascribed the inflationary difficulties to a number of causes, including “a global demand slowdown, eased supply chain disruptions, lower commodity prices, and stricter monetary policies.”

Despite a predicted drop from 9.3% in 2022 to 7.3% in 2023, double-digit inflation still affects 18 nations. The impact on households—particularly the poor, who spend a large amount of their income on food, as a result of rising food and fuel prices and weakening home currencies was underlined in the study.

The study raised worry over the sluggish development of measures to consolidate fiscal policies in several nations with regard to fiscal problems. For over two-thirds of the countries in the area in 2023, budgetary deficits are still greater than they were before the epidemic.

The World Bank emphasized the urgent need to address these concerns and the necessity of “domestic resource mobilization and efficient spending” in order to reduce the risks associated with fiscal and debt sustainability, stop inflation, and make room for development expenditures.

It recognized several nations’ attempts to adopt tax changes, such as those in Kenya and Ghana, and subsidy reforms in Angola and Nigeria, demonstrating the region’s commitment to fiscal consolidation. Additionally, a new development in the region is the use of digital technologies for tax administration and compliance.

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