Sub-Saharan Africa: Conflicts cause persistent diminution of GDP - IMF

APA-Dakar (Senegal) By Oumar Dembele

Conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa "are responsible for" a significant and persistent decline in per capita GDP, leaving "serious repercussions" on neighboring countries, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says on its April 2019 report on the economic prospects of the region.

The second chapter of the report looks into the challenges facing countries in conflict in sub-Saharan Africa and provides an in-depth analysis of conflict trends and their economic impacts.


IMF says conflicts exert significant pressure on public finances, lowering revenues, leading to an increase in military spending and changing the composition of spending at the expense of social spending and development "which further increases the economic and social costs of conflict.”


The finding of the study "underlines the high costs and the huge challenges faced by the countries in conflict and the necessity to avoid them, in particular by promoting economic development that benefits all, by developing institutional capacities and by promoting social cohesion.”


Although the conflicts of recent years are less intense than those of the 1990s, the region remains particularly affected, with about a third of countries in conflict in 2017, the IMF observes.


On the other hand, says the Breton Wood institution, the nature of the conflicts has changed: 

"The civil wars that the continent has experienced for a long time have been replaced by non-state conflicts, such as acts of terrorism targeting civilians” it says.


Thus, the IMF advocates, the measures applied for countries in conflict "should aim first and foremost" to limit losses of human and physical capital, "particularly by preserving social and development spending."


The IMF adds: "It is true that implementing such measures can be particularly difficult in the face of fiscal pressures, but coordinated and well-targeted humanitarian assistance and concessional financial assistance can provide much-needed resources".



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