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Gabon’s economy will grow in 2022 but risks remain high, IMF says

By George Mwangi

Specially for Dow Jones Newswires

Gabon’s economy is expected to grow 2.8% this year after contracting 1.5% last year, mainly due to efforts to limit the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and soaring oil prices , the International Monetary Fund said on Friday.

“However, the intensification of the war in Ukraine and its impact on global growth, the resurgence of the pandemic and a reversal in oil prices pose risks to the economic recovery,” the head of the IMF’s Gabon mission, Boileau Loko, said in a statement Explanation.

Public finances in 2021 will be characterized by underperformance in non-oil revenues and some overspending on subsidies amid the price freeze on petroleum products at the pump, Mr Loko said.

In the commodities sector, governance efforts should continue to ensure that all government oil resources are transferred to the Treasury Single Account at the Bank of Central Africa States, he said.

Greater transparency in the oil sector is needed to assess the cost of oil extraction and the mutual indebtedness between the government, public companies and oil companies, including the settlement of VAT credits, Mr Loko said.

“Improving governance in the oil sector, including avoiding pre-financing related to future government revenues, would greatly facilitate liquidity and public finance management,” he said.

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