Madagascar – 18 November 2014

IMF Staff Concludes 2014 Article IV Mission to Madagascar
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by George Tsibouris, visited Madagascar during October 29-November 11, 2014 for the first Article IV consultation1 (since 2007), and to initiate discussions of a medium-term reform program that could be supported by an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement2. Discussions focused on recent economic developments, policy implementation, and prospects for further economic and structural reforms.
At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Tsibouris, issued the following statement:
“There are early signs of an economic recovery, with growth at 3 percent and inflation at under 7 percent in 2014. Given still weak tax revenue collections, spending on high-priority areas, such as education and health, continues to be constrained. Budgetary pressures are intensified by the need to finance fuel subsidies, public enterprises (such as JIRAMA), and the under-funded civil service pension fund.
Growing credit demand has prompted domestic interest rates to increase and has raised the cost of domestic budgetary financing, leading the government to increase statutory advances from the central bank.
The current account deficit is projected to narrow to about 2 percent of GDP in 2014 (from 5½ percent of GDP in 2013) driven by growing mineral exports, and decreasing food and energy imports. The Ariary has depreciated by about 15 percent against the US dollar so far in 2014, while foreign exchange reserves of the central bank have dwindled somewhat.”
“In the medium term, the key challenge for Madagascar is to secure strong, sustainable, pro-poor growth to help reverse the deterioration in development indicators. The government has an important role to play in this process, through the scaling up of essential infrastructure, reforms to improve the business climate including governance, and enhanced social development policies.


The Fight Against Exploitation Of Underage Domestic Workers In Madagascar
Madagascar, an Island off the south-east coast of Africa, is one of the nations that has ratified the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) core conventions on child labor, including Convention No. 138 regarding the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment and Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labor in order to provide the framework necessary to end child domestic labor
Approximately 17.2 million children around the world perform paid or unpaid domestic work for third parties or for an employer. Among them, 67.1% are girls between the ages of 5 and 17. In commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child, celebrated on October 11, AWID interviewed Noro Ravaozanany, President of the Conseil National des Femmes de Madagascar (National Women’s Council of Madagascar) to identify the issues and challenges related to the fight against underage domestic labor in Madagascar.
Thomson Reuters Foundation