Browsing: inflation

There appears to be a consensus that the world is finally turning its back on the US dollar. There are simmering shifts within the global monetary system. The shift becomes ever more apparent, best described as de-dollarisation.

The world is searching for alternatives to the US dollar, finding them more often. Thus, moving away from the dollar can no longer be stopped. For instance, early this year, Indonesia reiterated it would promote local currency settlement (LCS) in cross-border trade and investment to reduce dependence on the US dollar.

According to the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), growth should accelerate in the WAEMU economic region in the medium term. The increased production in the tertiary and secondary sectors remains crucial. These sectors should benefit from controlling the current health crisis in the Union and the continued implementation of the NDPs.

Growth in the Union is expected to drop from 6 per cent in 2021 to 5.9 per cent in 2022 before settling at 7.2 per cent in 2023. The contribution to growth from the tertiary sector should stand at 3.5 per cent in 2023, up by 0.3 points compared to 2022. The contribution of the secondary sector should grow by 0.9 points between the two years to settle at 2.6 per cent in 2023.

Côte d’Ivoire’s economy remains on a favourable trajectory. The economy needs bolstering to expedite the structural change of its economy as envisioned by the new 2030 plan. To achieve this, the nation needs to raise its investments in new sectors with considerable potential for wealth generation and improvement in quality of life. These sectors would enable the inclusion and realisation of benefits for women and the most disadvantaged populations in society, especially those residing in the most isolated rural areas.

Uganda Bureau of Statistics has indicated that the country’s inflation has for the first time since 2012 hit double digits, rising to 10 per cent in September 2022 from 2.7 per cent in January 2022 and 4.9 per cent in April 2022.

It is said that inflation above an annual average of 5 per cent retards economic growth and derails economic development.

According to an article titled Uganda grapples with soaring inflation amid persistent global uncertainties, the rise in inflation has been brought about by issues such as tightening of global financial conditions, which triggered investors’ exit from the domestic debt market, thus stoking depreciation pressures on the Uganda Shilling; the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which disrupted global production and supply chains; extended drought in some regions of the country; and increased global commodity prices.

In terms of the fiscus, South Africa expects to run a deficit of -4.1 per cent in 2023, however, the deficit is expected to narrow for the next 3 years closing 2026 at -3.6 per cent. This demonstrates significant fiscal consolidation.

Over the next 3 years the South African government expects to consolidate its public finances and reduce its deficit by inter alia increasing revenues and or managing or containing costs. According to Investec, “The current fiscal year (2022/23) has seen a substantial boost to nominal (actual) GDP due to high inflation, which has eased both the fiscal debt and deficit projections as a per cent of GDP, although does not boost real GDP, which is the measure of the country’s growth and has the distorting effect of inflation removed.”

Among countries in Africa, South Africa is getting its public financial act together. The country is paying down its debts, inflation has been showing a strong downward trajectory. What remains to be seen is whether this decreasing inflation rate will continue.

African countries looking to anchor their currencies on either gold, or a combination of gold, precious metals, and other minerals would need to start with legislation which would make it legal for the governments of those countries to redeem paper currency with either those minerals or a derivative of those minerals.

Zimbabwe in late August began an initiative where it sold actual gold coins to its citizens which had been minted by that country’s central bank. This move was initiated to halt the slide of the currency on the parallel and official markets. This county’s policy so far has been successful in slowing down the trend of inflation which had begun to run amok.

It would be remiss to attribute the slowdown inflation to the gold coins. The country dramatically tightened its monetary policy by increasing interest rates to over 200 per cent in May 2022 and temporarily banned commercial bank lending. One of the disadvantages of the gold standard is that governments struggled for decades to make the system work globally. The gold standard reached its watershed when Richard Nixon in 1971 took the United States dollar off the gold standard.

Time is running out for Africa to guarantee food security for its population. As the saying goes, it is not very reasonable to keep doing the same things and expect different results.

Africa needs crops that can withstand pests and disease, withstand drought, flourish without excessive pesticides and fertilizers, and produce healthy food. Africa needs crops to enable smallholder farmers to prosper. GMOs provide a powerful instrument for Africa to address these demands when other choices fail over time.

Sierra Leone’s government may have to impose severe austerity measures.  These measures will address inefficiencies and inadequacies in allocating and administrating public resources. However, all hands must be on deck within these economic management measures. This will secure the ring-fencing of money for essential objectives like education, livelihood preservation, and health. These objectives remain critical to maintaining social stability and a rapid return to the economic recovery path.