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External Sustainability of Oil-Producing Sub-Saharan African Countries

August 28, 2011 Comments off

External Sustainability of Oil-Producing Sub-Saharan African Countries
Source: International Monetary Fund

In the extensive empirical work carried out across the IMF on oil-producing sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, the notion of “sustainability” is often directed toward fiscal policies, and, in particular, views on the “optimal” non-oil primary fiscal deficit. The bulk of this work does not, however, address external sustainability, which is a concern especially for those SSA oil producers operating under a fixed exchange rate regime. A couple of recent papers have extended the existing methodologies to assess external sustainability for some oil-producing countries but they do not focus on those in sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper, we bolster this empirical work by providing a range of estimates for the long-run external current external account balance for each of the SSA oil-producing countries, based on three widely used methodologies in the IMF. Our research strategy is to apply these models to the eight countries in the subregion – Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, and the Republic of Congo – using similar simplifying assumptions so that we are using the same lens to view how they do and do not differ.

+ Full Paper (PDF)

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State Department Travel Warning: Chad

August 21, 2011 Comments off

State Department Travel Warning: Chad
Source: U.S. Department of State

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Chad and recommends that you avoid all travel to eastern Chad and all border regions. This Travel Warning is due to the insecurity caused by high levels of violent crime, the continuing risk of clashes between Chadian government and armed opposition forces, and the risk of sudden outbreak of conflict among the populations living in these areas. In particular, the risks of carjacking and kidnapping for ransom increase as part of factional conflict. The U.S. Embassy in Chad has prohibited official government travel to all areas outside of N’Djamena without express authorization. U.S. citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts should review security precautions and consider measures to mitigate exposure to violent crime. If you are residing in Chad, you should exercise caution throughout the country. This replaces the Travel Warning for Chad dated December 8, 2010 to remind U.S. citizens of continuing security concerns in Chad.

Country Specific Information: Chad

August 14, 2011 Comments off

Country Specific Information: Chad
Source: U.S. Department of State

August 11, 2011

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Chad is a developing country in north central Africa with one of the lowest per capita incomes in the world. Chad faces challenges in the areas of political stability and economic development. Years of war, drought, and lack of economic growth have severely damaged the country’s institutions and its infrastructure. Facilities for tourism are limited. The capital is N’Djamena. French and Arabic are the primary languages. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Chad for additional information.

Secretary-General reports on Children and Armed Conflict

March 17, 2011 Comments off

Secretary-General reports on Children and Armed Conflict
Source: Secretary General of the United Nations
+ Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Afghanistan (PDF)

The present report, which has been prepared pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005), is presented to the Council and its Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict as the second country report on the situation of children and armed conflict in Afghanistan. The report covers the period from 1 September 2008 to 30 August 2010.

The report focuses on grave violations committed against children, with an emphasis on recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming of children, and attacks on schools. It identifies parties to the conflict, both State and non-State actors, who are responsible for such violations. In particular, the report highlights how children have been used by anti-government elements, including for suicide bombing or for planting explosives, or recruited by the Afghan National Security Forces, despite the official government policy. It also sheds light on the detention of children for alleged association with armed groups by Afghan authorities, as well as international forces present in Afghanistan. In addition, there continue to be serious concerns about the increasing number of attacks on schools and on students that jeopardize the right of Afghan children to safely access education. The report also shows that children continue to be killed or maimed in suicide attacks or during engagements by Afghan and international forces. Finally, the report underlines the need for greater attention to the issue of sexual violence committed by armed parties to the conflict against boys and girls.

The report acknowledges that progress has been made since the last reporting period, especially in terms of dialogue with the Government of Afghanistan on the protection of children. In this context, it welcomes the commitment of the Government to signing an Action Plan against recruitment and use of children in the Afghan National Security Forces, with annexes on sexual violence against children and the killing and maiming of children in contravention of international law.

Finally, the report outlines a series of recommendations to all parties to the conflict and other stakeholders in Afghanistan. The recommendations aim at ending grave violations against children and at enhancing the overall protection of children in the context of the armed conflict in Afghanistan.

+ Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Chad (PDF)

The present report has been prepared within the framework of Security Council resolution 1612 (2005). It is the third report on the situation of children and armed conflict in Chad submitted to the Council and its Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, covering the period from July 2008 to December 2010. The report follows my second report (S/2008/532) and the subsequent conclusions and recommendations of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (S/AC.51/2008/15).

The report presents an overview of the general situation in Chad in the context of armed conflict. It highlights how the state of insecurity in the eastern region that prevailed in 2008 and 2009 improved markedly in 2010, and the impact that this evolution has had on efforts to protect children. The May 2009 clashes between Government forces and the Union des forces de la re

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