The World Bank approved a credit to help Togo improve public finances and structural reforms

[B]Board of Directors on May 24, 2012, approved a credit amounting to US$14 million for Togo for the Fifth Economic Recovery and Governance Credit (ERGC-5).[/B]

This operation provides general resources to government’s budget. The resources are provided in support of economic governance reforms initiated under the previous four grants allocated respectively in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

This new budget support operation allocated to Togo will help implement government-owned reforms to improve public financial management and to carry out structural reforms in cotton, energy, telecommunications and banking.

ERGC-5 focuses on public financial management and structural reforms in key sectors of the economy. With respect to public financial management the emphasis in on enhanced transparency and budget oversight.

In the cotton sector the operation supports measures that enhance insight in the cost structure of the national cotton company ‘Nouvelle Société Cotonnière du Togo – NSCT’ and that lay the foundation for attracting private investors.

The operation supports reforms to enhance competition in the telecommunications sector and helps to improve management at the national electricity company ‘[LINK=]Compagnie d’Energie Electrique du Togo – CEET[/LINK]’.

ERGC-5 also supports the privatization of four state owned banks.

Key results expected from ERGC-5 include, inter alia: (i) improved access to budget information; (ii) simplification of procurement processes; (iii) payment of a predetermined share of the world market price to cotton farmers; (iv) a reduction of the cost of mobile telephony; (v) government’s disengagement from banking; and (vi) strengthening management of the national electricity company.

“A lot of efforts have been made, and we strongly encourage government to keep the pace of reform. The World Bank remains committed to support Togo and is convinced that an efficient and effective use of these resources will help bring about accelerated and inclusive growth, which is the key to poverty reduction”, said Madani M. Tall, Country Director for Togo, upon approval of the new credit.

ERGC-5 is aligned with Togo’s poverty reduction strategy. It is also an integral part of the World Bank Interim Strategy for Togo, and it is closely aligned with the World Bank’s Africa Strategy. The new operation is coordinated with other World Bank operations as well as with other partners’ (International Monetary Fund, European Union, Africa Development Bank, and French bilateral aid).