WASHINGTON, December 13, 2022 – This morning, World Bank Group President David Malpass met with President Patrice Talon of Benin.
President Malpass and President Talon discussed the recent macroeconomic outlook and key challenges facing Benin, including limited economic diversification, negative terms of trade, and a deteriorating fiscal position. President Malpass and President Talon also spoke extensively about the challenges for African countries as they try to secure access to fertilizers in the context of global shortages triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing market consolidation. President Malpass noted the need to increase the supply of energy and fertilizers by advanced economies as well as negative impacts of market distortions, including domestic subsidies, which limit the availability of fertilizers for exports.
President Malpass and President Talon discussed the severity of security challenges in the northern region of Benin. They discussed ways to improve the living standards of populations in high-risk areas through enhanced service delivery, social cohesion, and jobs. In this context, President Malpass mentioned the ongoing implementation of the World Bank Group’s support through the Gulf of Guinea regional operation.
President Malpass and President Talon spoke on the climate-related challenges facing Benin, and the Bank’s technical assistance to help authorities to assess the damages of recent floods. President Malpass and President Talon agreed on the importance of mainstreaming climate change adaptation into policies and programs. President Malpass highlighted the World Bank Group’s (WBG) upcoming Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) for Benin that will help to identify the most impactful investment to improve climate change resilience.
President Malpass and President Talon also spoke on Benin’s reforms to foster a business-enabling environment, during which President Malpass emphasized the need for greater market competition in – most importantly – freight, the telecom sector, and tourism to unlock further private sector investment.