The international financial rating agency Standard & Poor’s maintained the rating assigned to the Republic of Benin, with a stable outlook. This decision once again attests to the resilience of the country’s economic fundamentals, which led the agency to maintain Benin’s rating in June and October 2020, despite the Covid-19 crisis. “Standard & Poor’s welcomes the ambitious reforms implemented within the framework of the Government’s Action Program, and the quality of the management of the Covid-19 crisis by the authorities”, indicates a press release from the Beninese Ministry of the Economy and Finance.
Benin has thus preserved the dynamism of its economy, posting a GDP growth rate of 3.8% in 2020, significantly higher than the average observed on the continent. Benin remains among the African countries with the best credit rating, while several African countries have seen their ratings downgraded since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. Standard & Poor’s also anticipates a clear upturn in economic activity from 2021 and the continuation of structural reforms, following the re-election of Patrice Talon as President of Benin. The agency forecasts a rebound in real GDP growth of 5.0% in 2021, which should reach 6.5% on average over the period 2022-2024.
The agency anticipates a resumption of fiscal consolidation from 2021, continuing the momentum initiated by the government in 2016, and anticipates a reduction in the level of public debt from 2022. Standard & Poor’s finally recalls the government’s decision not to participate in the debt service suspension initiative set up by the G20, favorably received by investors in Benin, as illustrated by the success of the external financing operations undertaken in recent months.