As part of an assault on poverty in Sub-Saharan African countries, Benin has been assigned sovereign credit ratings by one of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) partners, Standard & Poor’s, joining Ghana and Cameroon which were recently also rated for the first time.
“Through this project, UNDP intends to support countries in their efforts to mobilize resources from private capital markets, which are required to secure accelerated rates of economic growth and reduce poverty,” said UNDP Associate Administrator Zéphirin Diabré.
Sovereign credit ratings place countries on the investor map and allow them access to international capital markets.
“We hope that better access to financing would help Benin and other developing countries to tackle a broad range of poverty alleviation issues and provide an incentive to achieve the Millennium Development Goals,” Mr. Diabre said.
Among the eight Millennium Development Goals, which UN Member States committed themselves to in 2000, is the reduction of extreme poverty by 2015.
Benin, a West African country of 6.6 million people with a debt the World Bank estimated at $840 million for 2001, received a ‘B+’ long-term and ‘B’ short-term sovereign credit rating, with a ‘stable’ outlook.