IMF lifts Mali’s aid suspension - CNBC Africa

IMF lifts Mali’s aid suspension

Western Africa

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IMF lifts its suspension on aid to Mali. PHOTOS: Cnbc.com/Wikipedia

This is according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who concluded its visit to the West African country for discussions in preparation of the first and second review of the government’s economic programme supported by the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF).

“In 2014 Mali’s economy is returning to its normal growth path, with an increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) of 5.8 per cent. This follows 2012 when growth was zero due to the security crisis, and 2013 when a poor harvest kept growth at only 1.7 per cent,” said Christian Josz, IMF’s mission chief.

“Inflation remains low, at one per cent after -0.6 per cent in 2013. For 2015, the projections are for real growth to continue at 5.5 percent and inflation to remain well below the central bank’s 3 percent target.”

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According to Reuters, aid of nearly 70 million US dollars to Mali was suspended by the IMF and World Bank earlier this year after the country’s government has purchased a 40 million US dollars presidential jet and inflation spending on military supplies.

“The mission reached an agreement that will permit going forward with both the first and second reviews of the ECF arrangement. The reviews will be presented to the IMF Executive Board for approval in December 2014. A resolution was found for the issues raised by the extra-budgetary spending—on a presidential plane and a military contract—which delayed the first review, originally scheduled for June,” said Josz.

(READ MORE: IMF injects millions into West Africa)

He added that Mali’s government will be submitting a new supplementary budget to the National Assembly to regularise the extra budgetary costs, which will now be financed by the regional financial market, bringing the overall budget deficit to 5.8 per cent of GDP, compared to 5.2 per cent in the supplementary budget approved in August.

“The mission welcomes the budget the government intends to present to the National Assembly in October. This budget, which will be the basis for the ECF program in 2015, targets a global deficit of 4.4 per cent of GDP. Three quarters of the deficit is financed with donor support, and the rest in the regional financial market. The mission also welcomes the strengthening of structural reforms, notably those aimed at improving tax administration, expenditure control, and debt and treasury management.”

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