Malawi leader welcomes IMF review: ‘We are blessed’

President Joyce Banda has welcomed the  statement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after a conclusion of a two-week mission in Malawi to conduct discussions for the third and fourth reviews under the Malawi’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF).

IMF expressed their satisfaction with the work being undertaken in Malawi to improve the economic and social environment of the country.

In a statement issued upon completion of discussions in Malawi, the IMF team leader Tsidi Tsikata hailed the policy reforms initiated by President Banda since her election in 2012, including the introduction of a flexible exchange rate that has made foreign currency readily available and the work the Reserve Bank of Malawi is doing to “tighten monetary policy.”

Tsikata also recognised the positive work done by the Banda administration in eliminating costly fuel subsidies, increasing international foreign exchange reserves and stimulating broad-based expansion in economic activity.

President Banda: Work still to be done

The IMF also noted areas needing further reform in Malawi, many of which President Banda’s government is already working to improve.

President Banda, welcoming the IMF’s conclusions, said: “We are grateful for the support of the IMF in our shared ambition to build a better Malawi. There is still work to be done, but we are blessed with the generous support of the international community with whom we are committed to including in our journey towards stability, transparency and growth.”

In the coming weeks, the IMF will continue discussions with Malawi with a view to recommending to the IMF Executive Board the completion of the third and fourth reviews under Malawi’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement.

Tsikata noted in his statement that the completion of these reviews “will enable Malawi to receive a disbursement of SDR 13 million (about US$20 million) from the IMF.”

Hailing Malawi’s efforts to re-engage with its development partners, the IMF complimented the government’s Action Plan and the forthcoming Extraordinary Performance Assessment Framework as “appropriate vehicles” to improve relations between Malawi and its donors. The IMF also welcomed the recent austerity measures implemented by the government. President Banda, who attended the African-Arab Summit this week said:

“Malawi’s growth at home is dependent on the input of our friends and partners abroad, people who share in our vision of Malawi and who believe in the potential of our country. We thank the IMF for their help in attaining our shared vision for Malawi.”

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