- West Africa
IMF Concludes Staff Visit to Guinea-Bissau
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Mr. Paulo Drummond visited Guinea-Bissau during April 15-18, 2010. The mission met with President Malam Bacaí Sanhá, Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior, President of the National Assembly Raimundo Pereira, Minister of Finance José Mario Vaz, Minister of Economy Helena Embaló, as well as development partners.
At the conclusion of the visit, the mission issued the following statement on April 18, 2010:
"In January, an IMF mission reached preliminary agreement on a macroeconomic and structural reform program for 2010-2012 for which the government is seeking support from the IMF under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF)".
"The mission that concluded its visit to Guinea-Bissau today was encouraged by the authorities’ renewed commitment to the reform program, which aims to provide the basis for stronger economic growth and poverty alleviation. Both the President and the Prime Minister reaffirmed the importance of their program for Guinea-Bissau and reiterated their request for support from the IMF under the ECF. Decisive implementation of the program will help put public finances on a stronger footing; catalyze much-needed budget support; and could pave the way for significant debt relief".
"Economic performance through March has been satisfactory. The government’s continued ability to carry out its program of reforms will require political stability. The recent pronouncement by the President reiterating his determination to preserve the democratic institutions and to move the country toward greater stability bodes well for the future. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance expressed their confidence in the government’s capacity to implement the policies agreed under the program".
"As the situation in Guinea-Bissau continues to move toward stability, we will have the opportunity to consider in the coming weeks a decision to present to the IMF Executive Board the authorities’ request for an ECF-supported program".
 The ECF is a concessional IMF facility for low-income countries. ECF-supported programs are based on country-owned poverty reduction strategies adopted in a participatory process involving civil society and development partners and articulated in the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. ECF loans carry a zero interest rate until end-2011 and an annual interest rate of no more than 0.5 percent thereafter, and are repayable over 10 years with a 5½ -year grace period on principal payments.
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)