(Ecofin Agency) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced last March 16, that it has reached a staff-level preliminary agreement with Malian authorities on the conclusion of the eighth review of Mali’s economic and financial program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), and on the 2018 consultation under Article IV of IMF’s statutes.
Once this review is approved by the institution’s management and executive board, Mali will be granted SDR 31.65 million (about $46 million).
According to the IMF’s mission, led by Boriana Yontcheva, in Bamako from March 12 to 16, 2018, “Mali’s economic recovery continued in 2017 amid persistent security challenges. GDP growth remained robust, at an estimated 5.3 percent supported by good harvests and robust domestic demand”.
Moreover, in 2017, Mali’s fiscal performances exceeded the program’s expectations and fiscal deficit was limited to 3% of GDP as public spending was reduced and revenues slightly exceeded the target.
In addition, the country’s 2018 financial law is in line with the program objectives and the goal of converging deficit to the norm of 3% of GDP by 2019, set in the region by WAEMU.
Based on these data, IMF concluded that Mali’s macroeconomic outlook remain positive however its economy faces growing downside risks, mainly due to the volatile security situation.
The institution also indicated that “Possible spending pressures during an election year and a projected shortfall in external support pose fiscal risks”.
To cope with these risks, Mali should pursue public financial management reforms to enhance pro-poor spending.
For the record, Mali’s economic and financial program was approved by IMF on December 18, 2013, for SDR30 million (about $40.7 million).
On June 9, 2016, upon request from Malian authorities, IMF’s board approved the one-year extension of the agreement, to December 17, 2017, and agreed to increase resources made available under this agreement to SDR98 million (about $132.8 million).