IMF to table US$157 million credit to Malawi

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International Monetary Fund (IMF) is today expected to table a US$157 million credit to Malawi under a three-year Extended Credit Facility as proposed by its staff team that visited the country last month.

Both IMF Resident Representative to Malawi Ruby Randall and Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga have confirmed the meeting today in Washington DC, United States of America.

Lipenga said in an interview at the weekend that he is confident the IMF board will give a seal of approval to the programme.

“I think we have put in place bold measures to enable us get the programme with the IMF. I am very optimistic. Of course you cannot second guess them, but I have all the reasons to believe they will approve the programme,” said Lipenga.

RBM Governor Charles Chuka was also optimistic that Malawi would get back to an IMF programme by the end of the board meeting this evening.

“As we are speaking, the office of the executive director representing Malawi is preparing a statement to the board, putting together a strong case for Malawi,” said Chuka on Friday.

He said Malawi needs strong support from IMF and the donor community.

An IMF team that visited the country in June reached a staff-level understanding with the government on an economic programme for three years that could be supported by the new ECF arrangement.

Chancellor College economics professor Ben Kaluwa said the IMF programme is important as it leverages other sources of external finances and signals willingness by government to play minimum rules such as respect for markets and decent fiscal behaviour.

“All of these are important for the business climate, including our external credit worthiness,” said Kaluwa.

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