A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently met with Guinea-Bissau President José Mário Vaz and other officials to discuss the country's economy in relation to its three-year loan from the IMF.
Guinea-Bissau and the IMF reached a three-year, $23.9 million Extended Credit Facility (ECF) loan agreement in July to improve expense management, direct spending, limit vulnerabilities and develop private sector business and jobs.
IMF officials said Guinea-Bissau has benefited from large supplies of electricity, water and cashews for export, but that the country is projected to continue facing struggles in the development of its banking industry and investor relations. IMF officials will be watching the country's 2016 budget process for signs of improved consolidation and streamlined fiscal management.
The IMF was represented during the visit by Felix Fischer, who said the IMF is in the middle of conducting the first and second reviews of the Guinea-Bissau's performance under the ECF program.
“Discussions for the completion of the combined first and second reviews are at an advanced stage,” Fischer said. “Discussions with the authorities will continue during the IMF Spring Meetings in Washington as they finalize their reform priorities and proceed with pending key actions to keep the program on track, notably on strengthening the banking sector.”
Also present during the meeting were Vice President of the National Assembly Inacio Correia, Finance Minister Geraldo Martins, and Central Bank of West African States National Director João Fadia.