See also:
» 30.09.2010 - Senegal advised to move slow on infrastructure
» 25.05.2010 - Senegal slowly moving out of recession
» 25.03.2010 - Senegal should do away with bottlenecks, IMF
» 25.06.2008 - Senegal repairs IMF ties, hailed for growth
» 19.05.2008 - Senegal rebuffs IMF claims
» 19.04.2004 - US$ 1.2 billion in debt relief for Senegal
» 16.02.2004 - New loan to reduce poverty in Senegal
» 19.06.2003 - Senegal asked to speed up structural reforms

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Economy - Development

Senegal praised for economic reforms

afrol News, 6 December - Following a Dakar seminar on trade and regional integration, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) praised the Senegalese government for its "significant progress" in reforming the national economy, achieving stability and reducing poverty. There was however a "potential to do even better," in particular regarding trade liberalisation.

IMF Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger said this at a press conference in Dakar. "There is much of which the Senegalese authorities can be proud. Significant progress has been made towards achieving macroeconomic stability," Ms Krueger added.

During her brief visit, Ms Krueger at the seminar met with the Senegalese Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and Charles Konan Banny, Governor of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). Further, she visited the GINNDI project that works to take Senegalese children off the streets and reunite children with their families.

After discussing with these Senegalese politicians and stakeholders, Ms Krueger said it would be important for national authorities in 2005 and beyond to "consolidate the gains from macroeconomic adjustment." So far, reforms and stability had led to debt reduction for Senegal as the country recently reached the completion point under the HIPC initiative.

- Poverty reduction is a high priority in Senegal, as it is in many African countries, Ms Krueger noted. "It is an objective that the International Monetary Fund shares." At the seminar, the IMF official had noted that there was a "near-universal agreement" over the Fund's strategy to couple prolonged rapid growth with a lasting reduction of poverty and rising living standards.

Macroeconomic stability, as achieved in Senegal, was "a precondition for high rates of growth," Ms Krueger said. "As more African countries have pursued economic reforms and set in place a stable macroeconomic framework, so we are beginning to see the fruits of those reforms, in terms of higher growth rates and falling inflation."

- But it is clear that Africa has the potential to do even better, she emphasised. "There is no reason why African countries should not achieve the same economic results attained elsewhere in the world, where growth has accelerated and poverty reduced."

The IMF official in this regard said that trade liberalisation was central to the prospects for higher growth. "No country has achieved rapid growth over a long period without opening up the economy to trade with the rest of the world. Those that have opened up, like Korea and Chile, have experienced higher rates of growth and significant poverty reduction," she said.

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