Press Release: IMF Statement on Kenya

January 21, 2003

The following statement was issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Nairobi on January 17, 2003:

IMF African Department Director, Mr. Abdoulaye Bio-Tchané, and his delegation met on January 15-17, 2003 with H.E. Mwai Kibaki, President of Kenya. The delegation also met with several members of the new government -- including Finance Minister Hon. David Mwiraria, Planning and National Development Minister Hon. Anyang Nyong'o, and the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Kiraitu Murungi -- as well as Leader of the Official Opposition Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta. The discussions covered the broad developmental aspirations and the policy areas that the government will be focusing on in the period ahead.

Mr. Bio-Tchané extended, on behalf of the Managing Director of the IMF, congratulations on Mr. Kibaki's election and indicated that management and staff of the IMF looked forward to working closely with the government.

Mr. Bio-Tchané welcomed the public commitment of the new administration to tackling corruption and strengthening governance, and noted that this was to be given a top priority. In this regard, he noted that the governance approach that the new administration had began to put in place was very encouraging. The delegation took note of the government's insistence that the Anti-Corruption Legislation would be enforced strictly and fairly.

Mr. Bio-Tchané shared with the authorities the high expectations of the citizens of Kenya. Therefore, it was imperative that clear priorities be established within an appropriate reform framework, in light of the overall resource constraints. It was encouraging that the government recognized the difficult situation and had started to identify remedial steps to address this situation.

The delegation has shared its assessment of the situation with representatives of the donor community in Nairobi.

The delegation looks forward to a more detailed discussion of the issues at the time of the Article IV consultation next month. At this stage, it is anticipated that discussions on a new program with Kenya will begin in April/May on the understanding that the agreed prior actions would have been completed. The IMF staff will continue to work closely with the authorities to facilitate an early re-engagement to support the government's efforts. In the meantime, the IMF stands ready to provide the government with the technical assistance that may be necessary.


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