The Bamako Conference Calls for Stronger and Inclusive Growth in Mali in the Context of Strengthened PartnershipPress Release No. 11/94
March 21, 2011
At a conference, “Mali: Challenges and Economic Opportunities,” co-hosted with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Bamako on March 17-18, 2011, the government of Mali reaffirmed its vision for building strong growth that will bring about significant and sustainable improvements in quality of life for the entire Malian population.
“This conference brought together numerous participants from government, the National Assembly, the private sector, trade unions, civil society, and external partners, for wide-ranging discussions on the recent performance of Mali’s economy and the main challenges that lie ahead. We are committed to expediting economic and social reforms in Mali, so that it can take its place as an emerging country. The Bamako meeting helped identify areas we intend to explore with all our partners in the months ahead,” said Mr. Lassine Bouare, Minister Delegate responsible for the Budget under the authority of the Minister of Economy and Finance.
In turn, Mr. Roger Nord, Senior Advisor of the IMF African Department said “We are very pleased with the depth and quality of the discussions. We have had a candid and forthright dialogue with the major economic and social stakeholders in Mali, and this will enable us to give better advice, at a time when the current Fund arrangement with Mali under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) is entering its final year. The Bamako meeting reflects the spirit of strengthened partnership which the IMF undertook to pursue at the high-level conference ‘Changes—Successful Partnerships for Africa’s Growth Challenge’,” organized in Dar-es-Salaam in March 2009.”
Participants agreed on the need to strengthen policies designed to bring about stronger, job-creating growth and reduce poverty:
• They emphasized the importance of improving public financial management and the business climate, fostering economic diversification, enhancing productivity in key sectors such as agriculture, promoting education and vocational training for young people, strengthening regional integration, and ensuring the development and maintenance of appropriate infrastructure. In that respect, sufficiently pro-growth projects may be financed by nonconcessional loans consistent with the debt sustainability framework, as provided for by the related joint IMF and World Bank policy guidelines.
• The conference provided a forum for constructive discussions on the challenges—as well as the opportunities—associated with the demographic growth in Mali. Realizing this potential will require substantial efforts if young people are to be equipped with the skills they will need on the job market. To satisfy the demand for public goods and services resulting from population growth, structural reforms must be strengthened—in particular, those designed to improve the efficiency of appropriately-financed public expenditure. In that regard, additional effort is required to enhance the mobilization of domestic resources, in particular by broadening the tax base.
• Participants also noted that meeting the rapidly growing demand for employment calls for policies to promote a dynamic private sector, by enhancing the level of certainty as to the law and improving financial intermediation.
• The IMF has reaffirmed that it will support efforts to make this shared vision a reality, against a backdrop of sound macroeconomic management.