Press Release: Statement by the IMF Staff Mission to Togo

November 9, 2006

Press Release No. 06/248

The following statement was issued today in Lomé by Koffi Yao, the International Monetary Fund's Resident Representative to Togo, following a visit by a mission from the IMF headed by Mr. Christian Mumssen:

"An IMF mission visited Lomé to discuss key economic and reforms policy and to negotiate a Staff Monitored Program (SMP). The mission met with His Excellency President Faure E. Gnassingbé and the Prime Minister, Mr. Yawovi Agboyibo. It held constructive discussions with the Minister of Finance, Budget and Privatizations, Mr. Payadowa Boukpessi; the Minister of Economic and Development, Mr. Daniel Kloutse; the National Director of the BCEAO, Mr. Ayéwanou Gbeasor; and other senior government officials. The mission also met with parliamentarians as well as the donor community.

"The staff visit took place against a background of a landmark political accord between the political parties and the civil society on August 20, 2006 and the formation of a government of national unity. The mission welcomed the authorities' commitment to move ahead with economic and structural reforms so as to lay the foundation for higher economic growth and poverty alleviation. In particular, the authorities stressed their determination to implement successfully an SMP with a view to maintaining macroeconomic stability, strengthening fiscal management, and restoring their relations with the international financial institutions and bilateral donors.

"The authorities and the mission reached understandings in principle on a nine-month SMP, based on the authorities' policies for the remainder of 2006 and the first half of 2007. The program incorporates commitments with regard to public expenditure management, the cotton sector and banking sector reform. It also includes understandings on the government's proposals for the 2007 budget, which aims at maintaining macroeconomic stability and strengthening governance while making room for spending in priority areas, particularly infrastructure and social needs.

"The mission reiterated IMF's readiness to support Togo in its efforts to boost economic growth and reduce poverty through sound economic policy, higher external assistance and eventual comprehensive debt relief, which the authorities view as key elements of their medium-term strategy.

"The mission would like to thank the authorities for their warm welcome and the close collaboration and constructive policy dialogue."


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