Press Release: IMF Deputy Managing Director Murilo Portugal to Visit Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda

April 24, 2007

Press Release No.07/78

Mr. Murilo Portugal, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will travel to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (April 30-May 1); Bujumbura, Burundi (May 2-3); and Kigali, Rwanda (May 3-5). This is his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa since becoming Deputy Managing Director in December 2006. This visit comes at a time of intensified attention and support for the continent from the international community in support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and also highlights the central importance of Africa for the Fund.

In Tanzania, Mr. Portugal will meet with President Jakaya Kikwete and key members of his economic team, as well as representatives of the parliament, private sector, donor community and civil society. In his meetings, Mr. Portugal will seek views on how the country—which has achieved macroeconomic stability—can build upon its impressive performance and sustain the high rates of growth needed to make possible lasting reductions in poverty and how the Fund, through the new Poverty Support Instrument (PSI), can support these efforts. Mr. Portugal will also visit the East African Regional Technical Assistance Center (AFRITAC)1, where the IMF assists African governments to address their capacity-building needs—developing the needed stock of know-how in areas such as financial sector development, public financial management, public debt management, and fiscal revenue policy and administration.

Mr. Portugal will then travel to Burundi, where he will meet with President Pierre Nkurunziza, senior policymakers, and representatives of the civil society, private sector and donors. The Fund has been assisting this young democracy emerge from an extended period of civil conflict. He will discuss the challenges of accelerating growth and poverty alleviation in a difficult post-conflict environment and how the IMF can further support reform and rebuilding efforts, including through capacity building and technical assistance.

In Rwanda, Mr. Portugal will have an opportunity to meet with President Paul Kagame and his economic team, as well as other stakeholders. Discussions will focus on how Rwanda can take the opportunity provided by debt relief and the prospects of scaled up of aid to tackle medium-term challenges, boost growth, and make progress toward the MDGs.

1 The East AFRITAC, opened in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 2002, now serves seven countries in East Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda).


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