Press Release: Statement by IMF Managing Director Strauss-Kahn at the Conclusion of his Visit to Tanzania

February 29, 2008

Press Release No. 08/36

Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in Dar es Salaam at the conclusion of his visit to Tanzania:

"This is my first visit to Tanzania in my capacity of Managing Director of the IMF. I wish to thank President Kikwete, Prime Minister Pinda, Minister Mkulo, Governor Ndulu and all others I met for constructive discussions. I also visited the Buguruni school for the deaf, where I was greatly impressed by the efforts of its dedicated staff to help the students overcome their disability.

"In my meeting with President Kikwete, we had a productive discussion on Tanzania's economic outlook and challenges to be met as the country strives to significantly reduce poverty. Because President Kikwete is chairman of the African Union, our meeting was also an opportunity to explore regional issues. President Kikwete briefed me on yesterday's welcome political agreement in Kenya and we look forward to its successful implementation. The President graciously offered to host a conference in Tanzania later this year on the IMF and Africa, to be attended by finance ministers and central bank governors, and others, to showcase success stories in sub-Saharan Africa and to share cross-country experiences. I am delighted to accept this proposal.

"I welcomed Tanzania's strong macroeconomic performance and structural reforms. Sound economic policies have contributed to robust growth and moderate inflation, placing Tanzania among the leading successful reformers in Africa. The authorities' commitment to continued structural reforms and the maintenance of macroeconomic stability will further raise the country's growth potential so as to make decisive progress in poverty reduction. The Bank of Tanzania's strategy is appropriately geared at containing inflationary risks and strengthening monetary control. Strong fiscal performance, underpinned by buoyant revenues and further improvements in tax administration, will continue to anchor macroeconomic stability. To support Tanzania's economic program, the Fund's Executive Board approved a Policy Support Instrument (PSI) in February 2007 (see Press Release No. 07/26) and successfully concluded its most recent review last December (see Press Release No. 07/305).

"President Kikwete and I agreed that it will be key for Tanzania to sustain its strong economic performance for many years to achieve significant poverty reduction. Pressing social and infrastructural needs warrant increased public spending, but such spending needs to be accompanied by strong public financial management to ensure effective results on the ground. Continued private sector development requires reinforcing the business environment and strengthening the financial sector's contribution to growth.

"I welcomed President Kikwete's agenda to tackle governance and corruption issues, which are a drag on economic development. Successfully addressing these issues will give a significant boost to public and private sector confidence. The IMF stands ready to continue supporting Tanzania in its endeavor to reduce poverty, fight corruption, and maintain the economy on a sustainable path."


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