Experts from the International Monetary Fund and Tanzanian government are set to meet in the coming weeks to review the country’s economic growth statistics following a recent controversy over the matter, the presidency has said.
The decision to hold consultations was reached after President John Magufuli and IMF director for Africa Abebe Aemro Selassie held talks in Dar es Salaam Monday.
During the talks, Mr Abebe said experts from Washington would review the IMF growth forecast data and compare them with those of the government.
Last month, Tanzania denied blocking the publication of an IMF report that accuses Magufuli’s administration of undermining economic growth with “unpredictable and interventionist” policies.
“The government is still holding consultations with the IMF. We have not blocked the report in any way whatsoever,” Tanzania’s finance and planning minister, Philip Mpango, told parliament.
“I was in Washington recently and I met the IMF’s director of Africa and we agreed to initiate consultations,” Dr Mpango added.
The IMF projected a rate of GDP growth of around 4-5 percent in the medium term, a figure different from the government’s projection that the economy will grow by 7.3 percent in 2019.
The government wants the big infrastructure projects, currently under implementation, be used to gauge the forecast.
Dr Mpango, who attended Monday’s talks, said that his ministry will ensure that all information on the implementation of grand projects, such as the construction of the Stiegler’s Gorge hydro-electronic dam and the Standard Gauge Railways are included in the final IMF report.
“Building the infrastructure is key for economic growth and this is what President Magufuli has been doing…Unfortunately the IMF did not put these issues into consideration in their first report,” said Dr Mpango.
Foreign Affairs Minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi said that he was happy that investors’ confidence remained strong despite the leakage of the IMF report.
“I am grateful that investors continue to come, but I am also happy that the IMF team has seen the need for further consultations with us. Those who though the IMF and Tanzania were “at war” were quite mistaken and Tanzania’s position will be known after the talks.” Prof Kabudi noted.
Tanzania joined IMF in 1962.