IMF sees Growth slowing to 5% in 2015
Mali’s economy is expected to grow 5 percent in 2015, slowing from a 7 percent expansion in 2014, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday, following a meeting with leaders of the West African country.
Inflation in Mali, one of the world’s poorest countries whose economy is largely dependent on agriculture and gold-producing, was expected to remain below the region’s 3 percent target, the fund said. “In 2014, Mali’s economy returned to strong growth, with an increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) of 7.2 percent. This contrasted with 2012 when growth was zero due to the security crisis, and 2013 when a poor harvest reduced growth to 1.7 percent,” the IMF said.
IMF and China to resume Financial Support
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has restarted talks on reviewing an aid programme for Mali and resuming aid payments to the West African country halted by the IMF and the World Bank earlier this year. The two organisations have frozen nearly $70m in financing after the IMF expressed concern in May over Mali’s purchase of a $40m presidential jet and a separate loan for military supplies, which undermined the confidence of donors in the country’s new government. A senior official in Mali’s finance ministry said an IMF mission had begun talks in Bamako on Thursday morning and an agreement was expected within two weeks. The official, who asked not to be named, said the government had reached some understandings with IMF officials.
Electricity Imports from Ghana on the Cards
Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama hinted yesterday that his country would soon transmit excess electricity to Burkina Faso and Mali as soon as work on the West Africa Gas Pipeline and Power Pool Project (WAGP) was completed. He has also promised to expand trade and commercial activities with Burkina Faso by increasing the evacuation of goods through the ports and by stepping up commercial links in tomatoes, maize and other relevant food crops. President John Dramani Mahama gave the hint when Mr Sini Pierre Sanou outgoing Burkinabe Ambassador to Ghana, who had finished a nine-year duty tour of the country, called on him at the Flagstaff House, Kanda. Also at the seat of government to bid farewell to the President was, Dr Mrs Renate Sc…
Forecast for Gold Output reduced
Mali, Africa’s third-largest gold producer, has cut its gold output forecast this year to 49 tonnes from 57 due partly to delays at the Anglogold Ashanti Sadiola joint venture, officials said. Mining Minister Amadou Baba Sy said the government had reduced estimates for industrial gold production to 45 tonnes this year, from a previous forecast of 53 tonnes in February. Mali’s total gold output also includes artisanal production of about 4 tonnes per year. Last year, industrial production was 46 tonnes and total output 50 tonnes. Lassana Guindo, director general of the National Directorate of Geology and Mines, said that a fall in international gold prices was weighing on miners.
“We have lowered our forecasts due to lower production i…
EU assists Mali with € 520m
On the eve of a major international donors’ conference, the European Union is pledging €520m ($674.8m) over the next two years to help recreate the west African country of Mali as a functioning state. Officials in Mali have come up with a €4.3bn ($5.58bn) multifaceted plan for what EU officials are calling “a total relaunch of the country.” The plan includes rebuilding government institutions and the military, elections in July, dialogues with rebels in the north, rebuilding roads and schools, reviving the moribund economy so that people get paid for working, and more. Mali wants to raise nearly half of that from the international community. Officials say 103 international delegations, including 10 heads of state and government, will at…
New Offensive by French Forces
French military forces began a fresh offensive today against extremists in the northern Malian region of Gao who have staged a series of attacks since being ousted from power this year, a French colonel said. By nightfall, no direct fighting had been reported between French forces and the Islamist fighters from Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa. The French troops were proceeding cautiously because a French hostage being held by the militants is believed to be in the area. France has been talking about reducing its presence in its former colony in the coming months, but also has said it aims to keep about 1,000 soldiers there.