The Government of Alassane Ouattara in Yamousokro, the Capital of Ivory Coast has officially met an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to plan the terms of a bailout it is seeking.
The Ivorian government is asking for US$ 2.6 billion from the Fund, saying it was still yet to recover from the “pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic” and the “rippling effects of the War in Ukraine”.
The IMF said it will help the Ivory Coast government to “boost revenue mobilization to preserve macroeconomic stability and create fiscal space for critical social spending, security and investment needs”.
The team to negotiate with the IMF on the Ivorian side were Vice President Tiémoko Koné; Prime Minister Patrick Achi; Minister of State and Agriculture Kobenan Adjoumani; Minister of Planning and Development Nialé Kaba; Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy Sangafowa Coulibaly; Minister of Economy and Finance Adama Coulibaly; Minister of Budget and State Holdings Moussa Sanogo; Minister of Commerce and Industry Souleymane Diarrassouba; Minister and Secretary General of the Presidency Abdourahmane Cissé among others.
Led by Olaf Unteroberdoerster, the IMF team visited Abidjan to conclude the discussion on the terms of financial support to enable the Ivory Coast to recover.
A statement released by the Fund after the meeting said the negotiations with Ivory Coast “was successful” with “broad agreement on policy objectives”.
“Discussions on a new blended financial arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF)/ Extended Credit Facility (ECF) to support the authorities’ economic program have been very productive, and I am pleased to announce that a broad agreement has been reached on all policy objectives and reform measures.
“We expect to finalize a staff-level agreement, including the level of access to Fund resources of at least 300 percent of quota (equivalent to about US$2.6 billion), in the coming days. The final program arrangement would then be subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board.
“The Ivorian economy proved resilient to the pandemic, but the economic rebound has softened in the face of adverse spillovers from the war in Ukraine and global monetary tightening.” The fund said.
“Indirect and direct subsidies to curb price pressures, higher security spending, and worsening terms-of-trade amid robust domestic demand have led to a widening of macroeconomic imbalances in 2022.” It added.
“Against this challenging backdrop, the authorities have requested Fund support under a blended ECF/EFF arrangement for their economic program. It aims to preserve fiscal and debt sustainability and anchor the 2021-25 National Development Plan (NDP) in key structural priorities to promote more inclusive growth led by the private sector and facilitate Côte d’Ivoire’s transition towards a middle-income country.
”The IMF staff supports the priorities of the authorities program. Discussions focused on boosting revenue mobilization to preserve macroeconomic stability and create fiscal space for critical social spending, security and investment needs.
“Key structural reforms include strengthening social protection for vulnerable households, improving public financial management and investment efficiency, and promoting private-sector led and more inclusive growth by creating new employment opportunities, including for Côte d’Ivoire’s large young population.”