deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr. Tao
Zhang, on Monday told journalists that The Gambia’s economy remains solid, its
performance is strong, and it is currently growing at 6 to 6.5%.
The deputy MD led a high level delegation to Banjul this week, and paid a courtesy call on President Adama Barrow at the State House. Speaking to reporters after audience with the President, Mr. Zhang expressed belief that this economic path will remain for the rest of the year.
“We are also paying attention to the structural reforms which will provide the support for the economy on a more sustainable basis,” he said, noting that the most important is that the Fund congratulated the authorities and the people of The Gambia on achievements registered over the past two years.
“We encouraged the authorities to continue the path leading to prosperity down the road,” he added.
The IMF extended a credit facility to government through its staff management programme soon after the new government took office in 2017. It also played a key role in the donor conference on The Gambia held in Brussels in May 2018.
In the same vein, the meeting with President followed an earlier meeting with Finance minister in Banjul, all geared towards strengthening cooperation between the Fund and The Gambia.
“Of course, there’s more that needs to be done… But we are confident that the good cooperation between the two sides, together with other development partners, can achieve the objectives envisaged by the government. We will do our best in our capacities to make sure that happens,” he added.
President Adama Barrow was excited to have received the IMF delegation, saying it was proof that there is confidence in the economic management strategy of the government.
He said that IMF’s presence in the country will also send a strong signal to Gambia’s partners to continue their support to government in this crucial transition programme. The Gambian leader expressed commitment to continue working with the IMF so that ordinary Gambians will feel the impact of political change in their everyday lives. His government will continue to implement policies that strengthen social sectors of the country, he added.
“The ordinary people do not understand the economic figures but real impacts on their lives. The private sector also plays key roles in employment creation. Hence my government’s priority is in reforms and strengthening institutions like the Central Bank so that they can effectively partake in sound macro-economic management of the country,” he disclosed.