The Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Tao Zhang, lauded the economic transformation The Gambia has been experiencing as evidenced by the country’s significant growth being registered in 2018.
“We are very pleased to see that the Gambian economy has rebounded strongly. Growth in 2018 reached 6.6 percent and prospects for sustained growth are positive over the medium term,” said Tao Zhang in a public lecture he delivered Tuesday at Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi.
Accompanied by high powered delegation, the IMF Deputy MD jetted into Banjul on Sunday and held talks with President Adama Barrow and a good number of decision makers.
Tao Zhang indicated that the country was able to lower its inflation to just above 6 percent, and noted that gross official reserves have increased to about 3 months of imports.
“This remarkable progress has been achieved through your government’s efforts to stabilize the economy with support from Gambians living abroad, the private sector, and international partners,” he added.
Africa’s smallest country on mainland is emerging from the shadows of two-decade long dictatorship punctuated by economic malpractices and financial indiscipline.
IMF Deputy Chief further noted that progress has been made in developing infrastructure, which is crucial to ensuring sustained growth.
The Gambia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mambury Njai, said IMF team’s visit to The Gambia comes at a time when the country is not only emerging from difficulties, but also edging towards recovery.
He said The Gambia decided in 2016 to break with the past and embrace the path to prosperity.
“The turnaround in macroeconomic performance since January 2017 has been remarkable,” he revealed, indicating that the stabilization of economic activity has started paying dividends.
Minister Njai said the establishment of fiscal prudence has helped to put a halt on domestic borrowing with a view to enabling the recovery of the private sector, which serves as the engine of economic growth.