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IMF mission team in early 2016, to review Malawi’s ECF performance

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An International Monitory Fund’s (IMF) mission team is expected in Malawi within the first quarter of 2016 to review the country’s economic trends and evaluate its performance in line with the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme.

The team will determine Malawi’s fate on whether to resume the US$150 million ECF programme with the fund which was declared off-track in September following the government’s failure to meet agreed targets.

IMF resident representative to Malawi Geoffrey Oestreicher said in a telephone interview yesterday that the mission team will review the December targets under the ECF and examine the revised national budget among other things.

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“The coming of the IMF mission team will examine the economic trends and evaluate the ECF programme to determine if Malawi is back on track,” said Oestreicher.

The team will also review major economic indicators such as inflation, while reviewing government cash books to determine whether there is correlation between the budget and expenses by government.

He said the mission team is coming to evaluate the end December targets and that this means that the review team can only come after December 31, 2015 at the end of the review period.

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“The team can’t come unless some numbers and figures are known. So the review cannot be done in December but either in February or March, depending on whether the data would be available,” he said.

He expressed optimism that government and the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) will finalise the data consolidation process to facilitate the coming in of the mission team. He also believes that Malawi’s programme under the fund will get back on track by the end of this month.

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