Tanzania denies blocking release of disputed IMF report

The IMF projected a rate of GDP growth of around 4-5 percent in the medium term, should current policies continue.
The seal of the International Monetary Fund(IMF) is seen outside of the headquarters building in Washington, DC on April 8, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

Tanzania on Tuesday, denied blocking the publication of a critical International Monetary Fund report that accuses President John Magufuli’s government of undermining economic growth with “unpredictable and interventionist” policies. 

In the leaked report, the Fund says a weak business environment and the implementation of projects that may not have high rates of return were likely to constrain annual GDP growth. 

“The government is still holding consultations with the IMF. We have not blocked the report in any way whatsoever”, Tanzania’s finance and planning minister, Philip Mpango, told parliament. 

According to The IMF in Washington consultations with government had been taking place, and it was up to the government to consent to the publication of the report. The IMF does not comment on the contents of leaked reports, it added. 

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Mpango said its on-going talks with the IMF were aimed at incorporating Tanzania’s views into the final report before its official publication. 

Magufuli’s government has embarked on an ambitious program of industrialization, but foreign investment in the country has fallen after contentious government interventions in the mining and agriculture sectors. 

The IMF projected a rate of GDP growth of around 4-5 percent in the medium term, should current policies continue. 

That forecast differed from the government’s projection that the economy will grow by 7.3 percent in 2019 after an estimated 7.2 percent expansion last year. 

“Delays or little progress in implementing structural reforms, unpredictable and interventionist policies, and a rushed scaling-up of public investments that may not have a high rate of return will have a detrimental effect on growth and development,” the IMF report stated. 

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The report further states that there were weaknesses in official data with other indicators pointing to a more subdued pace of economic activity.

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