IMF hands Mauritania $163.9m loan to grow economy

19 Dec 17

The International Monetary Fund has given Mauritania a three-year loan worth $163.9m to strengthen economic stability and speed up growth in the country. 

Mauritania has experienced a low growth, higher external debt and financial instability as a result of budget cuts, currency depreciation and borrowing in recent years after the prices of metal plunged in 2014-15.

The country has traditionally been financially dependent on fish and metal exports.

The loan will support the government’s programmes aimed to strengthen its economic recovery, the IMF said.

In a statement, the organisation said the loan would improve living standards through more diversified and inclusive growth, including moving beyond the export of raw materials towards the selling of processed goods.

The IMF also said the government should collect more taxes.

It said: “Although public revenues are relatively high as compared to peers, tax collection and tax administration needs improvement to cover a large share of corporations.”

The country should also reduce public debt, the IMF said, as it rose to 72% of GDP as a result of borrowing.

The statement said: “At the same time, [the country should] devote resources for infrastructure investment such as the extension of the electricity grid or water projects.

“These projects help extend growth to larger groups of the population.”

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