7 January 2014

Kenya: IMF Team to Map Kenya's Assistance in March

Nairobi — A special team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be in Kenya in March this year to further deliberate on the various credit facilities fit to mitigate economic shocks in the country.

Speaking as she concluded her three-day visit in Kenya on Tuesday, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the Bretton Woods institution was not in a position at the moment to give the exact form of facility to be given to Kenya, until March.

She said the insurance-type facility mentioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta when they met in Mombasa on Monday was just one of the options.

Kenya had said that the country needed an insurance-type facility that can be accessed as and when needed with sufficient resources to effectively deal with potential internal and external economic shocks.

But Lagarde said the consultations to be held between the IMF team and the Kenyan government officials in March will assess the country's past economic performance and analyse the exact shocks expected so as to give priority to the urgent ones.

Article IV Consultations are annual talks held between the global giant lender and its member states, including the developed countries.

"There are multiples ways that IMF can use to support our members. We are not counting shillings here, but we are here to say that this economy is sound, well managed and should not be exposed to external shocks," Lagarde told journalists during a media briefing.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, who was present during the briefing, said some of the shocks to be mitigated include the high international commodity prices, drought and a weaker local currency which were experienced in 2011.

"In my meeting with Madame MD, we discussed the current economic situation in the country, the challenges and our development going forward," Rotich said.

He emphasized that Kenya's partnership with IMF has been guided by the equal relationship and strong ownership of the development agenda supported by financial and technical assistance from IMF.

During her visit Lagarde also met with Members of Parliament, the private sector, civil society and women representatives.

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