The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the first review of Mali's performance under its program supported by a three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). Completion of the review enables Mali to draw the equivalent of SDR 20 million, (about US$27.63 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 40 million (about US$55.26 million).
In completing the review, the Executive Board also approved the authorities' request for a waiver for the nonobservance of the quantitative performance criterion on the non-accumulation of domestic arrears.
The three-year arrangement was approved on August 28, 2019 for SDR 140 million (about US$193.5 million), equivalent of 75 percent of Mali's quota in the IMF, to support the country's economic and financial reforms. The authorities' ECF-supported program aims to maintain macroeconomic stability and to foster higher, more inclusive, and durable growth.
Executive Board Assessment
Following the Executive Board meeting, Mr. Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, stated:
"Mali has made important progress in implementing the Fund-supported program despite daunting security challenges. Economic growth has remained solid and the authorities have steadfastly implemented their revenue mobilization program and structural reforms are underway. Continued commitment to sound policies and reforms will be critical to achieving the program's objectives.
"Mali's immediate priority is to safeguard social and developmental spending in the face of pressures from security outlays. The fiscal framework for 2020 strikes an appropriate balance between spending needs and available resources, through the relaxation of the overall deficit target. Fiscal space for priority spending is also being created through ambitious but realistic revenue targets.
"Reforms to strengthen revenue mobilization remain critical to support growth-enhancing spending going forward. Efforts in the near term will focus on reducing opportunities for tax fraud, strengthening capacity of tax and customs administration, and improved compliance in medium and large taxpayer segments. These reforms are an integral part of plans to strengthen fiscal governance.
"Stronger public financial management will be critical going forward. The main priorities in the near term include putting the state electricity company on a sound financial footing to reduce fiscal pressures and secure an adequate supply of electricity, improving cash management to prevent reoccurrence of arrears and strengthening debt management. The upcoming review by the World Bank to secure transparent and efficient security spending will also be critical.
"The authorities' commitment to improve governance and fight corruption is commendable. Strong implementation will be needed to achieve governance reform objectives in the fiscal, anti-money laundering and the overall anti-corruption framework areas. The forthcoming governance assessment is welcome and will inform future reform priorities."
 At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country's authorities. An explanation of any qualifiers used in summings up can be found here: http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/misc/qualifiers.htm.