IMF’s Chief of Mission Acknowledges Government’s Effort to Advance Reforms

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By Ndey Sowe

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Mission Chief Olivier Basdevant, has acknowledged government’s effort in advancing many reforms, adding that part of their mission is to help the government design a comprehensive approach, a strategy with a vision, towards addressing governance vulnerabilities with the provision of specific recommendations.

Recently, an IMF Mission team on Governance Diagnostics -including public finance, macro-economic and legal experts led by Olivier Basdevant, paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr Seedy K.M. Keita. The team was composed of among others.

The purpose of the visit was to present the mission’s agenda to the Minister, which is to conduct governance diagnostics for the government to be coordinated by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. The activities of the team will be cross-topic and will seek to identify governance vulnerabilities and possible remedies to address them.

More importantly, they will look at issues of Public Finance Management, Revenue administration, anti-corruption, and rule of law from an economic perspective with findings expected to last for two weeks beginning 10th January, 2023.

While welcoming the mission, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Seedy Keita assured them of the ministry’s unflinching support towards the success of their mission and that government is committed to fighting corruption, a promise the president has repeatedly made.

The Finance Minister noted that the country enjoys a vibrant democracy with freedom of speech leading to an additional responsibility on the government to ensure transparency and public accountability for improved revenue mobilisation.

To sum up, Mr. Keita expressed appreciation to the team for the willingness and desire to work with the government and promised the government’s compliance with the mission’s findings and to have them published for the benefit of the public.

Mr Keita also added that for democracy to effectively work, there needs to be solid public institutions that are transparent and accountable.

Momodou Juldeh Barry, IMF Resident Representative in The Gambia, said anti-corruption law is important as per the mission’s objectives.

Mr Keita noted that governance diagnostics can be very helpful in the day-to-day operations of a government. He indicated that the mission is a coordinated participation with other donor partners such as the World Bank, European Commission, UN Agencies in the country, African Development Bank, US Embassy, British Commonwealth, etc.

The team comprises the following expert personalities: Olivier Basdevant, mission chief; Sybi Hida, PFM expert; Thabo Letjama, revenue administration expert; Riaan van Greuning, financial safeguards expert; Aldona Jociene, banking supervision expert; Gomiluk Otokwala, rule of law expert; Camilo Enciso, an anti-corruption expert; Indulekha Thomas, an anti-money laundering expert.