Senegal’s leadership and priorities aligned with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
President Macky Sall was invited to deliver a message to the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday, November 11, 2016 in Washington, D.C. This is the first time that a Head of State has been invited to an IMF Board meeting.
President Sall Addresses the IMF Executive Board
President Macky Sall made a plea for the financing of infrastructure – notably, the Dakar-Bamako railway – and the fight against tax evasion. He called for a synergy of efforts between donors and beneficiaries to achieve the successful completion of development projects in Africa. President Sall advocated for the introduction of more flexible mechanisms, particularly in reference to maturity terms and debt ceilings, with the objective of facilitating access to long-term financing at lower costs and non-concessional financing for countries with a certain level of development, such as Senegal. Consequently, President Macky Sall called on donors to back a syndicated loan that would finance a standard gauge railway between Dakar and Bamako for the transport of passengers and goods.
Urge for improvement in the conditions associated with aid
President Sall petitioned for the optimization of relations between donors and beneficiaries. He urged for improvement in the conditions associated with aid, particularly with cumbersome procedures that result in decreased disbursements rates.
President Macky Sall also asked the IMF to continue its support, in conjunction with the OECD, of the fight against tax evasion and for the fair taxation of income.
Senegal wants to rely, firstly, on its internal resources to finance its development with the plan “Emerging Senegal”
To that end, the President reaffirmed his commitment to combating illegal financial flows. The Head of State spoke to the members of the IMF Executive Board about the performance of the Emerging Senegal Plan (ESP) and reaffirmed that its policies will achieve inclusive growth for all of Senegal. After two years of implementation, ESP’s performance is encouraging. Notable accomplishments include GDP growth of 6.5% in 2015 and ambitions projections for 2017, low inflation levels, and a significant reduction in the budget deficit.
Commenting on the discovery of oil and gas, he reassured that Senegal will take a cautious and transparent approach in the energy sector to avoid “the oil curse.” President Sall established the Oil and Gas Strategic Direction Committee (PETROGAZ), in addition to Senegal's accession to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. The country intends to continue diversifying its economy and energy mix.
Following the President’s address, the Dean of the Executive Board noted that Senegal's priorities are aligned with IMF requirements, and assured that the Fund will continue to support the country’s efforts. He congratulated President Sall for his leadership and encouraged him to continue with reforms and diversification efforts to finance the development of Senegal. The Executive Board had validated the Emerging Senegal Plan (ESP) in 2014 and its translation into the Policy Support Instrument (PSI).
Dialogue between Mr. Macky Sall and Ms. Christine Lagarde in IMF Staff Meeting
The discussions focused on key facets of the structural transformation of the Senegalese economy, the achievements of President Sall in favor of reducing labor for rural women under the framework of the Emergency Community Development Program (ECDP), and Senegal's expectations vis-à-vis the IMF and the World Bank for financing infrastructural development.
President Sall asked the IMF and the World Bank to listen to African countries, accept, and support their development ambitions. He stated, in reference to the Dakar-Bamako railway, "We are not asking for a high-speed train. We are asking you to invest - through a syndicated loan of 20 to 25 years - in a modern, standard gauge […] railway that will last for a century and will propel the development of intra-African trade."
Tribute of IMF and World Bank Senegalese to President Macky Sall
President Macky SALL then spoke with members of the Senegalese association working for the IMF and the World Bank, who said they were willing to put their expertise at the service of the ESP. This association brings together about 200 Senegalese, of various specialties, working in several countries.
The Head of State also met dozens of representatives of the U.S. private sector during a lunch at the Washington Chamber of Commerce. President Sall took the opportunity to call for continued U.S. initiatives for Africa, such as the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Millennium Challenge Account, and the Power Africa initiative. He highlighted that exports from Senegal to the United States increased by 43% thanks to the AGOA.
Mr. Sall invited U.S. companies to do business on the African continent, emphasizing that "Africa is growing and has great potential,” and advising U.S. investors “not be afraid to go to Africa." He added that "investments do not run any extraordinary risks in Senegal; we believe in the law of the market and respect the security of investments."