State investment in Sao Tome and Principe in 2007 accounts for almost 50 pct of budget

12 March 2007

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 12 March – The government of Sao Tome and Principe is planning US$41.7 million in public investment, the sector which will absorb most of the State Budget for 2007, which includes total spending of US$96 million, officials said.

According to the Budget for 2007, approved Friday in parliament, the ministry to receive most investment is the Economy Ministry, which will net 30 percent of all the funds applied to re-launch agriculture, fishing, trade and tourism.

In second place the Public Work Ministry will receive 19 percent of the funds, to be applied in infrastructures, namely road and housing construction, as well as improvements to the drinking water supply.

The Health and Education Ministries will receive 10.4 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

According to a statement on the Budget, investment expenses will be 81 percent covered by foreign funding and the remaining 19 percent by domestic funds.

According to the document, the budget priorities are related to fighting poverty as part of a macroeconomic balancing policy of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, which aims to obtain a pardon for the archipelago’s foreign debt, valued at over US$300 million.

The 2007 budget will also benefit from a US$23-million cash injection from Sao Tome and Principe’s national oil fund, from the signing bonus of three oil blocs in its joint exploration area with Nigeria.

The 2006 budget included expenses of over US$80 million. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH