Sao Tome and Principe: IMF and government negotiate agreement to develop country and reduce poverty

6 April 2009

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 6 April – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Sao Tome government are negotiating a three-year agreement to reduce poverty and boost economic growth, the Sao Tome United Nations representative said.

Ovídio Pequeno said that the agreement included boosting macroeconomic stability, reduce inflation and promote growth of the non-oil sector, with a view to increasing investment, particularly from abroad.

“The two parties are working on the agreement, the conclusion of which is expected within a few weeks,” Pequeno said.

The process to draw up the “strategy for development for the reduction of poverty,” was launched Friday to the country’s development partners at a “workshop” held in the Sao Tome capital.

By drawing up a new document, the Sao Tome authorities hope to identify new constraints on previous programmes and define new policies.

Poverty currently affects 54 percent of the Sao Tome population.

In 2008, according to a statement published in March by the IMF, Sao Tome and Principe posted strong economic growth due to an influx of investment in the construction sector, tourism and trade.

For 2009, the IMF has forecast growth of some 5.5 percent Sao Tome and Principe following an average of 6 percent over the last few years. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH