IMF calls for Sao Tome and Principe to avoid taking on debt

Sao Tome and Principe should avoid getting into debt in order to maintain a situation that is sustainable, said on Wednesday in Sao Tome the new head of a mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the archipelago, Xiangming Li.

The IMF mission started its third assessment of the programme with Sao Tome and Principe, which will last for two weeks, having held an initial meeting with the Minister of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, Américo Ramos.

Xiangming Li, a Chinese national, said after the meeting that the archipelago’s public debt is “a little high” but added that “if the government is aware of this issue it is possible in the medium term to control the debt.”

The prime minister of Sao Tome, Patrice Trovoada, who returned on Tuesday from a meeting with the heads of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington, insists the country needs to borrow more for investment in infrastructure, according to Portuguese news agency Lusa.

“This country has potential, the issue of infrastructure is absolutely crucial, it is a key issue, but we must find ways to be able to promote development without creating excess debt,” said Xiangming Li.

The IMF mission that visited Sao Tome and Principe to assess the macroeconomic situation of the country consists of six members and includes the Deputy Director of the Africa Department, David Owen. (macauhub)