In a marathon to release Tanzania from the grip of unorthodox policies previously ordered by late leader John Magufuli, the new President Samia Suluhu Hassan has pursued a different direction.
Her government has officially applied for a US$571M loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help in tackling economic challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have submitted the application within the specified time. But I will provide detailed information in the near future,” Finance Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said on Wednesday shortly after a parliamentary session in Dodoma.
On June 10 Nchemba tabled the 2021/22 budget Worth Sh36.3 trillion in Parliament. Nchemba told the House that the requested funds were a low-interest loan aimed at tackling the social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, IMF officials in Dar es Salaam and Washington have conditioned Tanzania to provide information on Covid-19 which the government has tightly guarded.
Tanzania government has not published data on Covid-19 infections since May last year.
IMF confirmed about the existence of talks with the government.
“When applying for pandemic-related emergency financing, evidence of the pandemic has to be available to substantiate the claim,” the IMF’s resident representative, Jens Reinke, told media.
The Covid-19 pandemic notwithstanding, Tanzania’s economy expanded at the rate of 4.8% last year. But this rate was lower than the government’s projection growth rate of 5.5%.
Dr Nchemba told the Parliament last week that, in 2021, the economy is projected to expand by 5.6%.