WASHINGTON, April 12 Chad is negotiating a new
loan program with the International Monetary Fund totaling about
$130 million and hopes to conclude discussions in the second
half of the year, the country's finance minister said on
Bedoumra Kordje, minister for finance and budget, said Chad
was seeking a so-called Extended Credit Facility from the IMF,
which had proposed an amount of about 60 billion CFA francs
($127 million) for the program.
The landlocked central African country, one of the
continent's poorest, has seen strong growth over the past decade
as it emerged as an oil producer.
Chad had also been involved in two peacekeeping operations -
in neighboring Mali and Central African Republic, though it
decided to withdraw its troops from the CAR earlier this month.
"There were delays (in the discussions with the IMF), but
that was due to the exceptional situation," Kordje said at a
press conference of African finance ministers at the IMF-World
Bank meetings in Washington.
The extended credit facility is a longer-term IMF program
available for poor countries with protracted balance of payments
problems. Chad had already had its policies especially monitored
by the IMF under a Staff Monitored Program, which has no money
attached and ended in December.
Kordje also reiterated that Chad expects to see double-digit
growth this year.
"This allows us to look at the future with optimism," he
($1 = 472.3360 CFA Francs)
(Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Andrea Ricci)