Several bilateral donors and a number of African Governments have expressed concern that the design of IMF programmes in aid dependent countries appears to have a persistent bias towards reducing aid dependence at a rate which may be preventing a feasible and desirable expansion of donor support for African public expenditure, support which could be financed by grants or highly concessional loans. DFID have become aware of differences in view between Fund and donors in Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana and Mali. The issue is also raised in the recent independent evaluation of the ESAF. The difference in view matters because the design of the IMF programme determines how aid can be used within the budget, and specifically whether it can be spent or must be saved.
Mick Foster & Theo Thomas