COTONOU (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund has agreed to lend Benin 93 billion CFA francs ($149 million) to help the government implement a macro-economic reform programme, the country’s presidency and the IMF said on Tuesday.
The three-year Extended Credit Facility programme should help it meet balance of payments commitments, achieve sustained GDP growth and improve the business climate, said Norbert Toe, head of the IMF mission that visited the country this week.
The deal must be ratified by the IMF board.
The West African country has a population of 10.9 million and a gross domestic product of around $8.3 billion. GDP grew at an estimated 4.6 percent in 2016 and is expected to rise to 5.2 percent this year, according to World Bank figures.
Benin exports cotton, and its ports are a key route for imports for its eastern neighbour Nigeria and Sahelian nations to the north.
($1 = 622.4500 CFA francs)
(Reporting by Allegresse Sasse; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Hugh Lawson)