African countries get lower IMF interest rates

11 mar 2010

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has introduced changes that will enable African economies to access funds at lower interest rates, Business Daily reports.

It has removed its prescriptive fund disbursement method and replaced it with the Rapid Credit Line in a bid to help countries on the continent be more resilient to the economic downturn.

Speaking at a public forum at the University of Nairobi, Managing Director of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the change will enable "less-developed countries to access stabilisation funds".

So far, the IMF has paid out $3.6 billion (€2.64 billion) under the new scheme - three times more than it had using the prescriptive fund approach.

Mr Strauss-Kahn added the credit lines are "tailor made for a specific country's needs to ensure immediate access to the fund".

He also said during his visit to Nairobi that "signs of life" are emerging in economies across the continent, with commercial activity and bank credit improving.