Tanzania’s Magufuli – Rightly – Won’t Let The IMF Publish Economic Report

Tanzania’s President, John Magufuli, won’t allow the International Monetary Fund to publish their usual report on the economy of that country. Quite rightly too – from the point of view of Magufuli that is for it would be most inconvenient politically. For what the report will and in fact does say is that his actions are screwing with that economy and its possibility for growth.

You know, the usual sort of thing we’ve seen with African strongmen over the decades. From Kwame Nkrumah onwards these ideas about how to manage everything never do work out. The only economic management policy that has worked at all has been a decently free market capitalism. About time everyone in Africa realised that. Actually, given the praise these strongmen receive in their early years from the usual socialist fools in the NGOs, about time everyone realised that:

Tanzania president blocks critical IMF report on economy
Fund warns over ‘unpredictable and interventionist policies’ under Magufuli

Intervention’s not particularly a problem. No one’s going to argue over, say, a corporate tax, or the charging of a business incorporation fee, a landfill tax. It’s unpredictability that matters rather more. Because if you don’t know then how can you plan to invest?

Tanzania was criticised by the International Monetary Fund for unpredictable economic policies and unreliable statistics in a report that President John Magufuli’s government blocked from publication this week. The unreleased report, seen by the Financial Times, warned of “unpredictable and interventionist policies that worsen the investment climate and could lead to meagre [or even negative] growth” in east Africa’s second-largest economy.

An example might be those idiot claims against Acacia Mining. That they’ve been exporting many times more gold than they possibly could have been and without paying the necessary taxes. Apart from anything else, the original allegation never manages to explain here the supposed money went.

Tanzania’s refusal to release the report has alarmed international investors, who already fear the government is hiding the true state of the economy. Tanzania has criminalised the release of statistics that vary from the official version, in a law that the World Bank has called deeply concerning. The IMF report said there were “serious weaknesses” in official Tanzanian statistics that point to gross domestic product growth of 7 per cent.

And that’s like Argentina. Where they actually tried to jail some economists who tried to work out the correct and realistic inflation rate. Something that worked out well, obviously, given the currency collapse a coupe of years later.

Our best bet here is that Magufuli is going to drive Tanzania backwards economically. It’s not going to be a total rout as in Zimbabwe or Venezuela but then in what is already one of the poorest countries of the world a retreat is bad enough.

It’s a pity as there’s really nothing wrong with Tanzania that an absence of bad government wouldn’t cure.

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