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Last week I was in Tanzania with the International Development Committee. I had the opportunity to speak at some length with the IMF country representative and the IMF director for Africa from Washington DC. The IMF recognises the need for a country such as Tanzania to increase public spending modestly by 2 or 3 per cent. in order to try to generate domestic demand to take up the slack caused by loss of export orders. Although that does not apply to all African countries—all their circumstances are different—it applies to several. Will the IMF have sufficient resources to extend loans to African countries that need them in the downturn, and will that be discussed at the summit this week?
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