Christian Josz, the IMF's mission chief in Mali, said on Friday in the capital Bamako that the figure compared with weak 1.7 per cent growth in 2013 and stagnation in 2012.

He praised the government for making "major efforts to strengthen the management of public finances, insisting on compliance with fiscal rules and reversals of markets" in the final months of 2014.

The recovery comes after the country was upended by a coup in 2012 which opened the door for an Islamist incursion and French-led military intervention in January 2013 to restore democracy.

In December last year the IMF lifted a block on aid to Mali, frozen for six months after the impoverished west African nation lavished USD 40 million on a presidential plane.

The IMF announced the resumption of disbursements under its USD 46 million credit for Mali, set in December 2013 to help the country as it emerged from a security and political crisis.

Payments had stopped in May last year after the government bought the extravagant aircraft and issued a USD 200-million state guarantee that allowed a private company to buy supplies for the army.

Those deals raised questions about the authorities' commitment to good management of public finances.

Under pressure, the government agreed to two independent audits that revealed shortcomings, and undertook other reforms that were strong enough to persuade the IMF to move ahead, the
organisation said.

Josz said on Friday he considered that "the situation has been rectified, steps have been taken".

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