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Africa’s Recovery and Future Will Take Center Stage at IMF-WB Meeting in Marrakech

There will be “a very strong focus on the African continent” during the annual meeting of the World Bank Group (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Morocco, in October, IMF’s chief said in a recent interview with CNN, adding that the timing is ripe as countries on the continent grapple with sluggish growth, food insecurity, and debt distress.The IMF-WB annual meeting is expected to bring together 14,000 delegates in Marrakech, as the world seeks to bridge the fragmentations induced by a changing world order.

During what will be the first IMF-WB meeting that has taken place on the continent in 50 years, the world’s top finance officials and central bankers will focus on their “most important short-term priority globally (which is how) to bring inflation down so we can see interest rates going down,” said Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s managing director, referring specifically to the record levels of inflation and public debt in Africa.Various challenges to Africa’s economic future will be high on the meeting’s agenda but, according to Kristalina Georgieva, the continent is also full of opportunities, including “that the youthful population in Africa provides for Africa and for the rest of the world.”

While African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) offers incredible opportunities for the continent, Georgieva highlighted three strategies to deal with related challenges: first, physical connectivity across countries; second, elimination of trade and non-trade barriers; and third, digital money. “We did a paper on how the continental free trade agreement can benefit Africa if these trade and non-trade barriers are eliminated and the results are phenomenal: trade within Africa can increase by 53%, trade between Africa and the rest of the world by 15%, and real income per capita could grow by 10%,” the IMF chief said. She also elaborated on why Africa needs to increase the use of digital money. “We need physical connectivity. We need every African business, every African institution connected to the internet and that requires coordinated action by governments,” she said.

Source: NAP