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    Africa gets a new third seat on IMF’s executive board

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    Somali Magazine– In a bid to boost the African voices, the International Monetary Fund [IMF] has offered a third seat on the global lender’s executive board.

    According to IMF Chief Kristalina Georgieva who spoke to AFP during the IMF and World Bank meetings in Marrakesh, Morocco.

    The global lender’s executive board is chaired by Georgieva and is tasked with conducting the Washington-based institution’s day-to-day business and currently has 24 directors.

    “I have some good news for Africa. We are advancing a preparation to have a third representative of Sub-Saharan Africa on our executive board. Ultimately, what it will mean is (a) stronger voice for Africa,” Georgieva told AFP in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on Thursday.

    The World Bank has also announced that it will create a third seat for African nations on its own board, a decision to be made official at the October 9-15 meetings in Marrakesh.

    The IMF and World Bank will tackle the thorny issue of institutional reform in Morocco as they face growing calls to better address debt and climate change in poorer countries.

    Georgieva said growth in sub-Saharan Africa decelerated this year to 3 percent.

    “Countries with limited fiscal capacity were particularly severely impacted,” she added.

    Inflation, which soared in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, caused “additional hardship on people,” Georgieva added.

    Moscow’s invasion sent food prices soaring as both Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of agricultural goods.

    Georgieva praised countries for being very prudent in dealing with inflation, which has gone down in many nations, and prioritizing public spending in a way that allows them to lower deficits.

    “We expect some brighter prospects for Sub-Saharan Africa in 2024,” the Bulgarian economist and former European Commission vice president said.

    Instead of subsidies, she said, “What we are strongly recommending is to give direct support to the poorer part of the population.”

    While the IMF has continued to provide special assistance since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, including through zero-interest loans, she said she would ask nations and the private sector to “do more” to help developing countries.

    The World Bank warned in a report on Wednesday that sub-Saharan Africa’s economic outlook “remains bleak” and that the region could face “a lost decade of growth” due to “rising instability.”

    The Sahel region in particular has been plagued for more than a decade by a jihadist insurgency that has fueled military takeovers in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

    Despite the coups, Georgieva defended the IMF’s decision to maintain aid to those countries due to “humanitarian concerns.”

     

     

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