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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

IMF urges Africans to sustain efforts to combat health crisis, ensure macroeconomic stability

The Managing Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva on Friday urged African countries to sustain efforts to address the prevailing health crisis within their regions, while ensuring that policies are well-targeted and consistent with the maintenance of macroeconomic stability.

Georgieva, who spoke after a meeting with the African Ministers of Finance, noted that the new covid-19 variant, Omicron require continued vigilance and a renewed global push to increase vaccine equity.

According to her, countries in the region also need to continue to prioritize critical measures to overcome the ongoing health crisis and social assistance programs for vulnerable groups.

She stated that the Sub-Saharan economies are projected to grow by 3.7 percent this year and 3.8 percent next year, noting that global economy is rebounding, with the October World Economic Outlook projecting 5.9 percent growth this year and 4.9 percent in 2022.

“I was encouraged by the commitment of Ministers from the region to pursue well-targeted policies consistent with the maintenance of macroeconomic stability and a robust medium-term reform agenda.

“These include measures to improve revenue mobilization, enhance governance and transparency, promote entrepreneurship, address the challenges posed by climate change and achieve higher and more inclusive growth.

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“Particular attention is also needed to generate broader economic opportunities—including for women, youth, and vulnerable groups that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

“The meeting also highlighted the importance of renewing efforts to deepen international cooperation, mobilize financing from the international community, and address challenges associated with fragility, insecurity, and persistent economic risks.

“The IMF remains a full partner in these efforts, and I was particularly encouraged to hear that most Ministers agreed that the IMF’s recent $650 billion SDR allocation to member countries was helping them address these challenges, while noting that additional efforts will be needed.

“We recognized the importance of African countries having a seat at the table in discussions on issues that affect them, in order to ensure global efforts to support them are as effective as possible.

“There was also broad agreement that reducing vulnerabilities, including those associated with rising debt levels, are an important priority over the medium term. In this regard, improving the functioning of the G-20 Common Framework for Debt Treatments and its timely implementation will be crucial for those countries that may require debt treatment.

“Moreover, actions and broader reforms to reduce risks and build confidence would help bring investment and financing to the region at lower cost.

“The countries in the region should continue to address the health crisis, while ensuring that policies are well-targeted and consistent with the maintenance of macroeconomic stability.”

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