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Africa speaks on IMF policies

African finance ministers have called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support growth in the region and ensure that policy measures adopted meet country specifics.

The call is contained in a statement issued after the 35th International Monetary and Financial Committee meeting held at the weekend in Washington DC.

Minister of Finance for South Africa, Malusi Gigaba, who spoke on behalf of other African ministers, said while they support the IMF’s work on the institutional view on management of capital flows, IMF should ensure that measures adopted meet country specifics.

He said for sub-Saharan Africa, growth continues to be hampered by adverse cyclical and supply side factors.

“Countries that need to diversify their economies at a time of rising global interest rates and dwindling buffers are facing pro-cyclical forces that present substantial challenges to maintaining policy stability and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Gigaba said.

He said while non-commodity exporters continue to experience strong growth, they also have weak fiscal buffers and rising public debt.

“A severe drought experienced mostly in Eastern and Southern Africa has had a devastating impact on agricultural production and led to high inflation. This has in turn dented the economic gains for non-resource countries that benefited from lower oil prices,” Gigaba said.

As a solution, he said African ministers have since suggested that IMF should support growth in sub-Saharan Africa, while they maintain support for the third-pronged approach in the Global Policy Agenda.

He further said finance ministers have since called on the IMF to work closely with relevant partners to identify concrete solutions to address the withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships in the region.

“We also reiterate our support for developing strong mechanisms to help deal with illicit financial flow that have drained the region of much needed resources to finance development,” he said.

Finance minister s from Ethiopia, The Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe attended the meeting.

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