Concern Continues Over Economic Impediments

IMF and Africa

Morocco’s Marrakech – For the first time since 1973, Africa will host the historic annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. This important conference, currently taking place in Marrakech, Morocco, highlights the problems of the global economy, particularly those affecting emerging and developing countries.

These prestigious meetings last took place on the African continent in Kenya fifty years ago. This year’s event attracted notable personalities from around the world, including a prominent delegation from Egypt. They include Hassan Abdalla, governor of the central bank and the IMF, and Mohamed Maait, the finance minister. They agreed to participate after recently reaching an agreement with the IMF on a $3 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program to run from 2025 to 2026. It is important to remember that only a $347 million tranche of this agreement has been secured so far and two key credit reviews remain outstanding. During the meetings in Marrakesh, Rania al-Mashat, Egypt’s Governor at the World Bank and Minister of International Cooperation, will also take part in discussions on these important loan agreements.

. They are also considering reforms to their quota systems. World Bank President Ajay Banga has called for an increase in lending capacity of up to $125 billion through contributions from advanced economies. The World Bank has ambitious plans to increase lending by a staggering $50 billion over the next decade. They are also thinking about changing their quota systems.

However, not everyone supports these initiatives. Activist groups, including Oxfam, are organizing a march in Marrakech to express their opposition to institutional austerity measures. They claim such measures will worsen wealth disparities in developing countries and force 57% of the world’s poorest countries to go on a “starvation diet” of $229 billion in spending cuts over the following five years. Oxfam International chief executive Amitabh Behar has criticized the IMF for sending a “failed message”. He calls for debt cancellation, higher taxes for the rich and immediate action to combat climate change.

Impact on the world and Africa

The African continent will benefit greatly from the return of these meetings. It offers an opportunity to address the pressing economic and financial problems of African countries, promote cooperation and seek solutions to reduce conflict, poverty and natural disasters. The addition of a second board seat reflects Africa’s growing importance on the world stage.

However, resistance to some initiatives is a reminder that economic policy must be balanced. While increased lending and reforms can be beneficial, addressing wealth inequality and environmental issues must also be a priority in discussions.

To ensure a fairer and more sustainable future for Africa and the rest of the world, it is important to find common ground between the aspirations of institutions and the demands of activists. Undoubtedly, the meetings in Marrakesh will be crucial in determining the future course.

. The meetings in Marrakesh will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the way forward.

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