By Zainab.firstname.lastname@example.org in Marrakech
Marrakech, MOROCCO – Gita Gopinath, the First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), underscored the IMF’s commitment to Africa, stating that 50% of their capacity development spending is directed toward the African continent. During a high-level capacity development talk at the Annual Meetings in Marrakech, Gopinath revealed that the IMF allocates approximately $150 million annually to capacity development initiatives, a cornerstone of their work in Africa.
The global community has experienced numerous shocks, which have posed significant challenges for developing countries, altering their development trajectories and making it harder for them to achieve their goals. Gopinath emphasized the importance of the IMF’s deep involvement with Africa in light of the continent’s burgeoning spending demands.
“It is crucial to recognize that this challenge cannot be resolved solely through international funding; domestic resource mobilization is a vital part of the solution,” Gopinath emphasized.
In the realm of capacity development, the IMF is actively assisting countries in domestic revenue mobilization. Africa benefits from the IMF’s support in raising revenues to meet critical spending needs. Gopinath disclosed that the IMF is in the process of launching a Global Public Finance Initiative aimed at raising approximately $200 million over the next five years. This initiative will strengthen governments’ ability to generate the revenues necessary for their development goals, benefiting Africa significantly.
“We are deeply engaged with the continent, boasting eight capacity development centres in Africa. These meetings have enabled us to secure additional financing for these centres, including a $25 million pledge from the European Union,” Gopinath revealed. The IMF will also sign an agreement with the Government of Mauritius, which has generously contributed to this cause. Contributions from China, France, and Saudi Arabia further enhance the capacity development centres in Africa, thanks in part to the capacity development technical assistant programs supported by African colleagues.
Gopinath highlighted three key factors that indicate the effectiveness of the IMF’s engagement with countries: ownership, continuous engagement, and on-the-ground proximity working alongside officials.
Responding to the IMF Deputy MD’s statement, Governor Caroline Abel of the Central Bank of Seychelles emphasized the IMF’s willingness to accommodate countries that engage with them. She lauded the positive journey of her own country and encouraged others to tap into the facilities offered by the IMF to bolster human capacity and resilience.
Finance Minister Sheku Bangura stressed the importance of deepening the IMF’s current engagement in building the capacity of institutions in various countries to effectively respond to ongoing risks in a volatile global environment. ZIJ/11/10/2023