Sub-Saharan Africa will have a “stronger voice” at the International Monetary Fund with a third seat on the global lender’s executive board, IMF Chief Kristalina Georgieva told AFP.
Georgieva delivered the news ahead of next week’s IMF and World Bank meetings in Marrakesh, Morocco — the first gathering on the continent since 1973.
The IMF executive board, which is chaired by Georgieva, is responsible for conducting the Washington-based institution’s day-to-day business and currently has 24 directors.
The United States, as the world’s biggest economy, has the largest share of votes, followed by economic powers Japan, China and Western Europe, ahead of other regions and developing nations.
“I have some good news for Africa. We are advancing a preparation to have a third representative of Sub-Saharan Africa in our executive board,” Georgieva told AFP in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on Thursday.
“Ultimately, what it will mean is (a) stronger voice for Africa,” the IMF’s managing director added.
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 African decelerated this year to 3 percent.
“The impact of the war (in Ukraine) was devastating, especially coming on top of Covid,” she said.
“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.
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