For more than half a century, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) have not held a meeting in Africa. Morocco will be in charge of breaking that drought next October, in what is expected to be a key meeting for the future of African economies. This is how the director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, sees it, who says “we must start over and focus especially on the prospects of emerging markets and developing economies.”
"I hope that a lot of attention will be paid to the African continent,” the director stressed, ahead of a meeting that is even more special because of the context in which it takes place. The global crisis is especially shaking a continent that, according to experts, has the optimal conditions to develop a very important growth in the coming years. Which does not prevent that, currently, they are suffering in a more accentuated way many of the consequences left, first, by COVID, and, secondly, by the war in Ukraine.
In that sense, Georgieva believes it is vital to bring the world closer to a united market, in which all actors play by the same rules: “I hope that we will develop a common vision on how to move the global economy forward.” In fact, he has made reference to the pandemic and the way in which the world came together to face the crisis “together”. And the fact is that the current situation, although not as devastating as three years ago, is still a complicated context for which the meeting on Moroccan lands hopes to provide solutions.
“In Marrakech, we must start again and focus especially on the prospects of emerging markets and developing economies: the opportunities that African youth offers to Africa and the rest of the world,” are some of the key objectives of the IMF and the WB for this meeting. Without forgetting, of course, the difficulties that many of these countries have been facing since the pandemic, such as high interest rates or very high debt levels.
However, in economic terms, the goal is the same as in the rest of the planet, to reduce inflation urgently. The exponential rise in global prices is one of the biggest threats to economies around the world. This is how Kristalina Georgieva considers it: "Our most important short-term priority globally is to reduce inflation so that we can see interest rates go down” for what she says, this is a ”critical" situation.
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are clear about some of the measures that can boost the African continent and help it take a step forward. The three pillars on which both entities want to work are physical connectivity between countries, the elimination of trade barriers to facilitate exchange between nations and the creation of a digital currency. Free trade is surely one of the most longed-for goals and for which they have been working the longest both in Africa and abroad.
The benefits, according to data provided by the IMF director, would be very high for the entire continent. Trade within Africa could increase by 53%, trade between the African continent itself and the rest of the world by 15% and real income per capita could increase by up to 10%. That is why the Marrakech meeting is presented as a possible turning point in this aspect and brings closer the free trade that boosts Africa and opens the door to a development that pushes harder and harder.