IMF, World Bank annual meetings open in Morocco


The 2023 annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) on Monday opened in Marrakech, Morocco.

This is the second time that an African country is hosting the meetings of the two global finance institutions.

Kenya last hosted the IMF/WBG annual meetings in 1973.
In the wake of the current global economic crisis, the theme for this year’s meetings is: “Global Action, Global Impact.”

The theme has been crafted to inspire actions that would support poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness.

The meetings, which would be held from October 9 to 16, would be attended by some 12,000 participants.

They include global central bankers, ministers, private sector executives, civil society representatives, youth leaders, academics, and other stakeholders.
Job boosting, digital infrastructure, and climate action would be key discussion features of the meetings.

The event would also explore the new playbook needed to respond to intertwined global challenges, by reflecting on solutions that have worked on the ground in developing countries.

The World Economic Outlook would also be released during the meetings.
During her curtain raiser speech, Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, IMF, called for global cooperation to deal with economic fragmentation, which she described as a threat to further undermining growth prospects.

“With the right policies, we can build a bridge to a more prosperous and peaceful future. We can lay the groundwork for half a century even more impressive than the last,” she said.

To achieve this, Ms Georgieva, said it was important to reinforce economic and financial stability by keeping interest rates higher for longer.

There should also be a foundation for inclusive, sustainable growth through transformational reforms, build strong institutions, and boost collective resilience through international cooperation.

For Ghana, the meetings would be a critical moment to cement discussions to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the country’s external creditors for a debt treatment.

This MoU, as the IMF has noted, is necessary for the West African country’s second tranche of $600 million of a total $3 billion loan support programme.

Last Friday, Ghana reached a Staff-Level Agreement with the IMF Staff Mission on economic policies and reforms after the first review of the 36-month ECF-supported programme.
This will pave the way for the release of about US$600 million in financing once the review is approved by IMF Management and formally completed by the IMF Executive Board.

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