Press Release: IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato to Visit South Africa and Burkina Faso

September 1, 2004

Mr. Rodrigo de Rato, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will travel to Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa (September 6-7), and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (September 8-9). This is Mr. de Rato's second trip to Africa since becoming Managing Director of the IMF in June 2004.

During the first trip, undertaken in early August, the Managing Director visited Nigeria, Gabon, and Uganda. Like the first trip, the forthcoming visit to Africa will provide Mr. de Rato with the opportunity to listen first-hand to a wide spectrum of African leaders and representatives of the private sector and civil society regarding the challenges facing Africa. This will provide the IMF with valuable insights on how best it can support African countries in their effort to fight poverty.

In South Africa, the Managing Director will hold a series of meetings with the leadership of the country as well as representatives of the private sector and civil society. In these meetings, Mr. de Rato will explore South Africa's perspectives on various pan-African initiatives-such as the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and the African Union-as well as how the international community, including the Fund, can do more to help low-income countries.

Mr. de Rato will then travel to Ouagadougou where he will attend the African Union's Extraordinary Summit on Employment and Poverty Reduction in Africa at the invitation of President Blaise Compaoré. At the Summit, the Managing Director looks forward to a rich discussion of how best to foster these objectives in Africa. While in Burkina Faso, he will also meet with a number of African Heads of State, both individually and collectively, to continue the dialog with African leaders that began in July. In particular, during these meetings, he will listen to the reflections of the leaders in West Africa, as the region strives to enhance growth performance.


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