Press Release: Communiqué by the African Governors at the IMF

April 25, 2004

The Governors (Ministers of Finance) from sub-Saharan African countries at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), met today, April 25, 2004, with Mr. Rodrigo Rato, Spain's former Finance Minister and current candidate to the post of Managing Director of the IMF.

During the meeting, the African Ministers sought to hear from Mr. Rato his vision of the IMF as a multilateral institution and, in particular, about its relationship with African countries. For their part, the African Ministers wanted to register their concerns and interests as African Governors of the IMF, bringing the following points to the attention of Mr. Rato:

    1. The Governors believe that the Fund must remain actively engaged in Africa over the long term, providing financial and technical assistance and policy advice.

    2. It is critical that the future Managing Director of the IMF pursue and reinforce actions to help sub-Saharan African countries, notably by strengthening the effectiveness of PRGF-supported programs and to pay due attention to local realities when designing and implementing programs.

    3. The Fund should also increase its contribution to achieving MDGs by championing the issue of enhanced market access for developing countries and mobilization of adequate concessional resources. Governors believe that the Fund should support the increase in ODA to meet the UN target of 0.7 percent of GNP, as well as mechanisms for raising additional resources such as the International Finance Facility and other financing modalities.

    4. Governors considered that a two-pillar approach to dealing with problems in the African region remains an effective strategy; consisting of taking ownership and accountability for their policies while donors provide more development support in the form of grants.

    5. They are of the view that calling for better governance is appropriate, but countries need massive assistance and support in creating the environment which encourages transparency and efficiency. This approach is consistent with the NEPAD.

    6. The African Governors expressed their desire that the IMF create a position of Deputy Managing Director whose portfolio would focus on Africa.

    7. The African Governors wish to see increased efforts to recruit qualified African professional staff in order to advance diversity at the Fund.

    8. Governors believe that the Fund should enhance collaboration with the World Bank and other relevant institutions.

    9. The African Governors believe that Mr. Rato will understand the enormous problems facing Africa, will include them among his priorities and make frequent visits to Africa if elected as managing director. Mr. Köhler visited Africa five times in his four-year tenure.


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