IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato to Visit

Equatorial Guinea and Zambia on March 13-17

Press Release No. 06/47
March 9, 2006

Mr. Rodrigo de Rato, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will visit Equatorial Guinea and Zambia on March 13-17, 2006. He will attend the regional summit of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) during his visit to Bata, Equatorial Guinea (March 13-15), and in Lusaka, Zambia (March 15-17), will take part in a regional meeting devoted the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) and the role of the IMF in low-income countries.

In Equatorial Guinea, Mr. de Rato will address the Heads of State of the CEMAC region, whose summit will focus on strengthening regional links in order to promote economic growth. He will then speak at a regional seminar, organized by the IMF, on "Sources of Growth".

In Zambia, Mr. de Rato will take part in a roundtable of finance ministers, parliamentarians, civil society representatives and journalists from Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The aim of the roundtable will be to discuss the challenges that these countries face in making use of donor resources, especially the 100 percent debt relief extended by the Fund under the MRDI to 19 countries, of which 13 are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr. de Rato will meet the authorities in both Equatorial Guinea and Zambia, as well as the Heads of State and ministers attending the regional meetings. The trip, which is Mr. de Rato's fourth to sub-Saharan Africa since becoming head of the IMF in 2004, will also be an opportunity to discuss the Managing Director's review of the Fund's Medium-Term Strategy with the region's leaders.



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