IMFSurvey Magazine: Countries & Regions
Spotlight on Africa's Challenges
Africa Conference to Share Lessons from Economic Successes
IMF Survey online
October 9, 2008
- High-level international Africa conference set for March 10-11, 2009
- Tanzanian President Kikwete and IMF head Strauss-Kahn to host conference
- Conference to focus on learning from Africa's economic reforms
President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn will host a high-level international conference in Dar es Salaam on March 10-11, 2009, to discuss how Africa can meet the challenge of sustaining and building on its recent economic successes.
The conference—built around the theme, Changes: Successful Partnerships for Africa's Growth Challenge—will provide both senior policymakers and stakeholders an opportunity "to learn from successful economic reforms in Africa and elaborate on the evolving roles of private sector and official partners—particularly the IMF—in supporting African countries," Strauss-Kahn said.
The conference will bring together more than 300 high-level participants—including finance ministers, central bankers, and representatives from partner countries, global and regional private sectors, civil society, media, academics, and private foundations.
A changing Africa
Africa is changing. For the first time in decades, the continent is seeing sustained rates of growth and rising income levels. And despite global financial turmoil and food and fuel price shocks, growth so far has remained strong. [Watch a video interview with Antoinette Sayeh, Director of the IMF's African Department on the region's challenges]. This holds out the prospect of making decisive headway in reducing poverty.
"But the successes in achieving growth in the region have to be maintained, accelerated, and extended to all countries," Strauss-Kahn said. The conference will address key policy questions, with the goal of forging a renewed partnership for growth in Africa in the 21st century.
Frontier emerging markets
The IMF believes that Africa will be only mildly affected by the financial crisis buffeting advanced economies. In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF forecasts growth in sub-Saharan Africa to remain above the 6 percent level this year and next.
Several countries in Africa have been identified as "second-generation emerging markets." Although recent high commodity and fuel prices have dented African growth, the continent is attracting new investment and several countries have developed a strong foundation for future growth.
Private capital flows to sub-Saharan Africa reached an estimated $50 billion in 2007. Although small compared with global capital flows, they overtook official aid flows for the first time in 2006.
For more information on the conference, please go to the website: www.changes-challenges.org.